Just listen to the wind blow. Let it blow. Let it blow. Sand over my trail. Got my saddle on the ground and that ol moon can still be found high in the desert sky.
A little bit of my personal day two morning statistics:
- 8 hours of sleep
- 1 lodge-provided hot breakfast
- 2 💩
- 15 miles
- 2500 feet elevation gain
- 3 mph average speed
Fast forward and Damon and I are in Pine Valley having lunch. We are gassed… without the gasoline. Yesterday’s climb didn’t even compare to this morning’s; we both agree stopping short was a food idea. I’m still processing the 4 miles of Interstate Highway 8 we also just had to ride. I’ve never rode on one before. ‘Twas my first but shan’t be my last. It’s illegal as fuck in the Empire State but here in the Golden State it’s sometimes the only way you can gain passage via bicycle. I thought it would be a bit more unnerving, but the well-maintained ten foot shoulder treats me well. Plenty of little dick energy flies by at 90mph, though I’ll spare you the details.
After lunch, we’re in Cleveland National Forest and reach 4,200 feet of elevation and I’m fixating on the dropping temperature and increasing winds. One might call it concerning. I get a weather notification about a High Wind Warning. 20-25 mph sustained winds with 50-60 mph gusts. I’m going to call it down right alarming.
Mechanical failure rears its ugly head as Damon’s chain snaps on an uphill. I remove a link and we keep rolling, but he’s probably down a couple more gears now. In times like these, a network of bicycle tourist hospitality types called Warmshowers sometimes comes in handy. A guy named Ben in Jacumba had previously given me permission to camp on his land, and it turns out he can get us out of the ensuing windstorm via and old RV. Now we just have to make it there without incident.
With a few well earned descents we cover 15 good miles before the mountain winds come whipping in. First, I only notice the gusts kicking up when I come around a bend on a downhill and it smacks me in my face. Later, I’m broadsided by one and almost thrown off my steed into the road. This is a white knuckle affair. A royal rumble championship match. Fortunately we only get hit head-on about 10% of the time, as we gut out another 20-25 miles of climbs and descents — gripping hard and trying not to fall off a cliff or get blown into traffic. Wind is nature’s biggest fan. After 4,603 feet of total elevation gain, some life threatening gusts, and miles upon miles of stupid expensive dumb ass border wall, Ben’s quirky spread of land lays just beyond a UFO cemetery. I don’t have the energy to stop or to make that up; I promise pictures when I go past it again tomorrow morning.
This place is tits. Ben is even down with universal health care like any same human being. Our RV smells a little funky and rocks back and forth with the 50+ mph winds outside, but we have electricity, water, heat, a stove and shelter. There’s also a tower. A wonderful view. A bell. A Ganesha. Som me sort of photo and video shoot. Marshall Tucker Band lyrics on a wall. Three dogs. And of course this beautiful cock: