Santa Fe, NM to Tucumcari, NM
Mileage: 110.78 miles
Riding Time: 7:09 Riding Speed 15.5 mph
Total Time: 8:00
Climbing: 3698 ft.
Today we cashed in some of the Potential Energy that we had stored up with all of the climbing over the past few days. Tucumcari is more than 2,000 feet below Las Vegas, and the wind was a gentle crosswind most of the day; so the ride was much easier than yesterdays. It did, however, start with 20 miles of climbing and it did feature the first climb that could be called a “Wall”, a cycling term that is easily understandable by non cyclists. The Wall came at mile 68 and featured 0.7 miles of 10% climbing. Note: where I live, it is virtually impossible to put in a long ride without encountering ~15% stretches. But there have just been a half dozen times when the cross country ride has flirted with double digits.
Hard to get lost on today’s ride: Turn left on State Route 104 and take it to Tucumcari, where we turned left into the hotel. It was a beautiful 2 lane road and we saw less than 100 motor vehicles all day. Everyone gave me a wide berth when passing.
I know that I am not performing at the level of the first couple of days, but I feel OK. I just have to get used to being one of the last finishers; I am definitely fatigued. But one of the other riders spent the day in the SAG Wagon, suffering from a swollen Achilles tendon, and another was limping with an aching shin tonight.
The weather improved dramatically, starting out at about 40, but reaching a high in the 80s.
Tomorrow we enter Texas and the Central Time Zone. Looks like a strong tailwind and it is flat, so records may fall. Mike’s anticipating that anyway, as the start is not until 8:00 and he has scheduled a slide show from the ride at 2:00 PM.
Ritual: In the introductory meeting, we were all told that we would end each day brain dead and that it was important to establish habits that are followed when brain dead (especially safety habits). I’m having to extend this to the morning: put on butt cream before putting on shorts (duh!). BTW, my butt has calluses, but is doing OK. Put on sun screen before shorts and jerseys (because the shorts and sleeves ride up, exposing more skin). Put on foot cream before socks. All this cream and clothing is a 10 minute process, but so far I haven’t forgotten anything.
Mortality: We pass a roadside Memorial about once a day, including today. Sometimes in places where it is hard to imagine how an accident could occur. We also passed a Ghost Bicycle the other day, I forgot to mention it in the blog.
Drive and ride safely, everyone.