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Best $2000 Road Bike
- A bicycle that is suitable for use on ordinary roads, as opposed to a mountain bike
- (Road biking) Road cycling is the most widespread form of cycling. It takes place primarily on paved surfaces. It includes recreational, racing, and utility cycling.
- A motorcycle that meets the legal requirements for use on ordinary roads
- A bike with narrow tires best suited for paved roads. Usually noted by drop style bars.
- A road bicycle is similar to a racing bicycle. However, road bikes are built more for endurance and less for fast bursts of speed, which is desired in a racing bicycle. They usually have more gear combinations and fewer hi-tech racing features.
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One of the books I brought to read during the long nights was Le Chant des Roues by Claude Marthaler about his 7 year bike ride around the world. Last night he was riding through the US and commented that the national parks in the US are the worst places to ride because there is so much traffic. He talked about how these incredible areas get loved to death. Here I was on a paved road in a popular national park at the time of year with the best weather, and there wasn't another soul around.
This photo appeared in the following ideotrope albums:
Biking the Mojave Fall 2007 - Introduction
I biked through Death Valley in October 1996. It was 109°F at Furnace Creek. The area is beautiful, but it was way too hot at that time of year. I knew I wanted to come back on my bicycle when it was cooler. This year it worked out to take about 3 weeks after Thanksgiving. I ended up spending 18 days to cycle from Palm Springs to Las Vegas. I spent about half of that time in Death Valley NP. In Baker I met a group of cyclists on racing bikes with a support vehicle. They were cycling from Palm Springs to Las Vegas in 2 days. I saw a lot more desert than they did.
Coachella Valley and Joshua Tree National Park
I crossed the Coachella Valley on Ramon Rd. It was over 70°F, probably the warmest day of the trip. It wasn't 'til I turned onto Thousand Palms Rd. that I felt like I was heading out into the desert on my own. The San Andreas Fault system runs along the northern end of the Coachella Valley. The faults allow groundwater to rise to the surface resulting in a number of California fan palm oases. It's wonderful to see oases in the desert.
It was a 1300m climb on Berdoo Canyon Rd. to the Coachella Valley-Pleasant Valley saddle in Joshua Tree NP. I didn't see a single person or vehicle in Berdoo Canyon. Climbing out of Pleasant Valley I saw the first person, a fellow adventurer. Patrick was walking solo across Joshua Tree NP from west to east. That's a heck of a trek. That park is huge and has only one known spring. Patrick had set up two water caches before his trip.
Amboy Road and Mojave National Preserve
I bought enough food in 29 Palms to last 4 days to Baker. Heading east on the Amboy Rd. I met the only other touring cyclist of the trip. He had come down from Bishop through Death Valley NP, Baker, Kelso, Amboy - much the same route I was planning to take. When I met him, he had run out of food. I shared some almonds with him but didn't have much sympathy with his plight. The reason he didn't buy food in Baker was because there wasn't a health food store! Well, I told him there was a grocery store in 29 Palms, but it might not be up to his standard.
One of the things I was looking forward to on this trip was experiencing the transition zone between the Sonoran Desert (lower, farther south) and the Mojave Desert (higher, farther north). Creosote bushes grow in both, but most other flora is limited to one ecosystem or the other. In the transition zones you can see a mix of vegetation. What I saw ended up being less dramatic than Washington County, Utah where the Colorado Plateau, the Basin and Range country, and the Mojave Desert all come together. Joshua Trees were the main ecosystem indicator for me. I knew I was climbing high when I started to see them.
I was surprised how much traffic there was on the Amboy Rd. It wasn't much, but a lot of the paved roads that I was on during the trip would have one car every 10-30 minutes and perhaps none all night. The only truly busy roads were the road north out of Baker (on a Saturday morning) and the Pahrump-Las Vegas superhighway which has a wonderful bicycle lane.
