Today was a 65 mile ride that started on old Route 66 in Gallup and soon turned into a ride on the shoulder of Hwy 40. That wasn’t a bad thing because most of the shoulder was in good shape and was remarkably clear of the debris that gave us 3 flats yesterday.
Although we had about 1,000 feet of climb, that was all rollers because Grants, our destination, is 8 feet lower than Gallup, our starting point.
Notable events on the ride: Nick falling and hurting his left calf enough that he had to skip the last 10 miles of the ride though he rode at least 20 miles after he fell. (His fall was a classic rider’s embarrassment; he was stopped when he couldn’t unclip and ended up on the ground.) We stopped at a Dairy Queen and Nick realized he could barely walk on his left leg. Although we both got on our bikes to leave, he had to call for SAG help within a mile or so.
While I initially doubted that he would be able to ride tomorrow, Nick benefitted greatly from his application of “RICE,” his acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevate. He is now walking almost normally and expects to make tomorrow’s ride to Albuquerque. That we lose a net of 1,100 feet doesn’t hurt.
Before Nick stopped riding, he got extremely excited about seeing the Continental Divide. Since we haven’t gone over any mountains, we don’t think we have crossed it yet.
Also, today I saw Dave again. I first saw him on my ride to Peach Springs when I caught him on a hill. He started in Santa Monica, I think on the same day, and is riding, unsupported, to Chicago (the classic Route 66 trip though he is often bypassing the old 66 for Hwy 40). Today I caught him about 12 miles outside of Grants. This time I won’t attribute it entirely to the weight he is carrying because he was also very leisurely going downhill (like I had to ride my brakes to stay with him, which I did for only so long). Nick then caught up with him, got his name and took his photo. Then we saw him briefly at dinner – he has a friend in town – and said hi again. By the way, seeing another traveler at dinner in Grants isn’t too unusual given the minimal number of restaurants, a number that diminishes to 2 or 3 if you eliminate fast food.
Another interesting “event”, at least to me, was after we passed Dave and Nick and I met up at the Dairy Queen. I indulged myself with a banana split – the potassium in the banana sounded good – and Nick got a triple dipped in butter scotch. It’s size was impressive, but that isn’t the “event” I am talking about. No, the event was when Nick finished that triple and asked me to get him another – another TRIPLE – which he also put away in short order. (He asked me to go get it because he was then barely able to walk. No, not because of all of the ice cream he ate, but because his calf had swollen.)
The temperature was good today, barely reaching 100. It is surprising how cool 88, or even 94, feels now.
Our main nemesis was a very constant head wind. It was strong enough that on a 3% descent I wanted to see what my coasting speed would be and it was 14 mph. All of you who ride know that it would normally be above 20 mph, barring bad road conditions.
When we saw Dave at the restaurant, he agreed with our comments about the wind and his friend said he was surprised because the wind normally blows to the east, not the west. I guess we were just lucky.
Sorry, because of some technical difficulties, I am not posting some photos I wanted to.