Cycle: A Survivor's Guide to Biking in Arizona's Extreme Weather
|photo by Vicki Franz|
|Mud covered and seeped into everything, but thankfully no greater damaged was incurred.|
No matter what the weather or mechanical situation is, if a cyclist can't keep a calm mind and think through the options, a solution cannot be created. If the weather collapses - the heat is overwhelming, a dust storm overtakes you, or a thunderstorm imprisons you in a forest - know how to respond given the environment and look for a temporary bail out.
If you can contact someone to pick you up, that should be the first option. But if that is not a possibility, know how to react around lightning or high winds. Just do not ever think that you can outmuscle a storm because Mother Nature will always win that wrestling match.
Adrenaline will kick in during these situations, so make that adrenaline work for you. Use the energy to find safe spots, think through the situation and make smart decisions. As fast as Arizona weather changes to the worse, it also tends to pass equally as fast. Just be ready to move quickly once a clearing comes because another wave could be right behind.
After two unsuccessful attempts at getting the tubeless tire to grab the wheel rim and reset, once using CO2 and once using a hand pump, a tube was inserted and inflated enough to get back home. The weather cleared enough to feel safe as soon as the wheel was set back on the bike and a muddy slosh along with a fair share hike-a-biking closed out the trip.
Hugs and scolding awaited in the doorway, but this clearly was an instance of confounding weather ruling the day. Perhaps the smartest choice was to not tempt fate during a week of dramatic weather turns. Thankfully, all ended well with a greater sense of respect for the unpredictable wrath of Mother Nature.
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