I climbed Sheep Hole Pass to get into the Amboy Valley. It was in the Amboy Valley where I became accustomed two aspects important to cyclists in the Mojave:
Distances are deceiving. You can see really far. It takes much longer to cross these valleys that it appears that it would.
The slight inclines up alluvial fans or other fill climb a lot more than they appear to. In Colorado I'm not accustomed to seeing the whole climb since there are usually canyon climbs here. Leaving Amboy, for example, I climbed over 3000 ft. on a slowly rising alluvial plane. It took hours.
I enjoyed time off the bike to walk out to and up Amboy Crater. The following day I climbed to the top of the Kelso Dunes. And one day later I climbed one of the cinder cones east of Baker. I enjoyed having a diversion each day. Each of those areas is beautiful in its own way. The creosote bushes in the Amboy Valley are particularly green because of the shallow water table. Kelso Dunes are simply fantastic, and the cinder cone area with over 30 cinder cones and not another person felt like another planet.
In Baker I bought enough food to last 10 days and ate at the Mad Greek at my brother's recommendation. I had taken a rest day the previous day becaus
When your an athlete, competition is a good thing. In Perryville/Port Deposit last Saturday, the Diamond In The Rough Triathlon and its 377 who finished got more than they bargained for as they had the rain to deal with as well as puddles, hills and wet curves. The race was supposed to feature a mile swim for the first event at 8am, but with the weather and sound of thunder, a 2.7 mile run in Perryville Park kicked things off. Following the run came a 27 mile bike ride from Perryville Park up to Dr. Jack Road, (pictured here near Liberty Grove Road intersection), through Port Deposit and back. Then another run of five miles through Perry Point ended the morning race.
The winner, 22 year old James Burns from Landenberg, Pennsylvania, finished (1:47:58) before the second place finisher came through almost five minutes later. Cecil County had five entries and Dave Judd of Elkton crossed the line for 24th place at 2:07:18 while Conowingo resident and Boston Marathon runner, Elizabeth (Betsie) Roark came in 59th with a time of 2:15:24. Brandon Freel of Elkton (2:29:01) came in 162nd place and Perryville's Mike O'Brien was 208th with a time of (2:35:38) while Rising Sun's own Mark McHenry (2:38:57) was 228th.
Betsie admits that the swim isn't her best event, but she didn't want to substitute because of the rain.
"It was disappointing," said Betsie about the swim event being cancelled. "That's why your out there, to do the swim, bike, run."
While it rained during the race, at least the usually hot and humid temperatures of this summer got a slow start.
"Even though we had to be cautious on the bike, I thought the rain was more favorable than the heat," Betsie added.
This fall she'll be competing in the Tri-Sports.com Halfmax Championships in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on October 2nd which
attracts the best long course athletes in the nation.
"It was very challenging with all the rain," said Dave Judd. "I did the race last year and it is tricky in good conditions. There are some very sharp turns on some steep downhills."
With the added challenges facing the athletes along the back roads, speed is a factor in staying ahead and staying safe.
"I hit 44 mph in one section," Dave said. "The rain made it very hard to descend and I got scared more than once. The one downhill just at the end of Dr. Jack Road before reaching the flat sections near the Susquehanna (Moore Road) was especially tricky."
It's tough to train for wet conditions, but Dave keeps healthy and in shape by swimming 1500-2000 yards at the Elkton YMCA and then trail running 45 minutes to an hour in Fair Hill. On other days he rides his bike 25-50 miles through rural areas of Cecil County.
He also keeps his diet simple. "I just eat smart. No junk food, a lot of vegetables, fish, rice and potatoes. I did carb up the other day before the race with a good pasta dinner."
As he keeps healthy, he's planning out another local race on August 15th for the North East Triathlon beginning and ending at North East Community Park at 7:30 am.
After all the training to get ready for last weekend's triathlon, Betsie enjoyed some good old fashioned home cooking.
"One thing that I did after the race that I would not do before a big race is eat a hamburger, baked fries AND ice cream."
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