I'd Like to Use a Lifeline - Can I Phone a Friend?
The day's ride started great! Cool air, sunny day, tailwind, flat road through farm land. The smells in farm country (hay, alfalfa, even the cattle feed lot) brought back lots of memories of growing up on the family farm in South Dakota.
After about 15 miles the landscape changed dramatically as the Imperial Valley ended and I rode into the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. These dunes look just like they came out of a movie set of the Sahara. In fact, I think they are often used to film desert scenes in the movies. But, the most popular use of the 'dunes' is for motor sports. Hundreds up people come here every weekend (at least when it's not blazing hot) to ride their quads, dirt bikes, dune buggies and sand rail cars up and down the dunes. There's rarely a time when you can't see several flying up the side of a dune.
This is where my day turned south. Just as I entered the recreation area, another spoke broke. I sat on the sign at the entrance to the recreation area to start fixing the spoke. As I got the wheel apart and started changing out the spoke, yet another one broke. That's when I lost it and decided to use a 'lifeline' to phone a friend to come get me. Since it would take over 4 hours for someone to drive out from Phoenix, I continued to fix the spokes and rode on. About 10 miles later I reached Glamis, a wide spot in the road with a convenience store for 'duners'. After leaving there, yet another spoke broke within a mile, so I turned around, rode back to Glamis and my ride (temporarily) ended. I had only one spare left and I had no confidence in the rest of the spokes on the wheel.
So, I'm home and starting to figure out why this wheel isn't strong enough to withstand a fully loaded bike. I've got to get this resolved so I can continue on. So this will be my last post for a few weeks. I'm hoping to take off again and head north in mid-May. And I still have two more lifelines to use!