Day 11: Globe, AZ to Thatcher, AZ

When I first told my friend Maynard I was going to try to ride my bike across America, he said, “I hope you like riding 8 miles per hour into a headwind.” Well, Maynard, today was the day. We started at 8 a.m. and finished after 6 p.m., and the whole day was into the wind. 8 mph? Maybe 7 most of the day.

I don’t know that I would say I “liked” it, either. It felt a little like playing that game my brother used to call Why Are You Hitting Yourself. If you’re not familiar, it’s when your older brother grabs your wrists and hits you with your own fists/hands. It was like that.

Then Tony’s crank suddenly locked up, and wouldn’t go anywhere, when we had about 35 miles left to ride. We worked it loose again, and squirted a bunch of chain lube around it, which seemed to work. A phone call to Scott may solve the problem if we can pick up a 10mm allen wrench at a hardware store tomorrow, and we can hopefully limp it into Silver City, where a mechanic can look at it.

Then we got chased by a couple dogs literally right to the eastern border of the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Well, Tony got chased by one, right in front of me, and when the dog gave up on him and came after me, another one suddenly appeared. I didn’t really know what to do, and forgot I had mace in my jersey pocket. I just pedaled faster and prepared to get bitten in the ankle as they ran right next to my pedals. I realized I probably won’t be able to outrun a dog on a fully-loaded touring bike, in the future.

Then one more dog chased us later, but didn’t get as close. Plus I had the mace ready.

I continue to cough and not sleep at night, and Tony continues to gulp Advil for his knees. We’re going off the route tomorrow, to Lordsburg, N.M., to stay a little closer to civilization, should something go really wrong with his bike. The next day, we’ll head to Silver City and get back on the route from there.

I'm pretty sure these are Joshua Trees.

We've ridden all manner of road surfaces so far, but this one might be my least favorite. The section to the right of the rumble strips is about 12 inches wide. Thankfully, we were going so slow today, you couldn't get too out of control.

The girls basketball team from Fort Thomas High School is apparently going to state!

This is Corn Nuts. He and I became pals outside the store in Bylas, Arizona. Hell of a lot friendlier than the other dogs in Bylas. But he's pretty young yet.

If you've ever wondered where the international memorial to Melvin Jones, the founder of the Lions Club, is, it's in Fort Thomas, Arizona. And it is magnificent.

Kid from Iowa can't get enough photos of farms and farmland on this trip.

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11 responses to “Day 11: Globe, AZ to Thatcher, AZ

  1. Aaaahhhh…. Corn Nuts; the dreaded final stage of cotton balls.

  2. I am sitting here reading your comments for the day, just shaking my head and keep thinking “How many miles is it across Arizona anyway?”

  3. I want Corn Nuts! Hang in there guys! You are bad-A!

  4. B, remember it takes 2 weeks for your body to begin to adapt to what you are putting it thru. You guys are pushing REAL hard (but I don’t need to tell you that!) Hang in there, brother. You will get a tailwind to make up for today one of these days, trust me. I always had this fantasy of turning across traffic, right in front of something big, so the chasing dogs would go SPLAT!!. Never did it, though……

  5. A hearty squirt from a water bottle is often an adequate dog deterrent. Admittedly mace would be effective, just make sure Tony is not behind you.

  6. I hope things are going better today. Maybe a tailwind and no mountains. Lots of people in New Hampton are enjoying your updates!
    Take CARE!

  7. Stephanie Maltarich

    Hope today is better! Can you bring Corn Nuts home for me?

  8. You get to go to heaven for crossing AZ into a headwind. Otherwise, why would anyone do it?

    Good luck with Tony’s knees and crank…and your sleeping. We’re all riding with you guys, y’know, every mile, only without the pain and bike problems. And we’re sleeping well.

  9. Thatcher, AZ has got to be awesome. Has to be one of your better stops I’m sure.

    Just got caught up on all the blogs. It’s fantastic. Hope you get some tail winds sometime soon.

  10. Boy you probably should have tried your mace on Corn Nuts to make sure it is effective.

  11. What an adventure! As I read your comments I keep thinking to myself “how could we do this someday too?”. So envious…..

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