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Sep 27, 2003

Grand Canyon to Mexico Bicycle Tour

The 23rd Annual “Great Arizona Bicycle Adventure”
September 27 Thru October 4, 2003

After much preparation, on Friday, September 26 we flew into Phoenix. Our friend Gail picked us up and took us to the official GABA (Greater Arizona Bicycling Associaion)  hotel where Spencer set about putting our tandem back together from the two travel suitcases. If you haven’t seen this miraculous process yet you can see pictures from our first trip to Arizona earlier this year.

After a lovely evening with Gail and Tom we got up early Saturday  to load our bike and gear on the truck and take the bus to the Grand Canyon. There were 120 folks on the tour including 3 other tandems, a few recumbents and one hand-cranked bicycle.

GABA Route Map

Here’s a map of the route we took on this fabulous tour. Total miles for the official tour, Monday through Saturday, was 517 miles with a total elevation gain of 25,200 feet!

Sep 28, 2003

Tusayan, near the Grand Canyon

Pre-ride: 32 miles We woke on the late side on Sunday. We had a continental breakfast and visited with Emil from Connecticut. Had a nice chat about bike clubs and how to grow them. Then we took off to explore the Canyon on our bike. We were instantly acquainted with the effects of exercising at […]

Sep 29, 2003

Tusayan to Gray Mountain

Day 1: 72.9 miles; 3,800’ elevation gain We started riding at 6:30 a.m. It was frosty cold out. We, rather stupidly, decided to leave our long-fingered gloves and long pants in the bags that morning. Fortunately, it was mostly uphill for the first 6 miles so we warmed up before the day did. We again […]

Sep 30, 2003

Gray Mountain to Flagstaff

Day 2: 65 miles; 4,700’ elevation gain It was warmer as we took off from Gray Mountain. We pacelined with Anabel Hill, from Tuscon, and a guy named Al for the first 10 miles or so. It was nice. The ride was easy, a gentle uphill that took us to the entrance to Wupatki National […]

Oct 1, 2003

Flagstaff to Payson

Day 3: 98.8 miles, 4,900’ elevation gain Today we were smart. We started with warm clothes on, not warm enough for Sheila, but then they only had to stay on for the first hour and a half. It warmed up to 104 by the afternoon! On the way to the first SAG stop (SAGs were […]

Oct 2, 2003

Payson to Globe

Day 4: 93.1 miles, 4,400’ elevation gain This day started out FAST! In no time at all we were on a 4 lane highway headed DOWN from Payson. We hit 51 mph without even trying. The downhill must have been 10-12 miles long. Then the day rolled gently through the Tonto National Forest and the […]

Oct 3, 2003

Globe to Tucson

Day 5: 105.8 miles; 5,300’ elevation gain The penultimate day of our tour was set up to be the hardest. It was longer than the rest with not one, but two major climbs included. The first started immediately upon leaving the casino. We returned toward Globe, then headed into the hills. The road got steeper […]

Oct 4, 2003

Tucson to Nogales

Day 6: 81.1 miles; 2,100’ elevation gain After a good night’s sleep we prepared for the last leg of our trip. I noticed our back brake was rubbing on the rim when I was checking the tires in the morning. Quick adjustment, I thought. I started playing with the spoke tension on the wheels, quickly […]