October 26, 2012
On Wednesday, Jeff sends a mass text message asking if anyone wants to partake in a ride north before the temperatures get too low. In true fashion, he wants to go on Friday. Most people couldn't go last minute. We aren't most people.
Friday morning comes around. Like usual, we slept through alarm one. Like usual, Mike made us late for the meet. Luckily, traffic was a bitch, so the guys were running late too. We met up at McDonald's in Mesa for breakfast. Today's crew: Mike and I on the Space Shuttle 990, Jason on his Triumph and Jeff and Wendy on a Harley. An odd crew indeed.
We left Friday morning traffic behind and hopped on SR87. We cruised north...
Along the way, we pointed out all the dirt roads that skirted the mountains. We could never convince Jeff to take his expensive Harley up a dirt road....sadly. Four Peaks was calling.....we were forced to ignore its call.
Arizona mornings have a nice chill to them now. Casa Grande still gets into the mid to high 80's during the day. The northern climates, have cooled considerably to actually resemble something like fall.
We blew through Payson.
Down and into a valley. Verde something or other. Practically forgettable and boring. But at least we had Jerome to look forward to. Honestly, I had no idea was Jerome was like. We've had several people suggest it to us, but I didn't think there was much there. In reality, it was a charming, reclaimed mining town high up in the mountains. I can't wait to go back. We had lunch, went to Maynard's wine store and geared back up for the long ride back.
I felt cheated that we didn't get to spend more time in Jerome. I think next time we go, we'll overnight there.
At this point, we've been riding for six hours. Our butts were getting tender, but the mountains were so alluring.
We had a good rhythm going, zooming along.
89A dumped us into Prescott Valley.
One last fuel stop.
Then onto boring slab. I-17 south.
We bid adieu to the rest of the crew on I-10 and headed towards South Mountain. Until last week, we didn't know a road existed up to the top. Sore butts and all, we climbed to get a sunset view of Phoenix.
Exhausted, we began our descent, grabbed dinner and hurried home. It was a 14 hour day on the bike. Long, tiring, painful at the end, but freeing.
A good bike ride with good friends cleanses the soul.