Day 3: Ocotillo to Brawley
Started: Sep 20, 2010 8:29:54
Ride Time: 2:56:05
Stopped Time: 58:47
Distance: 37.11 miles
Average: 12.65 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 179.63 miles/h
Climb: 12328 feet
Today was a short, fast day. Need to stop early because the next thing after Brawley is 70 miles of open desert, and I want to make sure I can cross it in one shot.
A few miles out of Ocotillo, I met Gene Glasscock on the road. He’s driving a covered wagon drawn by two mules, and heading to Georgia. Making about 10 miles a day. We chatted for a while, and as I rode off I said “safe travels.” He said “you behave yourself.” Not sure what prompted him to say that.
In Seeley, I met up with four riders from Bozeman MT who are also riding the Southern Tier. They’re carrying a lot more gear than me—they have three trailers between them—and are more set up to camp and prepare their own food. We rode together for a while, but they diverted into El Centro hoping to find a bike shop to deal with some of the mechanical issues they’ve been having. I’ll probably run into them again.
I realized that there’s something subtly counter-intuitive about riding the transam west to east. In the USA, west is the direction of progress, of new discoveries. Riding eastbound, where the west is what’s known, what’s behind you, reverses this deeply ingrained instinct.