In short, today's activities were characterized by one word - "Flat". The ground was flat, the wind was flat and our tires were constantly flat. By the numbers we covered approximately 60 miles and experienced 9 flat tires between us (you'll definitely need to check out Don's blog - he took pictures of a few of the changes). That's a flat tire every 6.5 miles or so - very frustrating stuff. Now you're probably wondering what causes all these flats.....here's my thoughts on that one......
- Older tires (they were about a month old when we started)
- Really poor quality shoulders on the highway
- Lots of "shrapnel" from re-tread tires on the shoulder
By the time we finally rigged, patched and/or repaired every tire we could possibly find we rolled into Las Cruces. It's a beautiful city in a valley just outside the Organ Mountain Range. I was glad to be done with what I thought was going to be a short day. In the end, I changed
more flats today than I've changed during the last three months combined! Amazing. As soon as we arrived in Las Cruces we sought the first bike shop we could find. We ended up at Ride On Sports on Telshor Rd. They were very helpful and recommended the Specialized Armadillo tires. We bought new sets for each of us and also picked up liners for the inside of the tires just for added security. Changing 9 tires today really scarred us! Once we arrived at the Quinlan home we took their garage over and proceeded to install the new tires and liners. We're hoping for much better performance on the road to Alamogordo. I have high hopes. That said, I'd like to give another big note of thanks to the Schaeffner family - if it weren't for their donation of 100 tubes I don't know where we'd be. I think we're down to around 75 or so and we used up 10% or just today!
A cool highlight of the ride was crossing the Rio Grande River - I've seen it on a map and read about it in books, but today I got to see it.......heck....I got to pedal over it. Very cool. Here's a pic of Monty and I.
That reminds me - I don't think I've said how much we appreciate having Don here to support us. He's been such a great deal of help. Whether it's plotting the next stop, helping us fix a flat or just plain providing comic relief....I'm very grateful for Don and his support. He's sacrificing his time and energy for the cause and I really appreciate it. Thank you Don.
Ok - it's bed time. 80 miles and a 2000 foot climb await us tomorrow as we head into Alamogordo, NM. Should be a great flat free day (better be!). We're looking forward to just plain pedaling and nothing else. I imagine that once we hit 6,000 feet or so I'll have to come up with a new John Denver song for Monty. I'm thinking Annie's Song, but I'm not sure yet. We'll see what inspires me.
By the way.....the grasshoppers seem to have disappeared.....not sure how that all works. I don't miss them though......they were pretty gross. Who'da guessed we'd schedule the ride during giant scary grasshopper mating season....ewwwww.
Thanks for all your support, prayers and giving! We appreciate it!
See you down the road!