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Eric Mitchell's Cycling Blog- Monday, April 11

Head winds, tail winds and the beautiful scent of the forests

4/11/2005 9:26:13 AM


Monday, April 11, 2005

The group is in Silver City, NM, and now over 700 miles into the trip (>20% completed). The group is now split into two groups. Eight of us went up to Gila Hot Springs and four of us (including me) are taking a break at a motel in Silver City. We will reconnect in three days.

Yesterday’s ride from Three Way, AZ to Buckhorn, NM included a 2500’ increase in altitude, literally going up the side of a mountain. We may have gained 500 yards in actual distance at the end. The ride up the mountain took over three hours — there were six switchbacks — man what a ride. The mountain was covered in poppies (orange) and purple thistles, so at least it was very pretty. At the top of the mountain there was an instant change from desert to high forest, along with a wonderful change of scent from the dust of the desert to the piney aroma of the ponderosas and others. The view was magnificent at the top. You could see at least 50 miles backward toward AZ. We had a 20 mile head wind at the end of the ride. Do we “LOVE” headwinds.

Today’s ride was 40 miles — 20 with head wind and 20 with tail wind. Boy, do we “HATE” tailwinds (part of the positive attitude our fearless leader wants us to have). I have fallen into the slower members’ part of the group. I’ve been greatly affected by the altitude (we have been up to 6400+. Currently at 6000, and will go up to 8300 in 2 days. We crossed the Continental Divide today) and by allergies as everything is blooming. I can attest to the once a century bloom in the desert.

We have split into three groups: the speedy gonzalezs (get to end point 3 hours ahead of slow group), the middle fiddles (I am in this group if the ride is flat), and then there are the tortoises (I am in here when there are hills). I was the last one in yesterday and today. I have no energy in my thighs (no oxygen getting there), but I shall recover and persevere.

I hope all is well. Peace from NM. The group has liked California and New Mexico because both are very bike friendly. Arizona is not very bike friendly and very dangerous in spots (bike lanes end with no warning, rumble strips take up all of bike lanes, 2-lane truck traffic, and no bike lane) We plan to send a letter to the governor of AZ when we return to identify and start in motion a way to correct the problems.

We saw a roadside flower arrangement (you know what I mean) and there were handle bars next to the flowers (scary).

Until next time.

Dr. M

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