Barry’s ride for CRCMC

Archive for January, 2009

Continental Divide crossing the line

Greetings from Silver City, New Mexico, Thursday 29th
Since leaving Phoenix and the comfort of Mike and Joan’s, two words will
pretty much sum up my trip: climbing and cold.
I have crossed the but still have one more big Mt.
(8200 ft.) before I begin my descent into El Paso, TX.; I will tackle that
one tomorrow. The hills that I’ve climbed on the way to Silver City have
more elevation gain than what I have left because I will begin the day at
6200 ft.. However, the lack of oxygen is noticeable (for a guy who lives
at about 50 ft. above sea level).
I was worried about the weather at this altitude but it looks like I will
have clear skies and a favorable wind for the rest of my trip through the
mountains. The last few mornings I have found solid blocks of ice in my
water bottles. Also, the condensation inside of my tent freezes and when I
bump the walls a minor snow flurry happens. The extreme cold makes it
difficult to get my camp torn down because my hands freeze up in about 30
seconds. But, the sun eventually starts warming things up and melting the
ice that is covering my gear and I do get started, although later than I
would like. Like I seem to be fond of saying: it’s all part of the
adventure. I will be glad to leave the mountains and cold behind!!! Once
out of the mountains I expect to cover lots of miles.
Texas, here I come!

Post from Chandler, AZ

Today is Saturday, 24th and I am leaving Chandler, AZ and heading east
into the big hills. The road goes up and up into New Mexico and
eventually topping out at 8200 feet then dropping down into El Paso, TX..

I have been staying with Mike, Joan and KayCee in Chandler and they have
made me feel like part of their family. It’s difficult and intimidating,
yet at the same time, exciting with all of the unknowns, to leave here
because after Chandler I am out there on my own. But, I must get back on
the road and continue my journey so here I go…..onward and upward. I
should be in Texas in a week or less.

Thank you so much to Mike, Joan and
KayCee, you’ll never know how special my time with you was.
I will try to check in from the road, somewhere….

Leaving Chandler, AZ


San Diego update part 2

It’s currently Thursday, January 15th and I am in San Diego.
As soon as I get off this computer I will start packing up and heading
east into the mountains and the desert beyond. Once I get over this 4000
foot pass I intend to do a lot more serious riding and a little less
lingering by the ocean.
Monday morning I left the comfort of my family in Redondo beach and rode
the 53 miles to Donna and Bill’s beautiful home in Dana Point. The ride
started off by dropping into the squalor and congestion of Long Beach with
it’s heavy traffic, no bike lane and countless red lights. Once through
Long Beach the conditions improved in Seal beach then near Huntington
Beach I caught the bike path along the beach for miles. The temperature
was in the mid 80’s, no wind, beautiful glassy ocean and Dolphins were
playing in the surf: a spectacular day to ride down the coast.
Tuesday was just as nice on the 72 mile ride to Randy’s house in San
Diego: I have been so lucky.
Most of the day was spent riding on the Coast Highway, along the ocean.
I turned off the highway and somehow managed to find the bike path along
the ocean in La Jolla and stayed on it all the way into San Diego.
I am certainly going to miss the beauty and comfort of the coast.
But, here I am after two nights at Randy’s about to start riding east.
Special thanks to everybody that put me up; I will never forget your
Now to start heading across the country……..

