Day 9 - Las Vegas to Tucumcari
Greetings from Tucumcari everyone! It was a great day today. I never thought I would say this, but this morning I was actually looking forward to a ride that was less than 130 miles! After a great night of sound sleep, (who wouldn't sleep well after 11 hours on the bike) I awoke feeling refreshed and ready for a new day.
One of the great things about this ride is that it puts you in situations that take you far beyond anything you could possibly endure in a normal setting. Like I mentioned in my previous post, you get taken so far out of your comfort zone that you are forced to redefine what is possible. It's an amazing feeling to say the least, and waking up today knowing what I accomplished yesterday is unlike anything I've ever experienced.
It also didn't hurt that today had much less climbing in it than yesterday, and we also got to drop over 2,000 feet in elevation. There was one climb in the ride known simply as "The Wall," that had an incredibly steep climb for 0.7 miles, but aside from that it was relatively flat.
I was finally breathing easier as we finally left the mountains behind, to be honest I didn't even notice it until we dropped down in elevation and I was able to take my first deep breath in three days. Whether it was due to the altitude or the easier ride, I'm not sure. But regardless I was putting the hammer down on those flat roads, feeling my best since the ride started.
It only took us 7 1/2 hours to finish our ride today, with 108 miles to tackle my dad and I were rolling into the hotel by 3 o'clock, much better than yesterday's arrival at 7 in the evening. I was extremely happy to see that I was able to ride the way I did, especially after the hardship of yesterday's ride.
One of the best things about this ride is that my dad and I reached 1,000 miles today. That means we are a little less than a third of the way done. It's a mixed feeling, part of me is happy to see the progress, while the another part is sad that it all seems to be going by so quickly.
The only thing that was unexpected about this ride was the increase in temperature. The further we descended towards the desert floor, the hotter it began to get until we were sweating profusely in the newfound desert heat. While stopping to get water the cashier mentioned that it was a record high today, and every mile we went it only grew hotter. Lucky for me I had my camel back and my water bottles, so I was pretty well off.
Tomorrow is going to be a tough day. The weather reports claim that for the next few days, there will be winds up to 20 mph hitting us head on as we try to make our way out of New Mexico and into Dalhart, TX. That, and the temperature is going to drop like a stone, with a chance of snow. Hard to believe that in a place like Texas there is going to be some snowfall. But there it is.
Until next time.