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Monday, April 16, 2018

Rich Aucoin bike blog # 2: Arcosanti to Gallup, NM

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 3:39 PM

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I took a few days off at the unbelievable rarity that is Arcosanti, a futuristic utopian community designed by artist Paolo Soleri. Looking like something out of a ’70s science-fiction, it was a great place to stay and write as I had access to their wonderful grand piano.               

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I departed up into the mountains and into Arizona’s famous Red Rocks. It was hot where the desert meets the climb up into Sedona where some of the most iconic views of Arizona can be found. 
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I had to climb then from around 4,300 feet to 7,200 feet through a series of switch-backs with no shoulder, but the roads were wide enough and the legs were cooperative enough that this was not a gruelling day like my first day up Mount Outram on the Canadian bike tour was. I remember pulling over to the side of the road several times in frustration on that climb and re-looking that climb was I guess was a more gradual climb over the day from 135 to 4,400 feet.         
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In Flagstaff, I found the statue from Easy Rider (though it’s be updated since the 70s), found the street from the running montage in Forrest Gump where profounds the idea that "shit happens," went to the Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered and saw a screening of The Big Lebowski (one of my favourite films and what I wrote my honours thesis on at King’s). I left 30 minutes in, opened for this rad band Peelander-Z, and then made it back for when Walter was smashing the car with a crowbar.   

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After Flagstaff, it got real cold and super-windy with gusts up to 80km/hr. Starting biking first thing it the morning meant it was hovering around freezing too. 

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I went to the “best preserved” meteor site in the world called Meteor Crater and it’s big—20 football fields big—and if converted into an amphitheatre, could hold 2 million people.

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Leaving Arizona and into the traditional lands of the Hopi and Navajo in New Mexico has been a beautiful landscape with striking rock formations.

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Vol 25, No 47
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