One word for today, glorious! Many, many moons ago when I was taking MG (Miracle Go) out for our initial training rides I predicted that we could average from 13 to 15 miles an hour when loaded. My reality has been about 11.7 MPH due to the strong Western Winds. Today the wind was sleeping. MG and I completed 120.8 miles in 7 hours and 21 minutes for a 16.5 average MPH. Let me get on with the pictures and then I will tell the story.
- As you know New Mexico has confused the navigator in me to no end. I would plan to go a northern route, collect a piece of information from someone, and then decide to go south. This happened about 4 times. In Roswell I decided to go for broke. The only way I figured I could ever get out of New Mexico is by going out via Interstate. I didn’t know if this would be legal or not but all other avenues seemed to go well out of the way. I made a beeline for Las Cruces, rested the afternoon and just completed 120 or so miles on I-10. This sign made me smile more than you’ll ever know.
- I ate lunch in Lordsburg in a restaurant called the Chatterbox. This “scene” was out front and I think the cars and latticework are representative of mining work.
- How many of you out there know of the Continental Divide? Basically it is a series of mountain ranges that stretch from Alaska to Mexico and control the flow of water (east or west). This sign properly documents that I am now on the Pacific side. I think this means the rest of the trip is downhill and I don’t think I will see any more mountains (conjecture at this point).
- The “Welcome to Lordsburg” sign. Lordsburg is a small town of about 2000 people. While I wouldn’t recommend coming to this town for any action, it is a perfect place to let Miracle Go catch some sleep.
- Loved this sign “Zero Visibility Possible”. It makes more sense when you see some of the other signs that state “Dust Storms are Possible for next 45 miles”. I had some time to think about this since I have zero defenses for this possibility. Had I gotten in a dust storm the dust would have inundated my packs, chain, cables, eyes and mouth. I might have mounted a “pretend” defense but my belief is when it was all said and done I would have had to spend a day getting sand out of and off of everything. I am still in the cross hairs for the first 30 mile of tomorrow’s run. Cross your fingers I don’t want to see I would fare in a dust storm.
The catch word for today was glorious all the beginning of the day was somewhat suspect.
One hundred and twenty miles for me is somewhat of a challenge and the longer I spend on the bike the harder it is. The fact that I will have three days of 100+ biking made me somewhat anxious. Translated this means I didn’t sleep soundly and when I woke up it was hard to go back to sleep because I wondered how the days trip would go.
Gave up all attempts to sleep at 4:00 a.m. I decided I would go to the “Whataburger” a block away and get some breakfast to bring back to the motel room. That way I could watch TV while I was eating and brush my teeth in private. At 5:00 a.m. I headed down the road. This was 30 minutes earlier than any other day but I figured it would be 30 minutes I wouldn’t have to spend in the sun later.
Public Announcement: My friends and advisers in Las Cruces were great. They recommended that I backtrack to a hotel 2 miles up the road. If you know me then you know I hate to backtrack but decided to go with the experts. You see I needed supplies and they put me in a central place so everything I needed was within a couple of blocks of the hotel. Translated I was able to pick up Welsh’s Fruit Snack for bike energy recharge breaks, a laundermat was available to wash my clothes, and a Pizza Hut was available for my large “Pizza Supreme” dinner (which I finished). Getting all the chores done allowed me to stay off the bike most of Sunday afternoon. The rest of the story includes the hotel knocked off $5 since I am riding for a charity and the waitress at Pizza Hut felt sorry for me (not sure why) and applied a coupon to my pizza saving me another $5.
Story continues . . . It was dark but there were streetlights. I had my tail light on so that the few cars on the road could easily see me as I headed to I-10. The first 10 miles to I-10 was on 70 W. All I could think of was “will I be allowed on I-10. The further I went out on 70 W, the more convinced I was that I-10 would be workable. The big sign said I-10 left and the airport road right. I proceeded to I-10 where a big sign said ‘bikes not allowed’. Doomed I thought. Will I be in New Mexico forever? I pushed my bike over some undergrowth to get on airport road. I was hopeful that it would allow me to figure out some options. Shortly thereafter a 70 W sign appeared. The airport road and 70 W were the same thing. I went another 15 miles on 70 W when it ended and pointed to I-10. I again went to I-10 and held my breath. I saw a sign that looked like it was going to forbid bikes when in fact it stated that bikes on the berm were fine (picture 1). I started breathing again.
Wind had be a factor while on 70 W. My average speed was 12.5 MPH. When I turned on to I-10 I had a slight shift in direction which PUT THE WIND TO MY BACK! All of a sudden things were looking up. Often in the morning the winds are calm and then pick up around 10:00 a.m. This morning the wind kept sleeping. At 9:00 I had completed 45 miles (not my usual 30) and by noon I was at 90 miles (not my usual 60). Does it kinda’ make sense why I choose the word “glorious”!
Tomorrow I will go basically West and then in the second half of the day turn SW for the last time. After tomorrow’s stop at Benson Arizona I will start going NW toward Tucson and Phoenix which should put the wind more at my back.
- Miracle Go and I had a personal best 16.5 MPH across 120 miles. Told you MG could do it!
- Today we also cracked the 2000 mile mark finishing up with 2004 miles since we left Ohio. It feels good to get another 1000 behind us.
- Tomorrow we should finish in the mighty state of Arizona.
- I believe we move from Mountain time to Pacific Time.
As always wishing you my very best!