Yes ! I was able to go back on the road today, and do a complete trip to the very small Hualapai tribe town of Peach Springs on Route 66. It was very hot (up to 36C/97F), but it was that or another day in Kingman.
Just a bit after 8am I was at the Bicycle World shop in north Kingman, and in an hour everything and more was fixed ! The bent axle was straightened, with added fender washers (small metallic disks) to spread the weight of the trailer, as it had damaged the bike and that was going to get worse. All tubes have been replaced by ultra-thick, self sealing tubes, with an added liner, an anti-puncturation plastic band that goes inside the wheel. My rear view mirror was fixed (it had been broken a week ago when the bike crashed again to the ground). And a complete check on the bike chain, brakes and handle has been done. With everything done so fast, I knew I had a chance at leaving today – I was back at the motel just before 10am.
When I left Kingman I was extatic ! I did 13mi/20kms in half an hour ! I knew of course that I was going to ride in the heat of early afternoon, but I was set to go !
Route 66 aimed straight for the range of mountains in the north-east, slalomed between them and joined a large plain with bumps until Peach Springs. The views are once again breathtaking. I also enjoyed the carrion crows circling me from time to time 🙂 Or maybe they were just the local huge crows.
Oh and I was able to experience why there is so much crap on the roads. After I left Kingman I was passed by a sort of pickup with a trailer and a small metallic structure inside. I noticed it because it was making a lot of noise, probably the structure was not strapped very well. An hour and 20kms later, I saw a lot of wheel bits on the road, when they usually are on the shoulders where I have to avoid them. A couple hundred meters later was said trailer, left on the side of the road, with a blown up wheel. So it does happen : wheels explode just like that.
At the exact middle of the trail, I stopped at a mini mart, with a bus of retirees, whom after a minute I discovered to be French. I didn’t engage with them however, and they didn’t either. Typical me.
I stopped and walked most slopes up, as the heat was going up fast, and I didn’t want to pass out of exhaustion. I drank two liters of a reasonably hot water (at room temperature) and was spared hallucinations mostly. A light breeze here and there, and a few clouds helped alleviate the pressure of the sun and the heat. Still, in the last long line, I started counting down the miles again. I wouldn’t have lasted much longer.
Tomorrow I’ll start much earlier, at the usual 7 or 8am.