Day 9: Globe to Safford

Started: Sep 26, 2010 8:14:19
Ride Time: 6:34:19
Stopped Time: 1:00:09
Distance: 79.90 miles
Average: 12.16 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 73.58 miles/h
Climb: 17746 feet
Calories: 4065

Again you may note some wonkiness in the GPS data above. I did get up to a very high speed on a long, straight downhill riding out of Globe to Peridot, which is in a giant basin. Climbing back out, I saw hillsides covered in saguaros, something I haven’t seen before. There was a whole lot of nothing between my two endpoints today. Bylas is a town in an Apache reservation, and about as depressed as one might imagine. The adjacent town of Geronimo is a ghost town. It was Sunday, so the town of Fort Thomas was closed. Safford is half-closed.

Apart from heat, I’ve had pretty good weather this ride. Today was my first day of sustained headwinds, which are demoralizing. I also had two flats—one from a thorn that still has a nub embedded in the tire, one from a source I couldn’t find. So they both may cause additional flats.

All of this may explain the fact that I am feeling negative about this undertaking. When I encountered my fellow Southern Tier riders in Palo Verde after crossing the desert, one of them said something like “I’m starting to think the real challenge is mental.” I replied “I don’t know, it’s feeling like a physical challenge right now.” I’m starting to see her point. This tour was an expensive indulgence, but it was important to me. Right now it’s not making me feel happy or fulfilled, only homesick and incredibly tired.

When I started the tour, I was mostly worried that a mechanical or physical failure would scupper it. So far I’ve been free of the joint pains, chafing, etc that had worried me. So I feel more confident right now that I can make it all the way to the Atlantic. The question I’m asking is whether I want to. Perhaps after I’m past the very intimidating hill climbing still ahead I’ll feel differently. And I’m sure that lots of people who attempt this go through moments of doubt. But right now, this is feeling like a slog. And tomorrow will be as long as today, but with a lot more climbing.

7 thoughts on “Day 9: Globe to Safford

  1. Shiree Schade

    Of course the ride is going to be a huge part mental, especially with so many hours with which to cogitate extensively. However, this is the juncture at which your enormous remote fan club will kick in and begin to cheer you on.

    WAHOOOOOO!!! Go, Adam, GO!

    In my experience, pretty much every task has this element – I learned it swimming laps at the pool. Your frustration will pass and then rear it’s ugly head over and over. Fortunately, you have the potent ability to choose rather than simply respond, so whatever decision you make, whenever, is the right one.

    But in the meantime: WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! We’re all rooting for you and love seeing you grow! Yahooooooo!

    Love,

    Shiree

  2. Dave

    Should I forward you the article on the RAAM racer who went completely bonkers and was screaming at mailboxes about the CIA/KGB and so on?

  3. Heather

    Adam,

    The mental challenge is what you are here for! Your brain has gotten so use to be entertained and stimulated my outside influences like your computer, Gwen, movies, friends, delicious cocktails, etc. Now, it’s you and your brain. This is a country-wide meditation. It takes practice. First off, give yourself a break. It’s hard to unwind the brain. I think as you continue to ride, your brain will relax a bit and start to notice the beautiful in everything around you – even those flat tires!!! I know I am full of shit, but I want to to keep peddling and accomplish this excellent goal.

    Put the metal to the pedal! Go Adam!!!

    Heather

  4. Tracy

    Wish you were closer to Golden and we would come cheer you on. I am sure it’s a challenge – but I know you are up for it! Hang in there.
    We are pulling for you.

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