Meeting More Riders

Hank – We planned to wake up at 6:00 and be on the road two hours later, but that didn’t happen. Between the cold and the traffic noise neither one of us slept well. So at 6:01 we went back to sleep for a little over an hour. 

The forecast had called for a low of 40 but the ice on the bikes and picnic table testified otherwise. We put the tent away wet knowing we’d get to dry it out when we set up camp at the end of the day. Bev has a book for cyclists to leave notes in. The first one was dated in 2006 so she’s been good to bike tourer for a very long time. We left a very complimentary and appreciative note inside.

After a light breakfast we left town. Today’s route again followed US Hwy 60. About 10 miles out of town we ran into Matt and Dorothy McCall of Virginia. They’ve toured many, many miles and were on their way towards completing the Adventure Cycling Association’s Southern Tier route again. Matt has been touring for 45 years. He rode through Spokane during Expo 74, which took place right after I graduated high school. We chatted for a bit and went on our respective ways.

We stopped in Aguila to eat at the Coyote Cafe. When we were about done with our meal, another couple rode up. They were headed in the same direction as us. So we met Ronald and Innika (sp) who hail from the Netherlands. They have children and grandchildren in El Paso and they combine bike tours with their visits. They told us of a campground between Wenden and Salome, which was very helpful because we had no idea where we were staying tonight. Now we knew.

The remainder of the day passed easily enough. Traffic was light most of the day. At 5:00 pm we arrived at Centennial Park, which is a county park. Our campsite only cost eight bucks. And we get showers, too. We both also washed clothes in the shower. When we finished Ronald and Innika arrived to clean up and do their laundry too.

After a meal we had two hours to relax before bed time. So I’m relaxing while I listen to an owl hooting in the distance.

Kathy – Since I only had about three hours of sleep and Hank didn’t sleep well either, Hank suggested we might do a short 30 mile day but I quickly dismissed that notion after a nice big cup of caffeinated tea.

So today’s ride started out chilly, but the sun warmed us up into the mid 60’s by the afternoon. We had mountains all around us most of our ride. No matter which way you looked you could see mountains. Some had snow in them where others didn’t. It was an absolutely beautiful day to ride.

We climbed constantly the first 11 miles with the remaining miles a mix of flat and/or slightly uphill or downhill. Total elevation was just shy of 1,000 feet of climbing. No winds this morning but by the afternoon we had sidewinds and a small headwind.

Even though it was a gorgeous day, today was just not a good riding day for me. I was dragging. I had Hank check to see if my breaks were rubbing and if my tires were soft because these things would slow you down. Nope, the bike is good. Maybe it was a combination of me being tired with lack of sleep, the bumpy road surface and the side/head winds. Maybe not taking a break until 27 miles in to it and forgetting to drink in the warm desert (only drank 1/2 water bottle in 27 miles) may have contributed to my slowness today. Maybe I was just being whiny and lazy today (that’s probably it) Regardless, I just felt like such a slug today. Couldn’t get moving fast enough even though I felt like I was giving it my all.

Hopefully we will both sleep well tonight, take adequate rest breaks tomorrow and keep on top of the fluids to make it a much better day. Happy to get the tent up, shower, fix dinner and finally relax in our tent for the night.

We met some great cyclists today. I’m obviously not as fast as many of these folks. This is my first cycling tour so trying not to compare myself with all these super fit and fast folks out here. Hoping to rest well and have a wonderful ride tomorrow.

A couple of notes… 

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