Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach
Thank You Katie, Mary, Caitlin and Brian

Friday, April 29, 2011

29 April 2010 Fast America Day 6

Winslow, AZ to Gallup, NM

Mileage:                     134.05 miles
Riding Time:              6:33     Riding Speed 20.4 mph
Total Time:                 8:09
Climbing:                    3305 ft.
Flats:                           2

There was a different game plan today. Gallup is 1600 feet above Winslow, and it was straight up all the way for 134 miles. But if you do the math it works out to only 12 feet of elevation gain per mile. Most every cyclist dreams of doing a century in 5 hours (except for those who dream of doing it in 4 hours). I completed the first 100 miles in 4:57:03, a time I had not reached since 1975. And the final 34 miles were even faster.

How is this possible? I always thought that Bob Seeger wrote the song Against the Wind for me. No matter where I was going with my bicycle, the wind would be in my face. Well – not today! Today was payback time for all those headwinds. The wind at our backs was 25-40 mph. I didn’t think that it was possible for a wind to push you uphill, but today it did. Of course when one stopped, it also was capable of blowing you over, and thankfully, it was never a serious crosswind. I did have trouble riding back from the hotel after I had checked in to Denny’s for my post ride milk shake, though. I am very, very grateful for the wind direction today; if we had been going the other way, I don’t think that the day would have been possible.

A great day for me; and I was among the first riders to finish, ahead of the van. I shouldn’t be tired; my pulse never got above 120 all day, but I think that the wind and the sun took a toll; my face is burning (under layers of SPF 50 sun block) and although I feel hot, the motel air conditioner is giving me chills. I did lose another water bottle on the incredibly rough streets leading to the hotel, and my sunglasses just disappeared at the last rest stop. I looked everywhere but it is possible that I put them down and they blew away. I do have another pair.

Please children, the riders were all serious and experienced and respectful of Mother Nature. Don’t try this at home! I only know of one rider who was blown into the sage brush (and not into Interstate 40) but we were all fighting it.

There were 35 flats today among us (I had one, and also blew up my replacement tube because the bead was not set properly, so I will count that as two). Most were caused by little tiny wires that are remnants from truck tires that blow up (the shoulder is littered with tire parts). I wondered where they came from until I saw a tire blow up on the pickup truck just ahead of me. There was rubber everywhere.

Tomorrow is another 135 mile day to Albuquerque. I am beginning to get a little afraid of the weather, which has been good to us so far. A cold front is coming in and it will only be 31 F at departure time tomorrow. Sunday is a rest day. I need to do some work on the computer, go to the bike shop, and I will have dinner with my friend Marcia; whmo I have not seen for many, many years.

For a slightly different perspective of the ride, and some great pictures, see Mike’s blog at:

1 comment:

  1. Glad the wind was with you. When it is not it can be hell. Do you ride in Oklahoma? That was my private hell.

    Sounds like you are doing great. Keep it up. Enjoy the wind.

    Ricky Bobbie