Bicycling Across the West – Day 9 – Parker to Congress in Arizona
“Don’t think about what you’ve left behind” The alchemist said to the boy as they began to ride across the sands of the desert. “If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.” —
~ Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist
Today is another desert crossing, but I’ve got a couple towns along the way to resupply. There’s risk for sure, but I figure it’s less risk than yesterday.
I’m up and out the door at 5:00 AM, but am disappointed to see once again that there’s more light in the sky than I’d hoped. My hope is to get started before first light on these desert crossing days, in order to get as many miles behind me as possible before the heat of the day begins. I’m continually surprised by how much the 100 miles or so between one day and the next changes the sunrise and sunset times.
When planning this trip, I’d always assumed I’d do a good portion of these desert crossings in the dark. I figured I could start about 3:00 AM to avoid heat and wind. I knew the moon would be close to new during these crossings, so I’d get no help there. My solution was more lights. I wear a helmet light combination that has a bright flashing red taillight attached to the back of my helmet, and a headlight on the front of the helmet that can eight be a constant or a flashing light. As bicycle lights go, this front light is OK, but not really a bright headlight that lights the road well. It’s made by Light and Motion, called their Vis 360 model. It’s really meant to make the cyclist highly visible to the motorist. Read more »