Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tuesday, 1/2/07 Buckeye, AZ to Eloy, AZ 92 mi., 14.7 avg., 22.3 max, 6:13 saddle time

Very nice riding day today; cool, clear and calm. After a wonderful visit with my friend Paula and her family in Phoenix for New Year's, Paula gave me a ride this morning back to the same spot where she picked me up New Year's Eve. Since I had hotels available at every planned stop for the rest of the trip, I took a chance and sent all my camping and cooking gear, food and some unneeded clothing home via UPS, lightening my load by about 20 lbs. The total of bike and gear when I got to Paula's was 70 lbs, and losing almost a third of that weight was like putting wings on this morning. I was also able to strap my backpack on top of the panniers where my bedroll had been, so today was the first day I rode without a backpack on. What a difference! Similar to the way I felt on the AT when I switched from boots to sneakers and lightened my pack weight by ten pounds. I'm confident now that I can do essentially four consecutive centuries this week. Two in a row was tough last weekend. This morning I worked my way around the extreme southern outskirts of Phoenix, with housing developments to the north and farmland, livestock operations and desert to the south. I'd gone 55 miles before I rejoined I-10 southeast of Phoenix. At about 2:00 pm, at the 77-mile mark, I got pulled over by a State Trooper. As he walked towards me, he said, "I got you speeding back there", but he was grinning as he said it. He told me no bikes were allowed on I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson. I told him there'd been no signage to that effect where I got on at Briggs Rd. He asked me where and when I'd started and when I told him Buckeye at 8:00 am, he did sort of a double take. He asked me where I was headed so I told him El Paso via Eloy, Benson, Lordsburg and Las Cruces over the next four days. When I explained to him about TK's Ataxia and the reason for my trip, he told me to be careful and wished me luck, warning me 'officially' to get off the highway ASAP. I don't know if he spread the word or not, but two more troopers passed me between there and here without even slowing down. So far, so good. We'll see if my luck holds tomorrow. It's 98 miles from here to Benson. For the second half of that, I'll be past Tucson, so that part shouldn't be a problem. Don't know about New Mexico yet. It's a 110 mile leg from Benson to Lordsburg and then a 120 miler to Las Cruces. Saturday morning, I'll have 46 miles to the finish in El Paso and I have a reservation to fly from El Paso to Manchester on Southwest on Sunday morning. Should be home Sunday afternoon! Crazy Cat Cyclery in El Paso is shipping my bike home for me as soon as the box arrives from California. I can smell that finish line!


Blogger Manuel said...

I just met Mr. Wooten on his journey to arise awarennes for this terrible condition, which as a matther of fact I didnt knew nothing about it before meeting him. He changed that. I thanked the day for let me know such a brave individual and supportive father and the brief moment in which I crossed roads with him. I wish the better of luck for him to end his goal and the best of everything for his son. Boy you should be proud of yourself since you are inspiring people to make changes, you have inspired your father to take the message abroad.
I thank both of you and I wish you well.
Que Dios les acompaƱe !!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Marc Kantor said...

Hi Frank,

This is Chris again from the round trip ride across America. I commend all of your effort and heart. So I was wondering if you had done any training prior to your trip and for how long? Were you an avid biker in the past? Any other part of your body suffering other than your 'tush'! I appreciate your timetable right now, so if you can't respond just yet I understand. But I would like to hear from you. My email: chris.morino@gmail.com

12:20 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Hey Frank,
Man o man all I heard about was all the wonderful food you ate at diners and church's in the South. I get a friendship/family nod.
Next time it's imitation crab legs and craw dads, buddy!!! Sorry you didn't get much sleep the night before you left.
Glad you made it to Eloy s&s.
Love & Prayers,
By the way Kelcie is now calling you Uncle Frank and has added you to her nightly prayers.(:

1:33 PM  

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