Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I arrived in Tempe around noon today. Turned out it was already 1 PM because of the time difference. Yesterday I left the house at noon and drove to LA. Nice smooth sailing and no problems until I hit Pasadena. Then suddenly I was going with the commute flow and everything slowed to a crawl. That lasted for a hour or more and I called Barbara to see if the Hampton in Colton was available. No luck. Keep driving.

I drove 210 to San Bernadino and got gas in a rather poor neighborhood. Two guys in a pickup were intent on hassling me but some other car pulled up and they left. Lucky me. Then I made a slight detour (210 goes to 10 as one would think, but I was not sure) and made it to 10 by cutting across the city instead. I ended up pulling over in Beaumont when I saw a Hampton Inn by the side of the road. I made a quick 180 and found a bed for the night. I was pretty tired and after dinner I went to bed and slept until my 7 AM wake-up call.

I left Beaumont around 8:30 and had an uneventful trip to the outskirts of Phoenix. There I may have tripped a photo speed trap. That would be a bummer. After that I took it easier and once again I missed the exit and ended up driving through Tempe on city streets to get to my hotel. By then it was 2:30 so I did not have to wait for the room. I ate lunch and slept.

I woke up at 4:15 about one hour before sunset and quickly grabbed my bike and went on a short ride. Tempe is a very bicycle-unfriendly city, especially for a college town. You have to ride on the side-walk in most places and traffic is pretty inconsiderate. Cars try to push you off the road, and the cycle repeats at every traffic light. There are enough of these, spaced closely enough that you can easily keep up with the drivers -although they sprint from one light to the next.

A 30 minute bike ride, about 10 miles, relatively fast. Weather feels good, warm, sunny and the air is pretty clean. Everywhere you look you can see that the lycra has descended on Tempe. What you see the most of are runners looking like triathletes -somehow they look different from other runners?- everywhere.

We passed 100 donors!! Way to go!!

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