Standing on a Street Corner in Winslow

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Take a Rest RV Park

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, July 1, 2011

What a day… It started well with a scrumptious fry-up at the camp kitchen and a lazy morning watching Andy start to lose to Rafa. By 11 it was time to check out, and as a miracle didn't look like it was going to happen we decided to set off and find out the results later. Murray at this point had lost the third set to trail 2-1, we still don’t know the score but if he had anything like the luck we had today Rafa probably walked the fourth set 6-0.

The ride started badly with some aggressive drivers having a go at us and a puncture after only a mile. Flagstaff proclaims itself a bicycle friendly city, but we think that basically the council must have spent lots of money on bike lanes and not on the residents thereby annoying them and making them extremely unfriendly to cyclists. Anyway, puncture fixed, helmets rather than sun hats on, and we were off again.

The 11 miles to Winona where we had a cool drink were fast and straightforward. With a lovely tailwind we were bombing along at 17 mph and feeling pretty pleased. After that point however things rapidly went back downhill and to cut a long story short, at the end of the day the puncture count is at 7. Six of them in Mikey’s back tyre, which we think must need replacing despite the fact that it’s only done 1000 miles – that’s what happens when you go cheap! Each time he found a new piece of metal sticking into it we couldn’t believe his bad luck.

At 35 miles we limped into a Garage and RV park for cool drinks and a big bucket of water to locate the holes in all 3 spare inner tubes. The garage owner couldn’t believe we’d had 5 punctures. From the garage we could see the rim of the largest meteorite crater in the US. We had to make do with looking at a very spectacular picture of it as it was a 12 mile round trip away.

We definitely should have cut our losses and camped at this RV park, but Winslow was only 19 miles away and we really believed that we couldn’t possibly get anymore punctures. So, on we went…

Having been preoccupied by the punctures all day, we hadn’t really been taking much notice of our surroundings. At this point I noticed that it was really rather HOT again! In fact all the lovely pine trees had disappeared and we were riding through a barren dusty red rock covered landscape which much more closely resembled the Arizona I’d imagined. This has put paid to our ideas of a romantic nights camping in the forest between Winslow and Gallup. Another massive day instead I predict.

Four miles from Winslow we had to stop and pump up puncture 6 (Mikeys). He raced off up the hill to try and get there before it went down again, just as my front tyre got a flat – aagghh!! We took the first exit to Winslow and had to collapse at a garage and fix my front tyre. As usual no one knew anything about the town they lived in and we had to wobble down to the tourist information centre to find out about a campsite.

Winslow is famous for being mentioned in the Eagles song 'Take it Easy’ -  "Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona such a fine sight to see". To be honest, it’s a rundown, not very nice place, definitely not worth a visit unless you’re a cycle tourer on your way to Albuquerque. There is loads of Route 66 memorabilia, but unlike other places on the famous route we’ve been, like Seligman, it’s jaded and not much fun.

Just before we reached the RV park, Mikey’s back tyre finally gave up the ghost and blew up so that we had to walk it in. The valve had completely ripped off. The lady in the office had absolutely no interest in us or our puncture filled journey, just took our 22 dollars and said put your tent where ever you like.

A dusty plot right on the motorway with just a few fat old men wandering around in their pants to each other’s trailers is a big step down from last nights friendly happy KOA. Never mind, they have showers and there is a Walmart 2 miles up the road where Mikey has gone to buy a new pump. I forgot to mention that ours broke on puncture 2 and so we have only been able to use the tiny emergency back up one, which is very tiring and inefficient. (however always saves us when the big ones break). He wasn’t that happy about leaving me here on my own, but there a lot of people around and a garage 50m away. I think leaving the stuff unguarded would have been much worse. Anyway, I’ve got my pepper spray which Mum bought for me in Delhi (yes I managed to smuggle it through the strict customs checks of both NZ and the USA) and I’m pretty sure I could still run away fast if needed. There’s no internet here which is a shame as I really want to check how hot it is. It is feeling suspiciously desert like. I was just thinking this morning how heavenly it was not to have to get up at 5 – think I might have spoken too soon.

Anyway, we must find a KOA to stay in on Monday so that we can get involved in some 4th of July celebrations. I’m still not sure what it’s all about but people seem pretty excited and at the campsite we stayed last night they were going to roast a whole pig.

Mikey has just returned from getting lost in a Walmart hypermarket and we finished the day with a very good bacon Caesar salad.  We feel almost as deflated as our inner tubes but tomorrow is another day and on we roll.

Miles Cycled:  57 fast miles apart from 7 punctures!!!!!!
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triciagick on

Sounds totally exhausting..... Am curious abaout your 'camp fry up' - what are those lilttle whilte plastic looking cubes on the right hand side of the plate?? XX

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