Today turned out to be pretty warm rather than really hot. The wind had died a little bit and the sky was clear with none of the expected dust storms. CHP and the LA Sheriff’s Dept got us out of staging and on to the freeway with zero issues. 2 bikes with mechanical issues (not mine which was a relief) and we had one rider that didn’t hydrate quite enough but will be ok.
The ride was fairly smooth as we did not have any Memorials to stop at but the riders were greeted at the gas stops, on over passes, and at the host Hotel (tonight) by LOTS of people with flags, signs, banners, food and heart felt thanks to all the riders. A little emotional for some, more for others but nothing like what will occur on the next day or two.
Lunch was great — my choice was spaghetti all prepared by the folks in Blythe. A tribute table, music, colors presentation, speakers — sword arch for the riders — thanks all the way around. Followed by GALLONS of water (and extremely appreciated.
Today we had a laugh. Remember, please, that my job, besides being a Road Guard, I’m the LEO Liaison (Law Enforcement Officer Liaison). This means I’m pretty much in front of everyone — very visible. Today the Arizona DPS (State Police) escorted us into Phoenix. They explained in DETAIL to myself, the route coordinator (boss) and the Road Guard Bossthat when we were on the freeway at a specific timethe DPS would shut down the lanes to get us from the number one lane all the way across to the exit ramp (during traffic/commute hours). He explained he would send his half dozen motor officers ahead and I would stay on his 6 and move in uniform with him. As soon as the officers had the freeway blocked (rolling block) he started across the lanes with me following. The Road Guard platoon, as planned, moved ahead on the left to get to the hotel area to set up the appropriate road blocks etc. And the rest of the pack, about 300 bikes, proceeded past us down the freeway! FOLLOWING me is what they were supposed to do — the big bike easily recognized, with me on it (also easily recognized) and considering they had just followed it for 335 miles — what can I say! I forot -in front of me was the motor officer with his red and blues flashing! The police officer darn near blew a fuse, I DID blow a fuse, and we had to literally jump in front of the pack to regain their attention. The day ended well but that same DPS Officer will be leading us out in the AM and HE will do the morning briefing. So its not all serious emotions.
I’m sure that tomorrow will bring more “fun” — the schedule shows 4 legs for a total of 395 miles. That’s about 4 five hour energy drinks (extra strength)!!
The Mission rules!