Thursday, June 16, 2016

Big Cliffs. Big Miles.

Day 9 - June 15th
74 miles
Total 366.3 miles
Day - Moving Avg 11.8
Day - Overall Avg 6.9
Wowzers! Look at those numbers! I would like to say that we are getting into shape, but the truth is we had a very easy ride today, especially compared to other days. It was pretty much all a gradual downhill. The interspersed climbs were minimal and only 2700 feet of climbing. I don't recall this number for other days, but I suspect some of our harder days were easily three times that.
One new and exciting facet to our ride:
As I started rolling though the miles, we hit sand patches. Woah is me. If I was going too fast when I hit the sand patch, my back tire would slide around going all Tokyo Drift on me. It was like suddenly my bike turned into a bucking bull, or a flipping fish flying all willy nilly under my controls. So that's pretty exciting.
If I was moving too slow, the sand Sucked me in like a.... like a.... sandtrap?
Most of the morning was hard packed dirt, so we cruised at close to twenty mph. When we hit gravel and slowed to seven, it felt like I was riding a flat. I turned back to ask Apricots if I had a flat, she said my tire looked fine.
Thirty minutes later, Apricots was dragging. I asked her why she going slow. She blamed it on the 4 am rise, and the lack of will to push hard. I blamed it on her flat tire. Yup. Apricots wins the race to a flat tire.
We pulled into a shade patch, and assumed our God given patriarchal roles. I repaired her tire while she prepared second breakfast for us. I was shocked that I was able to fix the tire so quickly. We were rolling within a quarter of an hour, aiming for our 70 mile destination.
Whelp, it turns out I am not the best handyman. Twenty five miles later, she had a flat again. We pulled into a nice shade patch, and I got to work again. I surprised apricots with some soda that I managed to keep cold through the first 35 miles of our ride.
Fifteen minutes, and one soda later, I had a properly patched tube, and we were rolling down the highway.
Soon enough we hit the beautiful landscape of the El Malpais Narrows. At this area, a large sandstone Mesa interacted with a lava flow, creating a dynamic ribbon of landscape through which we rolled. To our right were towering sandstone cliffs, with arches, and beautiful sweeping curves. To our left was the lunar landscape of lava flows, jagged, irregular and hostile.
We had covered 55 miles by lunch, and made it to our destination by 3pm.
Tomorrow, we plan on taking a zero. The next stretch is considered the dryest stretch of the divide. We need to research water options, as well as figure out how to replace all of my lost clothing. We are a few days away from biking and camping at an elevation of 10,000 feet plus.
Live life at a slower place.

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