U.S. 360 Tour II – Day 24 from Phoenix AZ to Wickenberg AZ (Stubborn Siri and a Fine American)

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

63 miles (101 km) – Total so far: 1,214 miles (1,953 km)

Woke up early and got a good start out of downtown Phoenix. We stayed about 8 miles off of the ACA Southern Tier Route, so we had to rely on the native iPhone map application to navigate to the beginning of the ACA route. Frustration set in immediately as “Stubborn Siri” decided to have a senior moment. She routinely attempted to route us on major interstate highways, at which point I would correct her to take us on preferred bike routes. Like clockwork, she would override my instructions and direct me her way. After tiring of this back and forth, I finally turned her off in favor of simply navigating by the stars.

Much of the morning was spent on the Arizona Bike Canal, a dedicated bike path which took us west out of the city. The riding was easy and traffic-free, the only other vehicles being cyclists and occasionally runners.

The day saw tailwinds and slight inclines, but nothing overly strenuous. In fact, there was even a nice descent coming into Wickenberg. Passed through towns like Surprise, Sun City (where I thought seriously about dropping Jim off), and Wittman. My road angel of the day was the owner of Coulson’s Auto, Tire, and Bike Repair Shop (quite the combo!) outside of Phoenix, who sold me two spare tubes in the middle of a desert, mitigating the risk of being tubeless in the middle of nowhere, having blown two tubes the day before.

The most notable acquaintance of the day went to my new best friend, Matthew, from Ft. Collins Colorado. Matthew, an Iraqi War Veteran and genuinely good American, has been on the road since Spring, navigating the TransAmerica Trail from Virginia to Oregon, the Pacific Coast Trail from Vancouver to San Diego, and is on his way to the Florida Keys. When all is said and done, he will have ridden 10,000 miles in an effort to raise awareness for veteran suicide prevention. You can check out his FaceBook page by searching “Transamerica Ride for Life”. Jim and I camped with Matthew and spent much of the night hearing about his cycling and life adventures. Outstanding young man!

We didn’t see any animals today, other than ourselves.

It’s All Good.

Typical scenery today.  Notice the fresh look on my face.  It will disappear later in the day
Typical scenery today. Notice the fresh look on my face. It will disappear later in the day
T-Rex on the loose outside of Wickenberg AZ!
After spitting me out, it went straight for Jim.
Our new friend Matthew eastbound on the Southern Tier. An Iraqi War veteran, this guy is a fine American.
A bike get-together at the campsite in Wickenberg AZ.


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