The final day - Bikepacking the Fool's Loop - CycleBlaze

December 10, 2018

The final day

The night wasn't so bad. Yes, it was cold, but with our jury-rigged shelter we stayed warm enough to have a good night's sleep. We cooked breakfast, packed up the shelter, and started the day's ride. There was nothing I could do to improve anything with my dad's situation, so the only thing I could control was riding. And ride we did.

The morning sun rises just above the mountains to our back, casting light on the ridge to our west.
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The trail was made up of mostly this singletrack, hugging the side of these ridges
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While I feel I have very good bike-handling skills, from my racing years to my club-ride years, I was not faring too well on this trail this morning. I fell multiple times and I think that's for two reasons. 1. My head just wasn't into the concentration needed for the ride. I'm thinking about many other things - how to take care of my mom; how to execute the estate if that happens; how I can get out of the desert and back home if I need to as soon as possible. 2. My bike had the gravel tires which were near slick and I could really have used something more aggressive, like a Schwalbe G-One or even more aggressive than that. As riders approach, we stop and chat with one who asks me why the heck am I out here without knobby tires? and I simply respond with the best bike to tour on is the bike you own now (and the current configuration it had on it when I shipped it).

Yup. One definitely needs concentration on trails such as these
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Yes - it was very beautiful. I may return and ride the whole thing again someday
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It was about 10:00am local time when my phone buzzed again. I stopped, took the call, hung up, and told Craig, "Well, I no longer have a dad" We hugged and that was that. I felt bad all of this was bringing a downer on this trip. I had prepared myself for the inevitability but when it happens it makes it final. There's no turning back. So all of the thoughts I had riding in peace would now be put into motion. And that meant finding a way back to Phoenix, the airport, and then home.

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We lost the trail around here. It seems the original route had detoured for some reason (flood? road closure?) and we followed it into the underbrush. We eventually did get back on track
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While I'd like to say we are great at following a GPS route, occasionally we get off track.
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We made out way into Black Canyon City and to a pizza place where we bought some pizza and phoned some shuttle services to get a pickup. We arranged one which could take us back into Phoenix and the hotel that night. I was on with Delta switching reservations on the flight and was able to get out a day earlier.

Thanks to Bicycle Nomad Café. I dropped off the bike and paid them to box it and ship it home since I had other issues to take care of
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So again, my dad's life and mine parallel again. It was both our final days - his on earth and mine on the trail. Thanks for all the travel inspiration, and Godspeed, P. Brendan Mulvey!

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Today's ride: 27 miles (43 km)
Total: 154 miles (248 km)

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