Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day #11: Record Breaking Heat

Today's Route: Palmdale, CA to Tehachapi, CA (43 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 509

Yesterday, we were plagued by crazy ass winds. Today we were plagued by record breaking heat and dry conditions.

Fortunately, we had an amazing stretch of flat riding for the first 26 miles. It was great to have these miles behind us by 9 am. But as soon as the little hand on the clock hit 9, it became unbearably hot. And just in time for our ten mile climb! At one point in the ride this morning, Alex's bike computer registered 100 degrees.

Yesterday I was hoping the wind would go away. And today I was hoping the wind would pick up a bit to offer a refreshing breeze from the stifling heat.

In the distance, we could see a forest of wind turbines.

A forest of turbines.

Where there are wind turbines, this is wind! Hip hip hooray for the refreshing breeze at the top of today's climb!

Alex biking.

I saw a lovely piece of what used to be license plate bling on the side of the road. So, I pulled over (in the middle of an uphill climb, might I add) to grab the bling and to attach it to my bike, beneath my pannier strap. Then I rode another few miles until I saw the perfect patch of poppies with which to present my roadside bling. Mommy, this roadside tribute is for you:

A roadside creation for my Mommy.

We saw our first "significant wildlife" today: a coyote.

Oh, and I achieved my maximum downhill speed today: 39.9 mph!

There were two options for camping tonight in Tehachapi. One was at a place with a lake (swimming!). Alas, it was three miles off route. So, instead we're staying at the Mountain Valley Airport, which offers glider rides, a coffee shop, and an RV park! What a unique, but perfect, combination!

Our campground for tonight.

Apparently Harrison Ford has been known to fly from this airport. That's sorta cool.

Both my little brother (Toddie Woddie with the Hot Body) and Jake (my Portland buddy) are glider pilots, and so I've been on some glider rides before.

Jake piloting our glider flight last spring.

Alex, however, had never been in a glider. So, today was his opportunity to get up in the sky. I served as the photographer for Alex's first flight.

Alex gets the run-down on the glider controls.

Alex approves of his first flight.

After flight time, it was lunch time. I finally just opened the jar of Spicy Black Bean Dip that I purchased at the Trader Joe's in San Diego. I hauled this bad boy more than 500 miles.

Yummy, yummy in my tummy.

This is the first time I've ever finished an entire jar of Spicy Black Bean Dip in one sitting. The jar consists of 12 two-tablespoon servings, for a total of 360 calories. The jar contains 84% of a regular person's daily sodium, which means 10% of a perspiring cycle tourist's daily sodium. Surprisingly, I'm still hungry.

Despite the record breaking heat, the temperature cooled off quite a bit in the evening. In fact, it was a perfectly lovely evening for using the stove to make a warm dinner.

Mastering the pasta.

This evening's main course was angel hair pasta, with chipotle pinto beans, red and green peppers, and fresh tomatoes.

An empowering supper.

Now we're all powered up for tomorrow's ride, which hopefully won't involve any more record breaking heat.


  1. My hometown! (seriously, that's where I went to high school.) I've only had to drive through there once in the past decade and I just gave it the one-finger salute from the highway. Feel free to set the place on fire as you ride out of town. Also, be glad you skipped the "lake." A swim in there might give you a rash and a tumor.

    On to better places! (Oh, and if you stroll by the Catholic church downtown, I once sat behind Jack Palance there. He used to have an ostrich ranch on the outskirts of the town. But more surprisingly I used to have to go to Mass.)

    1. Ha ha, too funny! I guess I'm glad we didn't go out of our way to swim in the lake either. The town has treated us just fine, so we won't be saluting on the way out. There are definitely other towns where the salute is deserved. :)

  2. When you drive in a car, you don't feel the hills, the wind, the temperature changes, it just feels like you are at home watching a documentary TV as the landscape changes. But, with the bikes, you guys feel every thing that is happening around you. That must feel good.

    1. Indeed, it feels great! You should try touring sometime! Wanna go on a trip with me?

    2. Would love to :)

    3. Well, then, get to it, cowboy! :)


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