Our stay in New Mexico was short. One day’s riding was very enjoyable with perpetual tailwinds. The second day of riding, today, was not so enjoyable.
We experienced headwinds all the way to El Paso. Lisa rode in her first pace line and wasn’t overly excited because we couldn’t take our usual stretch breaks. That, in combination with the 36 degree temperature at the started made it a hard day, her worst day so far. It was more like riding in Wisconsin; it was about 42 when we stopped for lunch. Jeff kept assuring me the pace line was easier than doing it alone, but I was literally in tears for most of the way before lunch.
Remember how confident I said I was yesterday? Today my thoughts initially were “What made me think I could do this?” I felt miserable and sad, but I told myself even if I let Jeff or any of the pace line (Pat,”Stretch”–who is my biggest cheerleader out here, and sometimes Mark who is the fastest cyclist in the group) know that I was wiping away tears as we rode, there was nothing they could do to help me. They could not turn up the temperature. I decided to just tough it out and get to the city of El Paso as quick as possible.
Changing my mental attitude had a promising effect on my outlook–it did not make me any warmer, my fingers and toes were still numb, but here I sit tonight in a warm hotel room and feel satisfied the day is behind us. Tomorrow we get to sleep in, we’ll have much of the same weather, but most riding will be urban through El Paso, and Bubba wants us to try to avoid the rush hour traffic,so should get a good night’s rest before going back to the tents tomorrow night in the bustling metropolis of Ft Hancock.
Although our stay was brief, the people of New Mexico left a lasting impression. They enhanced our experience. We will remember them for their generosity, friendliness, and helpfulness. The mayor of Columbus said that she is always amazed at how little the people have,but how much they have to give. Now we know where our Albuquerque (NM) puppy raiser, Dusty, gets it from
We crossed the Rio Grande via a bridge, to enter Texas, although we probably could have ridden our bike through it. Drought has hit this area so hard and we have yet to see a body of water yet. We hope they
fair better this spring and summer with rainfall.
We will now spend the next three weeks navigating our way through this humongous state.