U.S. 360 Tour – Day 23 from Superior AZ to Tempe AZ (Gliding, My Niece, and a Girl)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

48 miles (77 km) – Total so far: 1,151 miles (1,852 km)

What a superior day! Another early rise to beat the heat! Left Superior, Arizona around 6:30 am amidst fairly cool weather. I immediately started a single climb out of the small town, which honestly, I thought would be worse than it actually turned out to be. After that climb, I could see for miles ahead what locals call the East Valley, which is home to the suburbs East of Phoenix.

For almost 25 miles, I glided almost elegantly down a slight decline into the valley, just enough of a descent to barely pedal, but not so much that I couldn’t enjoy the scenery. I love the desert landscape, and today I quenched my thirst for it. Saguaro cactuses came into view, and they filled the desert, looking like giant green people standing straight up in the sand. I also came upon quite the sight when a group of about six or seven cowboys, all on horseback, were driving a herd of cattle from Point A to Point B. For a minute, Surly Pearl considered going off-road to join her brethren on the cattle drive, but I kept her steady on the roadway shoulder. Speaking of roadway shoulder, today’s riding conditions (almost) made up for the less than average Arizona road conditions I’ve experienced over the last few days. The U.S. 60 roadbed was excellent, recently repaved, wide, and very smooth.

The last 25 miles were spent cutting through the suburbs of Apache Junction, Mesa, and finally Tempe. I must say that this area knows how to treat traveling cyclists. Bicycle lanes are everywhere, and bicycling infrastructure (rest areas, signs, road markings) is ubiquitous. This part of the ride took me through well-groomed neighborhoods, playgrounds full of kids, and courteous drivers. There were also palm trees and citrus orchards, lots of citrus orchards. Not even a flat tire three miles from the end of the ride could bring me to reality. A great day, from beginning to end.

Later in the day, I got to see and stay with my phenomenal niece, a Neuropsychologist who lives in Chandler. After relaxing for a bit, we went to her favorite local brewpub and drank, ate, and drank the evening away. I am assuming now that I am her favorite uncle, having pedaled 1151 miles to see her! We are all so proud of BriAnne.

OK, whew!!

Today is my final riding day of this section of my journey around the American perimeter. I have most certainly achieved the things I originally set out to achieve, and I have experienced things that I could not heretofore have dreamt. I will be posting my final thoughts on this adventure in a few days, and laying out my plans for the next journey to the West Coast and up along the Pacific Coast, so stay tuned! Until then, my very highest priority awaits in Austin, to celebrate not my return home, but to hold my hand as we celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary next week. Until my next adventure, I will borrow a very fitting line from Will Hunting…

“I have to go see about a girl”.

It’s all good. It’s all very, very good.

 

Early out of Superior, AZ
Early out of Superior, AZ

 

Neat, single mountain near Superior AZ
Neat, single mountain near Superior AZ

 

More mountains out of Superior AZ
More mountains out of Superior AZ

 

Saguaro cactus fields
Saguaro cactus fields

 

Surly Pearl at the top of the pass between Superior and Tempe AZ
Surly Pearl at the top of the pass between Superior and Tempe AZ

 

Shadows and descents going into the the East Valley
Shadows and descents going into the the East Valley

 

I really do like Arizona!
I really do like Arizona!

 

Tail-end of an old fashioned cattle drive
Tail-end of an old fashioned cattle drive

 

Surly Pearl wouldn't go any further until I took her picture next to a Saguaro cactus (I think this cactus is why I got a flat tire)
Surly Pearl wouldn’t go any further until I took her picture next to a Saguaro cactus (I think this cactus is why I got a flat tire)

 

Surly Pearl and Apache Junction AZ
Surly Pearl and Apache Junction AZ

 

Kinda hoping this Saguaro cactus doesn't fall on us
Kinda hoping this Saguaro cactus doesn’t fall on us
Bicycle Rest Area in Mesa, AZ
Bicycle Rest Area in Mesa, AZ
The bike lanes in Mesa AZ are as big as automobile lanes!
The bike lanes in Mesa AZ are as big as automobile lanes!
The bicycle signs in Mesa AZ are excellent
The bicycle signs in Mesa AZ are excellent
Final destination for this segment in Tempe AZ
Final destination for this segment in Tempe AZ
Hook'em ASU
Hook’em ASU
Me, my niece BriAnne, and her dog Carmen.  Guess who is still in this picture?
Me, my niece BriAnne, and her dog Carmen. Guess who is still in this picture?
Uncle and Niece
Uncle and Niece
I couldn't decide which brew I wanted, so... I chose a few
I couldn’t decide which brew I wanted, so… I chose a few

Click Here to read my daily tour journal entry on crazyguyonabike.com

 

One thought on “U.S. 360 Tour – Day 23 from Superior AZ to Tempe AZ (Gliding, My Niece, and a Girl)”

  1. Hey Brian ,
    I followed you missed a couple days while in Vegas. But looked for you from the plane did not see you, may have been visiting or possible riding through the road construction. We all found this to be interesting, love the name of your bike.
    Spices up the trip a bit when you have someone to talk to the whole time like pearl. I did not find the snake on the road part very cool that’s when you would have seen me blow smoke for home, Not a big snake fan not even if they are dead. Would love to come visit again maybe i can get ole Joe to travel south.

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