March 2, 2016
By meriwether, Mar 3 2016 10:12PM
Just wanted to let you all know what is going on with me here in Lake Havasu. But first to once again thank you all for the kind words and support - I’ve been overwhelmed, in a good way, by everyone’s responses. Have read all the messages at least twice. And thank you too for the messages and postings on Facebook.
I rented a car yesterday to transport my bike over to the bike shop - the first time I’ve driven a car in six and a half months. Have to admit it felt pretty good to sit behind the wheel. So the bike is being worked on - Brett, the owner of the bike shop is rebuilding the front wheel, ordering a new front pannier rack which was “pretzeled” in the accident, and installing a new rear derailleur which was pretty bent up. He said it would take 2 to 3 days. I would have the bike fixed anyway since the frame seems to be OK, so why not have it done right now. My decision is still up in the air as to whether or not to Proceed On. If I decide no, he will just ship my repaired bike home for me.
In a previous Update I mentioned that I had ridden this very same stretch of road - California Rt 62 or the 29 Palms Highway - 30 years ago on my eastward homeward bound journey. I remember it as quite an experience visually and physically - vast lonely stretches of desolate but grand scenery. Certainly less traffic then. But if you Google it, it earns the reputation now as a very dangerous stretch of highway not only for cyclists but motor vehicles as well. I had always felt pretty confident on the roads regarding my safety, but that confidence has been pretty badly shaken.
Since I am north of there now, it would probably have to be the old Route 66 which follows I-40, and in some places replaced by the Interstate. Very poorly maintained according the Adventure Cycling Association who has lobbied for improvements. The old Route 66 is one of Adventure Cycling's recently mapped bicycle routes across the U.S., like the Lewis and Clark route I followed 10 years ago. What a shame and a disgrace that California has done such a pathetic job on these state routes. In my book, the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) gets an F minus for their infrastructure which provides no safety margin for cyclists. In the 24 states that I’ve crossed, this has to be one of the worst. I'm betting that their negligence is responsible for many bicycle fatalities in the state of California. Would like to take the whole lot of them to the woodshed!
I took a walk this afternoon down to the shore of Lake Havasu which is created by the Parker Dam on the Colorado River - really a visually stunning area with the mountains on the California western shore rising high above the waters of the lake. On the way down to the lake, I got a call from Brett at the bike shop. A Disabled Vet had somehow heard my story - he said it was on the radio or TV - and wanted to pay for all the repairs to my bicycle, which he is doing, even though Brett told him I wasn’t sure if I would continue. I tried to find out who it was, but the Vet wanted to remain anonymous. He wanted to do this because he liked what I was doing. I didn’t know what to say, but just asked Brett to express my thanks to this kind fellow.
Thinking here in Lake Havasu,
... I'm sure contemplating to go on is in the forefront of your thoughts amongst other issues ... I've been following your journey and I'm behind you all the way ... I think you should continue and finish if your able too ... The source is behind you ...