When we signed up for this trip, there was one ride that stuck out from all the rest because of its length. Today, we ride the longest day of the tour and experience the pain that comes with it. Here are the stats:
Start city: Rodeo, NM
End city: Columbus, NM
Total miles to date: 781
Pedaling time: 5 hours, 29 minutes
Avg. speed: 16.9 mph
Feet climbed: 1900
Fatigue factor: 9 (out of 10)
Wind: light and variable, shifting to a 10mph west tailwind
Road condition: 4 out of 5
Temperature extremes: 47 at ride start, 85 at ride finish
“We always have a tailwind on this ride,” Bubba tells us the night before at the riders meeting. “Sometimes it’s over 20 mph.” That’s a good sign. There’s no wind when we start, but fortunately for us, that will change.
After a beautiful sunrise, we are off. This picture came out so well yesterday that we take another one today.
The terrain is changing. We are losing the mountains and things are becoming a bit flatter. And very, very quiet. All we hear is the whir of the chains and the tires on the road.
We are pretty lucky as most of the climbing, which is pretty easy, comes early. The last 40 miles are mostly downhill, and that allows us to check out some oddities, like the McDonald Ranch.
Someone in Hachita has a sense of humor.
The rest of the ride flies by, probably because of the tailwind, which finally kicks in. However, Eve knows there is ice cream waiting for us at the end, so maybe she kicks it into high gear for the finish.
Overall, we had a good day on the bike. Our reward for completing our longest ride in years is a day off on Saturday. We are off to Mexico. We’ll let you know how that goes…if they let us back into the country.
Note to our readers: our internet coverage is very spotty in New Mexico, so we may not be able to post for the next couple of days.