Introduction - The Canyon Is Calling and We Must Ride - CycleBlaze


I've been thinking about riding various routes in the neighborhood of the Grand Canyon for a few years. Last year I was ready to roll—all set with vacation days, reservations, gear, etc—when less than two weeks prior to departure an SUV clobbered me, fractured my neck, and knocked me out of action for several months. 

Based on my recent short rehab ride, I think I'm ready to roll again, and this time plans for the Grand Canyon include my old buddy RJ from Illinois. While not entirely in our dotage, neither of us exactly qualifies as youthful, which means we're plotting easy daily rides with plenty of time for sightseeing, hiking, and napping along the way.

In addition, while RJ and I pedal merrily along, our wives will be touristing and exercising credit cards elsewhere in Arizona. Consequently, we anticipate a rendezvous with them at some point for a little hiking before the expedition concludes.

But plans are always subject to modification, especially with multiple participants involved, so we'll see how everything works out.

Meanwhile, here's a scan of an ancient photo to provide some amusement and historical context regarding our younger, wilder days.

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Mud volleyball tournament in Illinois in 1983—a couple of months after I returned from riding Athens to London—with familiar albeit younger faces. Before weddings. Before offspring. Before gray hair. Before Surly Long Haul Truckers.

In addition to RJ (green circle, dark hair and beard) and me (red circle, red hair and beard, war paint on face, and combat glasses) and the senoritas who eventually became our brides (red and green circles), the volleyball team featured Greg Bonham (white circle) who went on to become a crazyguy himself and ride across the USA with his wife in 2014.

But mud volleyball was in a previous century, so it's possible that in 2015 we won't manifest quite the same extremely high levels of carefree energy and enthusiasm. These photos are a little more recent and sedate.

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For RJ these days, less volleyball and more bicycling.

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For me these days, a little less mud, a little less red, and a little less hair.

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Grand Canyon National Park

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