October 20th, 2015. Quartzsite, AZ. 112 miles and 5,992 calories later. It’s not that late but everyone has gone to bed. Except for me and Luci who is typing my blog for me. I kinda want to go to bed too but I’m drinking my fourth protein shake of the day. I may make fun of Rae for the seriousness with which she takes her task, but at this point, she’s probably the only thing keeping me on the bike. It was 51 degrees yesterday when we left Descanso. It was 81 degrees today when we left Brawley. It didn’t get any cooler. We spent a good portion of today riding through the desert surrounded on all sides by huge sand dunes. Hydration is the next problem to solve.
My weight dropped below 140 for the first time and I’m sure water weight was a good part of the weight loss (yes, yes, denial again. I know). I can’t drink from the water bottles while I ride because I can’t let go of the handlebars with my good hand to get them. So we have to stop riding whenever I wanted to drink. Before you suggest the camelback my cheek muscles don’t work so well. I can’t use a straw (or kiss for that matter). On the plus side I can finally say without fear of contradiction that I don’t suck (badaboom! We’ll be in town till tomorrow and I’m available for weddings, birthdays and bar mitzvahs). Whenever our support crew meets up with us Rae asks Ian how much I have drunk. He usually tries to change the subject. One of the good things about this arrangement is that Ian generally gets in trouble for my infractions. “Ian! You’re supposed to be looking after him.” Whenever I stop riding, the support crew descends upon me, removing layers of clothing, putting on others, applying sunscreen, filling water bottles, cleaning wounds, wiping off blood, throwing peanut butter sandwiches at my face. Then we get back on the road. To be honest I feel like a formula one racer at a pit stop.
There is no GoPro footage today because the mount snapped. All the vibration finally took its toll. It may be tested by BMX racers, mountaineers and extreme skateboarders but did anyone think to send it on a little road ride? Huh? Anything to say Mr. GoPro man?
Since the beginning of the ride two people have mentioned that I have been ruining my one fall per 100 miles average. Well, not to disappoint, I did manage to fall today. Right in front of Rae and Ian, too. Both of them witnessed me do it. I was barely moving and we’re still not quite sure how I managed to fall. I guess I’m just talented, what can I say?
Towards the end of the day we crossed the Colorado River and are now in Arizona. We spent what seemed like way too much time on Highway 10. Compared to the bleak moonscape of the desert in the morning it was quite the contrast. We began the day in total isolation and by afternoon we were riding along the interstate shoulder, dodging chunks of rubber and engine parts; just four feet from instant death.
Rae commented that my voice is getting worse. I responded that that was because whenever we’re together she’s shoveling food down my throat.
Rae: “You’re losing weight, here eat this sandwich.” Me: “Hmgh phut mmhg phut.” Rae: “Then I want you to drink this protein shake.” Me: “gmgh frchk phut.” Rae: “Ian. How many times did he pee while riding?” Ian: “I think we can still catch the Cubs-Mets game.” Rae: “Eat this hard boiled egg, it’s good for you.” Me: “Shphung phut gugh” Rae: “I really don’t like the way your voice sounds.”
And so it goes. Life on the road with Team: Ray Goes For A Little Ride.
Peace, love and midwives