San Diego update

It’s Tuesday the 20th and I am now at my parents house near Wickenburg, AZ.
I left San Diego on Thursday, the 15th on a very beautiful, sunny day.
I was studying my map, and feeling unsure about which way to go, in the
town of Lakeside, when up rides a guy named Doug who rode with me for
several miles through many turns and showed me the way. Somehow these
angel people seem to show up when you need them.
Leaving Lakeside, the road goes up and up and up over 4000 feet. I made it
about halfway up the mountain and had to go off into the desert to set up
camp. The next day I rode 46 miles of mostly uphill followed by 12 miles
of screaming, as fast as you can go downhill, into the desert and the town
of Ocotillo. In Ocotillo, I talked to Gary, who runs the trailer park, and
he told me to set up my tent in his trailer park which had running water
but no shower. The next day started my journey across the desert floor and
another night of sleeping out in the desert (and my 3rd night without a
shower). I spent the next night in Blythe and the next day I rode 75 miles
and was setting up my tent in the desert when I checked my messages and
discovered that my parents were looking for me about forty miles back.
Somehow I went by them and they didn’t see me. So, here I am at my parents
house about 10 miles north of Wickenburg, resting up after riding the last
5 days and almost 300 miles. I am getting stronger all the time but my
body still needs days off to rest.
I will be leaving here, for Phoenix, on Thursday 22nd and then heading
east. It seems that I have pretty much exhausted my supply of friends and
family so will try to just ride and ride from here with fewer stop-offs. I
know that I’m getting stronger because I rode 75 miles yesterday and feel
fine. I feel that I can now ride farther than the daylight will allow me.
Adios for now; I hope everybody is well.

More pics from the border

t seems that I’ve had a mini vacation on my way down the coast. I am
still in Redondo Beach but I have every intention of riding south, to Dana
Point, today (Monday, 12th). While here in Redondo I have reconnected with
my former in-laws who have made me feel like I am very much still a part
of their family, I have been SCUBA diving, fishing on a boat in the ocean,
we went out one night to see David Lindley perform at a club and eaten
many great meals together. Jeff and Barb, Judy, and my niece Becca, whom I
met for the first time, Rod and Julie, I will cherish our time together:
you’re the best! I also got to spend a wonderful night in Sierra Madre,
about an hour from Redondo, with Norma, Bob and Jackie.
Time to pack up and head to Dana point (it was bound to happen).
I will check in from San Diego….

On the road

This day finds me in Redondo beach, LA. I had a 73 mile day, my longest
yet, from Ventura to get here. The weather has been fabulous, the riding
excellent, and my body is getting used to riding and living on the road. I
am considering this trip down the coast as sort of a trial run and get in
shape trip. By the time I get to San Diego and start heading east I will
be ready to push harder and without the distractions of the beautiful
coast and many friends along the way, I should be making much better time.
The shorter days have been a problem because if I want to ride a lot of
miles I have to leave early and not make too many stops along the way.
This was never an issue when riding back from Canada during the other
Spoking Up ride.
Another issue while riding in Southern California is that the bike route
follows city streets because we aren’t allowed on the freeways. I have
been lost in Santa Barbara and Ventura. For a little country boy who is
used to the mean streets of Fort Bragg and Mendocino this can be very
Up to this point I would say that this trip has gone just about as good as
it possibly could. Nothing has broken, nothing has been lost or left
behind, and my body is getting in shape nicely.
All the friends and family whom I’ve stayed with has treated me like
royalty; I feel pretty special.
Tomorrow (Saturday) I will be leaving Redondo and I should be in San Diego
County on Sunday.
I hope everybody is well and thanks for the words of encouragement: they
mean a lot to me.
Happy trails, Barry

First report from the road

My first entry finds me in Cambria, a small town about the size of Fort
I decided to take a day off from riding my bike to help my body recover
from the grueling hills of Big Sur. I have  been very lucky so far having
beautiful blue skies and fair winds (except for my first day out which had
possibly the worst cycling weather I’ve ever encountered). I visited
friends in and around Santa Cruz so I didn’t start camping until I was in
Big Sur. Big Sur was the scariest, most difficult yet the most spectacular
and inspiring ride I’ve done to date. I can’t imagine what it must be
like to ride this area in the summer when the tourists and motor homes are
out in full force on this road without a shoulder that sometimes drops
straight down 1000 feet to the ocean. When you ride out of Big Sur the
road flattens out along the ocean and is relatively easy, and beautiful,
riding for miles.
Last night I stayed in a hostel and when I told the former bike rider
woman who runs the place what I was doing she comped another night. So,
here I am in Cambria for another night of much needed rest and relaxation
before heading south tomorrow. My  body feels good and my spirits are
high. Until the next time.