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Hope 66 Charity Cycle Ride: End of the road?

If day 3 was a long haul then as we anticipated this one beat it though …not as expected. We drove for 200 miles or so uneventfully, other than finding the only Indian Takeaway we have seen in the US, at a truckstop on Highway 40 in the middle of nowhere. Lovely people and I immediately felt at home.

Off the interstate we followed coordinates and ended up travelling for several miles along a bumpy, dusty track, nothing and no-one around. Not Route 66, even at its most decayed. When we finally reached the set down the bikes were filthy and not a great start for the boys. The rest of the route was characterised by stops, not least to retrace our steps to look for the bikeholder retaining bracket that we left on the bumper at the drop off – arse. Found a solitary retaining knob. The rest obviously stolen by Indians but this time the Red variety.

Raced back to find the boys whose route had come to a halt at another dusty track – the tarmac literally just stopped. Back in the truck until after several miles of Texan scrubland the tarmac simply began again. And then onto Highway 271 (from memory) to Amarillo.

All of the teams suffered today with a number of the riders of all teams dropping out due to the intense (100 degree) heat. Our route took us along a very busy and fast highway which was less than ideal and a long way from Route 66, but which was planned to ensure all teams rode the same distance. Rides were broken up into shorter stints and support kept a very close watch on the riders, who came through incredibly well. God it was hot out there – the truck filled with flies who crammed in to the cab to get out of the heat!

The approach into Amarillo was a welcome though inauspicious route alongside the railway sidings but after that day, it was greeted with joy.