Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Heading to Phoenix for Bike Week - Day One

Oh boy, oh boy, a new adventure!  I've gotten so bored with the roads near our home that I haven't been riding much.  I was so excited to be asked to help Maximal Tours at their booth during the Phoenix Bike Week.  Even better, my honey, Eric was coming with me.  We arranged our schedules to take a week off and got our ducks in line.

Before leaving, I added a new sticker to my bike.  Women Adventure Riders!  A fantastic group of diverse women on a Facebook group.

We actually decided to leave a day early and take a flower sniffing ride.  Yippee!  So, after a lovely sleep in, we hit the road about 10:30 am with our destination being Flagstaff, AZ, about 300 miles.  We took UT-9/UT-59/AZ-389 out of Utah.  Our first stop was at Pipe Springs, AZ.  A little, tiny roadside stop.  A tidbit of information for those who like to collect National Parks/Monuments, etc. stamps, Pipe Springs, a National Monument, has a fantastic visitor center and the old ranch and water stop is very interesting.  They have several stamps including Pipe Springs and The Old Spanish Trail.  I can't remember what other stamps they might have.  So, if you're ever out that way, take a few minutes and look around.  We just got gas, a snack and that was it!

 Leaving Pipe Springs, still on AZ-389 to Fredonia, AZ where we picked up US-89A, we rode up, up, up to the Kaibab Plateau and stopped at Jacob Lake for lunch.  This is where you take the turn for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  That road is still closed but should be opening soon.

At Jacob Lake there is a visitor center.  Although very small, it is amazingly well done.  Again, if you're ever in this area, take the time to check it out.  And, bonus, you can get more stamps here for your NP Passport Book.

 Following a lovely lunch and a parking lot chat with a couple of guys who had rented Harleys in Las Vegas, we again got on 89A for the ride down, down, down the mountain.  Unfortunately, we encountered a semi truck and had to go slow......until.....the passing opportunity!

We made a quick photo op stop at Navajo Bridge.  Again, another awesome visitor center and more stamps!  This is where they have the California Condor program so you can get a special Condor stamp along with The Old Spanish Trail and Navajo Bridge.  We didn't linger, just a quickie stop here.

 Back on 89 we continued on toward Flagstaff.  Most of 89 after the intersection of 89A/89 is newly paved with lots of passing lanes.  It was an uneventful ride so I could gawk at the scenery and not worry too much about traffic.  The weather was delightful, ranging from the low 60's to 80, except at Jacob Lake summit which was 58....brrrrr :-)  We did get some pretty strong wind gusts that kept you alert, but overall, it was sweet weather.

We arrived in Flagstaff around 4:30 pm, quickly located our motel, University Econolodge.  Wow, nice surprise, the rooms have all been updated, are clean and have microwave & fridge.  Nice!
 After tucking the bikes in for the night, I prepared my evening cocktail and wrote this blog post :-)
Now, we're off on foot to locate some dinner.  Tomorrow will be an easy couple hundred miles into Phoenix and we'll hook up with the Maximal Tours peeps so we know where and what we'll be doing.  I'll post tomorrow or the next day and let you know where we'll be and hope, if you're in the area, you'll stop by and say hello!

Yup, had a great ride today.  I'm tired and my bad left shoulder is sore.  I'm a Candy Ass not an Iron Butt.  I need to ride more ;-)



  1. Cletha, great report! I followed your route on google maps. I need to do that run sometime. Have fun. Jim Boone, Mims, FL

  2. Sounds like a great ride through my old stomping grounds. Lived in Flag about 25 years ago. Surprised that road to north rim getting close to being open. Used to be that wouldn't happen until mode-May.