Given the forecast for the day’s temperature, we continued our early morning strategy and set an alarm for 4:30 AM. I started riding by 6 AM from Glamis. This time of the year, Glamis is in hibernation, but in late October, thousands of visitors swarm the place for a major off-road vehicle event.
For ten miles, the road rose gently as it passed an enormous fenced-in property with giant clearly human-made mounds. Upon investigation, we learned that it is the site of the adjacent Mesquite Regional Landfill and Mesquite Gold Mine.
The next 20 miles were downward trending, but not smooth. The earth is wrinkled here. The local term used on road signs is “dips.” I rode this section last fall and remembered it as being a lot of fun to cycle, with each downhill providing enough momentum to get up the next uphill. See Desert Dips from my blog last fall for more.
The final 30 miles of the day were flattish and distinctly agricultural, passing through the towns of Palo Verde and Ripley. Ten miles into this portion, I entered a new county and the pavement changed from exhausting chip seal to smooth asphalt. What a relief.
By the time I cycled into Blythe, the temperature had reached 102 degrees — hot — but it would get hotter. When we went to lunch, it was 117 degrees outside. It felt like an oven even in profound shade. Water from the faucet had two temperatures — hot and hotter.
When I poured water over my bike to wash off an accumulation of desert sand and dirt, the water evaporated off the sidewalk in less than 5 minutes. Even at 7 PM, it was still 106 degrees. We will continue our early morning strategy as we head to Parker, Arizona tomorrow.
Start location: Glamis, CA
End location: Blythe, CA
Distance: 60.4 miles
Elevation gain: 1260 feet (pretty flat)
Cumulative distance: 239.4 miles
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/693551971