A "short" ride was scheduled for our seventeenth day, only 57 miles. You have been riding too much when fifty-seven seems like a short day. We planned a leisurely pace that would get us into Fort Hancock near 3 o'clock when the school is accessible.
Due to the commuter traffic, we were forbidden from starting before 8am. The late start time created a mass start and sixteen of the coasters rode through downtown El Paso in a pack. We had a chance to share the road with a few riders that we don't often see on our way to the first check-in, a bakery. I bought 4 bolillo rolls with jalapeños for one dollar and three small turnovers for one dollar.
On my way to checkout, someone said "Jeff, where are you riding to." I explained, "to Florida", as I pondered how he knew my name. Duh, I was still wearing my vest, with name on front and back. At the next stop light, a driver pulled up along side and said "Buen Viaje", or "Good Trip". Texas drivers are notoriously unfriendly to cyclists, but they must not have been on the road today.
At lunch in Fabers, TX (birthplace of jockey Willie Shoemaker), we got an email from our neighbor with pictures from back home--covered in 4 inches of snow. The conditions back home, only serve to make us appreciate our decision to vacation in the South this Spring. It is Spring in Wisconsin?
We are very happy to be in hot, dry west Texas sitting in shorts and t-shirts outside. It was a great riding day for 57 miles, but we missed Roger who went back to MN this morning.
As you can tell from each posting, weather has become our primary concern every day. Good cycling weather today, no precipitation, favorable wind, with temperatures reaching 85 degrees - a tad warm as we neared the finish. Fingers crossed that our weather luck continues.
We encountered our first drive thru beer depot and our first exposure to dogs treating bicycles as prey.