Day 423 – Cycling thru Phoenix megapolis

Today was HOT, as one can only expect when cycling through the Phoenix area during the warmest time of the year. Without researching it during this past winter, or at all really, I assumed West Texas>NM>AZ>CA peak temperatures would be during Aug/Sep. Turns out I was/am very wrong about this, duh!

I think the reason I didn’t research it is because I DIDN’T WANT TO KNOW. I didn’t feel like pushing myself back onto the road with this particular data point, so I ignored it. I was done with my project and enjoying the free time in Austin and also the chance to visit Patricia and her dog menagerie down in Goliad.

Purposeful ignorance is useful when not wanting to make a difficult decision. As I’m peeling my onion I keep this in mind because I don’t think it is a justifiable excuse, but a reality of how I think. Anyone else find this dynamic happening in their mind when faced with difficult decisions?

Even though I originally planned to be on the road in the second week of March I didn’t start my trip until April 22nd. Then my computer broke and I spent a week in Goliad waiting for it to get fixed and then another week because I didn’t want to leave Patricia even though I really needed to. I say, “needed to”, because this journey I set for myself needed to be completed for my own sense of self.

So here I am drained after another hot day of riding, cursing my past decision making, but also realizing that it was chosen by me and I need to own it.

That’s the truth.

So what?

Well it is important to realize that the heat colored the way I am looking at the city as I rode though it. If I did this same ride in Jan-Mar I wouldn’t have minded the size of the city or thought about water resource issues nearly as much or maybe even at all.

So what?

Thoughts and impressions about livability and resource use can’t be sampled for just one day then and extrapolated across the entire populous and year. As I write this I am reminding myself to be true to what I am experiencing and the conclusions I draw, but also the context. This truth matters because I am presenting information and opinion to, YOU, my blog reader while also developing my “public voice.”

Apache Junction is on the eastern edge and Surprise is on the western edge of the Phoenix Metro area so I rode through the whole thing and the urban landscape stretches forever with one town/city merging into the next. It’s obvious from a satellite view, but something else to behold riding through it.

I know I lived in NYC, but this is a desert!

An amazing amount of engineering went into making the place livable at this scale.


I saw a lot of rock gardens (nice), but an incredible amount of green grass (nice, but sustainable?) There is a massive canal system that brings a whole lot of water from the Colorado River to keep the whole area going. I rode along some of it. I also saw massive pumping stations for sucking water out of the ground and dumping into the main canal as well.

It would be nice to see more of the Phoenix area by bicycle in the wintertime, but as far as being a possible home – nope!