Sunday, August 06, 2006

Monday, May 22 – Day 3 – Faywood Hot Springs, NM

We left Columbus at about 5:30 AM. I got up at quarter to five and packed the tent and all my gear in the dark, and we cruised out just as the sun started peeking out.
Morning riding out in the desert really is glorious. There’s a cool breeze, soft light, and often nobody around. We did the 30 miles into Deming by 9:30 or so, made a quick stop at the grocery store and BK, and hit the highway.

Just after BK I had my first mechanical. The bike felt low in the rear, so I stopped to pump it up and all the air came out through the valve stem when I took the pump off. I’ve never had that happen before – strange. But I replaced the tube and we were back on the road pretty quick.

US 180 out of Deming wasn’t as much fun as the other highways so far. Traffic was heavy and the limit was 65 mph, so it came by fast. But everybody was giving us plenty of room. But, about 10 miles down the road somebody in a red pickup chucked a half-empty bag of Lay’s potato chips out the window and hit Tim square in the back of the leg. That freaked him out, and he said he was riding the rest of the way on the rough asphalt shoulder. I wanted nothing of that – I was having a ball and even the potato chip guy gave us plenty of room – so we said we’d meet up at this campground up the way.

All the way from Deming we had a crosswind out of the west that was just enough behind us to give us a little bit of push. It got stronger as the day went on – probably gusts up to 30-40 mph by the time we quit. But the wind was just right so that when a semi would go by me, it would pass on the upwind side and create this tremendous suction that literally grabbed my bike by the panniers and accelerated it forward like it was being shot out of a shotgun. The first time it happened it freaked me out, but it was a straight pull (not out into the road or toward the dirt or anything) so it was fun after I got used to it.

We ended up at this vaguely hippie place called Faywood Hot Springs – complete with clothing optional pools and a person who looks like John the Baptist wandering about. Right now I’m sitting in their little meeting house listening to the wind kick stuff around. It must be gusting over 40 mph by now – big gusts that shake everything.

But, it’s a good place, the weather isn’t too warm (I think we’re getting into a little different weather pattern up here) and I am looking forward to some pasta tonight.

One note about yesterday. After I finished writing, I got sort of pukey sick – at first just a bad feeling, but we went out for pizza and after a couple of slices I felt like vomiting. But I felt good this morning, and feel fine now. It must just have been a little too much heat, a little bit of dehydration, or both.

Gear note: Looks like the valve stem on that tube is shot. I threw it out. Strange. Tonight is tune-up time – my speedo quit working after I changed that tire, and I still need to do my derailleur adjustment that I never got to because I got sick. Also, I’m only using the GPS for finding towns, then turning it off. I don’t have the juice to leave it on all the time. So, no perfect climbing numbers. Sad but true.

Day 3 stats:

60 miles (all pavement)
6.5 hours
600 ft of climbing
2 gallons of water

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