The end of Section 1 of the Southern Tier. This is precisely the intersection where it ends across the street is the ASU campus.
Day 56 50 miles
When we woke up this morning, we started realizing that we were just a day away from riding to Mesa, AZ. This has always been our stopping point for flying home for Christmas and seeing family, so naturally, it has been a big goal. We rode from our hotel and started across the many cities that make up the greater Phoenix area.
We hadn't even gone 4 miles when Dani got a flat tire. Oh great we both thought, here we go again. We stopped and pulled her tire off and found two large thorns sticking through. We patched the holes in the tube and double checked the tire for more thorns. We put the tire back on the rim and pumped it full. By the time we packed up the patch kit, the tire was flat again!. I was starting to get frustrated. I pulled the tire back off again and found another hole, but we could not find anything that would have caused it. We put the tire back on a rode off. Within 10 miles, Dani's front tire was flat, again. We pulled the tire off again and found that there was, of course, another hole in the tube. We started to doubt whether or not we would be able to make it Mesa today. We carefully checked the tire, and then the rim. We found that the rim is bent in right by the bead of the tire, something we never noticed before. I think this is from Dani's crash when she hit the rock at speed. It slightly bent the rim and now it is bent in enough that I think it is wearing holes through the tube. We tried putting a patch on the inside of the tire to reinforce and cushion the spot where the rim is bent. The carefully replaced the tire and continued on.
The route through Phoenix was actually pretty low key. Most of the roads were easy to ride with very little traffic and nice bike lanes. The size of this metropolitan area though, is amazingly huge. From one side of the Phoenix area to the other is probably 70-80 miles. We reached the end of the first Southern tier section at the Arizona State University Campus in Tempe. From there we headed further East to Mesa. Dani's tire continued to lose air slowly, so about every 10-30 minutes we had to stop and pump it back up again. Unfortunately I think we are going to have to replace her front wheel because the bend in the rim is probably not fixable. We kept pedaling along, and despite all of our setbacks we made it to my grandparent's place in Mesa, AZ. The were thrilled to see us and brought us inside to sit down and chat. After we got all introduced and chatted, we went out and had a good supper. We will be staying here for a few days before we fly home for Christmas, so we might post another blog or two while we are here, but just so you all know, we are safe in Mesa. We are going to end our day count for our trip while we are here because we are considering this somewhat of a hiatus.