A new adventure: David Freeze begins fourth summer cycling tour

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Editor’s note: Rowan County resident David Freeze is beginning his latest summertime cycling adventure this week. This time, he’ll travel the famed Route 66.

It’s hard to capture all the thoughts that surround starting another of these adventures. I’ve been hustling around for the last week trying to take care of things on my pre-trip list. More than a few times I thought about the predicted temperatures as I cross the desert during the first two weeks. Just last night, I checked again for an update and found that Needles, California might hit 123 degrees as I ride through. I will have a few days to figure it out and riding at night in a chilly 90 degrees might become the plan.

     My flights today will total over five hours. That is a lot of sitting, but there is no good alternative. I will land in Los Angeles, then get a ride to Santa Monica, where the famous pier is the starting point of Route 66. I’ve heard that the beach is one of the prettiest in the world, and I am certainly looking forward to another Pacific Ocean sunset.

My first ever venture into Airbnb is set for tonight, just a few blocks off the beach. Airbnb allows for travelers to live in someone’s home at a more reasonable rate than I can find otherwise. I hope to pick up the bike today at Cynergy Cycles on Santa Monica Boulevard, then go find the Airbnb home before heading out for some sightseeing.

Already, my North Carolina accent has been a conversation topic with my seatmate on the plane and we’ve talked about my long journey back to Chicago. Was this the right choice for a summertime adventure? I think it is. I am going to do my best to cycle safely to Chicago and likely Michigan by around Aug. 1. Route 66 looks like the coolest road with all those fun signs, motels and much more. It’s full of eclectic, iconic and odd. There should be lots of light traffic, but some heavier volume in LA, St. Louis and Chicago.

This day is a mixture of many feelings. Being gone from home for close to 40 days will be hard, but the excitement is already building; and maybe more so than with my previous long rides, there is a certain element of the unknown. Just like the previous three rides, I look forward to your emails and a few calls along the way, and certainly any suggestions that you may have on how I can make this a better trip. You can reach me at david.freeze@ctc.net and I will do my best to respond quickly. An average day might include 10 hours of pedaling and sightseeing, although some will be much longer.

The Grand Canyon is on my agenda, and I hear it is just as good up close as Niagara Falls was last year. By the time I reach the Grand Canyon, the super-hot temperatures will be in my new handlebar rear-view mirror, and there is at least a chance that it will be chilly at night. That will be fine by me.

Sponsors for my Route 66 adventure include the Salisbury Post, Fowler Physical Therapy, Father and Son Produce, Skinny Wheels Bike Shop, Dr. Tanya Williams, Vac and Dash, and Gear for Races.

But it all begins in Santa Monica at the beach, home of the 1908 pier, a nine-story-tall Ferris Wheel, a five-story roller coaster and plenty more. From there, I will begin to head east by riding through Beverly Hills and Hollywood. I hope you will ride along with me once again, enjoying and experiencing yet another great adventure. Nothing will be better than another life-changing experience. See you tomorrow as the pedaling begins.