Saturday, March 21, 2015

Solo riding for a day

77 mile day but I did 48.
When we got up everything was rather wet. The dirt road leading into the "Painted Pony" resort was like red clay glue.
My calf felt better after the massage, but unfortunately Dave wrenched his shoulder lifting my bike out of the trailer. This is the shoulder that has been an ongoing problem for him. We had to take a day off in Libby, MT last summer during our Northern Tier bike trip so he could get a cortisone shot.
We decided it would be best to let it heal a little by Dave taking the day off and icing. It was a long day anyway, the longest of the tour, at 95 miles.
Our support crew loaded up bicycles and drove us and bikes in shifts out to the blacktop road. I was initially going to bike with Dean and Judy, but our speeds didn't match up. Judy really can move out and she wanted to do the whole mileage. Dean and I biked together for awhile but I need to stop fairly frequently to shake out my feet so I waved him on. I have a type of painful numbness that develops in my feet that bikers call "hot foot".
We did some hopscotching for the morning and even though I biked alone, I knew there were riders behind me and the support vehicles knew where I was. The area was even more desolate than yesterday with long vistas and mountains ringing the prairie. Cars were almost non-existent. The only consistent vehicles were border patrol trucks. We saw two state police vehicles almost immediately after leaving the Painted Pony, along with border patrol so we figured that they were expecting something, but never saw another soul.
At the lunch stop at 48 miles I elected to SAG the rest of the way. Dave was at the lunch stop and got me some ice so I kept my calf iced. He had been icing his shoulder all day too.
It was fun to ride in and see people and who they bike with. Everyone looked so strong out there in the prairie!
Dean had elected to SAG with Chandler the bike mechanic after lunch and we had some confusion when we saw someone that had Dean's vest and helmet on, biking with Judy. We eventually logically reasoned that must be Dean! (it took us far too long to figure that out!)
At the third SAG stop there was a long distance biker heading west. He had been out since last June. He had been up to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and had some interesting stories about seeing big trucks that are pushed up steep mountain passes by two other trucks.
He had camped on the desert about 30 miles east of our destination town, Columbus and woke up with two border patrol agents looking at him.
Our home for the night was a school gym. We all gathered outside to welcome our last riders. Judy came in, she added miles to do her first century. Dean and Don came in as well. Finally Rich came in. Whoops and hollering for him!
Well better get packed up.
We're doing another high mileage day today. 77 mile. Not as much hilly terrain hopefully and just maybe a tailwind today. One sometimes can believe the weather predictions, right?
El Paso tonight (Sunday, March 22). We will be in Texas for 19 days!

1 comment:

  1. Hi guys !

    We are enjoying your trip...a little jealously! Glad you are doing well! Keep the descriptions coming and keep having fun!

    Will and Joyce