Fatherhood On the Go, Part 3: Love-Hate Relationship With the Road
Editor’s Note: “Fatherhood On the Go” is the multi-part story of Remy Stevensen and his family. Please read Part 1 and Part 2. Also, consider donating to this cause (links removed, campaign over) to make Remy’s ride a success!
We needed the extra day off in Yuma. We were able to lose 20 lbs of gear and collect our thoughts. Beautiful pictures were taken with my wife’s grandmother and my beard was trimmed down to a very dapper French-looking goatee.
Arizona is one of the few states where bicyclist can ride on the Interstate, a fact we did not know until we were in Yuma. We have been able to capitalize on this in order to make this last leg of the trip less stressful on the children. Our ride out of Yuma flew by, and next thing we knew, we were underneath the overpass of our intended stop. Our “maybe” from the host turned into silence so we pushed out another six or seven miles to the first motel we found. It was rather dive-y but we got a cash discount. We dined on overpriced gas station oatmeal, cereal bars, Fritos, Powerade, sunflower seeds and bean dip and watched as much of the three-station cable TV we could. Needless to say we bounced as the sun was rising over the mountains and pedaled towards Gila Bend.
Gila Bend was a long push. We rode 76 miles that day, something we will not be doing again. We were able to meet and talk to quite a few people at the rest stop along the highway. Counsel and Melodious were ready to be off the road around mile 55 and the last ten beat us up both mentally and physically. We stayed at the El Coronado motel. The manager was really nice, liked that we were paying with cash and gave us a bigger room because of the bicycles and kids. Counsel was a monster all night long! He made it very clear that we had been bad parents.
Another Rough Day
We ate pizza for a quick breakfast and headed towards Maricopa. Two miles out of town, the left tire on the Chariot was flat. Not a good start. We pulled over, Cait breastfed Melodious, Counsel played trucks in the dirt and I went to work on the tire (see gallery pic). Next thing I know, Cait points out that two friendly people had pulled over; one in front of us and another behind. I look up and stepping out of the front vehicle was a man in all-too-familiar desert camo! The decked out gentleman informed us of heavy drug trafficking going on in those parts, asked if we were okay and where we were going. I said we would be better if we didn’t have a flat and we were heading from Long Beach to Bar Harbor. His concerns satisfied, he waved-off his partner in the vehicle behind us, got back into his, and headed off down “Dead Cow Road.”
It took two patches to get us back on the road then not even another two miles further, the f***er was flat again! This made for another rough day. The mileage should have been manageable, the hills weren’t that difficult but pulling into Maricopa felt worse than pulling into Gila Bend. We ran to the local Fry’s bought a box of Tofutti mint chip Cuties, a carton of Silk Fruit & Protein, and other groceries. We sat at a patio set outside and downed all eight ice-cream sandwiches and the whole carton! Glorious, glorious vegan calories! Unfortunately we were informed that the only place to stay was Harrah’s Casino four miles south of town. But fortunately for us, the staff was AMAZING, the free buffet was AMAZING, the beds were AMAZING, and other than Counsel still punishing us, our stay was AMAZING.
We flew the next day through the Phoenix area thanks to good flats and a long bicycle trail system. Even with construction and some small set backs à la finicky babies, we pushed out 50 of our 55 miles. Then Chaos struck again and the kids refused to get back in the Chariot and go further. We hopped into another Fry’s, bought more Cuties and smoothie goodness and contacted our host in Apache Junction. She was a wonderful woman who offered to swing by and pick us up, then dealt with two grumpy children.
Our kids seem to have a love-hate relationship with the road. If we stay too long in the morning, they get antsy to get going. If we stay on the road too long, we pay for until our “off” days. I cannot describe how wonderful it was to ride from Apache Junction to Superior, Arizona. We found a shorter route and cut out 20 miles! Counsel was ready, ready, ready to go and once in the Chariot was out, out, out. Both kids stayed asleep or happy until we reached Gonzalez Pass. We pulled off the road real quick – Mommy and Daddy took a pee break, Melodious fed, Counsel threw pebbles (he loves playing in sand now!). After Gonzalez Pass, we bombed down the mountain into Superior. Cranking away in my 18th gear, cooling down at 30 miles-per-hour and knowing we have a day out of the saddle really lifted our spirits.
But, now I need to go, Melodious just had a blow-out. Perhaps we should have bought Huggies. *wink*wink*
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Editor’s Note: Please donate to this cause (links removed, campaign over) and make Remy’s ride a success!
“Fatherhood On the Go” is the multi-part story of Remy Stevensen and his family, who are beginning a nomadic lifestyle by biking across the country with two children and all the while, raising money for Charity: Water. Their ultimate goal is to travel to impoverished nations to implement the infrastructure for which they’re raising money. 8BitDad is proud to help Remy and family get the word out about this charity, and get closer to their goal.