30 miles away. About half of what we are going to be riding everyday on our journey. That was the mileage we rode on our practice ride out to McDowell Mountain Regional Park last week. We figured we should test out all gear before actually hitting the road in Maine and boy, was it helpful.
Everyone can give you gear recommendations on what to bring on a cross country bike trip, but you never know what you actually need until you do a trip yourself.
We left my house around 4:00pm and headed west. The looks we got from cars and people on the streets were hysterical! We got everything from yells to honks, and for the most part, everyone kept their distance from us while we were riding.
We arrived in Fountain Hills, about 20 miles into our trip and had our first grocery store visit. Carbs carbs carbs -that’s what everyone tells us. So that’s what we did. We bought a big loaf of bread, pita chips, roast beef sandwich meat, bananas, cheese and 2 snickers. It was getting close to sunset so we set off to finish the last 10 miles.
These last 10 miles were the hardest. It was hill after hill but at least we knew it was going to be smooth sailing the next morning. We made it to Mcdowell Mountain Regional Park at dusk, and when we entered, the sign read, “TENT CAMPING- 5 Miles.” No way would we make it another 5 miles with the amount of daylight left. So we just decided to camp at the beginning of the park right next to a BMX track.
We set up camp, taking off all of our gear. By the end, it was pitch black so we used our headlights for the first time. Setting up camp went pretty smoothly. Then we headed into dinner. We ate super quickly because we were starving.
Sleeping out in the middle of the desert was probably one of the coolest places I’ve ever camped. We heard coyotes, owls and javelina all throughout the night.
In the morning we woke up with the sun and set off. We made a quick stop to grab some food but soon after, sailed home.
I’m so glad we were able to fit in one quick trip before embarking on our big trip.