Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lordy, Lordy, I'm in Lordsburg

We're in Lordsburg, New Mexico tonight. That means margarita night! The day started quite interestingly. As I was walking past my bike in my hotel room this morning, I heard a loud sound like a rifle shot - loud enough to cause deafness for about 10 seconds. Fortunately I had just made my last bathroom visit before getting on the bike! After ascertaining that I had no new holes in my body I looked at my bike. The front tire was flat. Took out the tube and it had blown a 6" gash in the side. So, checked out the tire and didn't find any sharp points or anything which appeared to have caused a flat in a bike which had not moved for 12 hrs. Put in a new tube, put the tire back on, and took off down the road.

As I pedaled, I saw so much cotton in the weeds along the road. Safford and Pima are known for cotton. Yesterday I had picked up a handful and started drawing out the fibers and making a thread with my fingers. Thought about picking up a bunch of the cotton, but decided I have enough fiber for 5 years of spinning and cotton could wait. 3.3 miles down the road the tire blew again like a rifle shot. That brought little Blackie (a small dog) racing from her porch, with kids close behind trying to corral her. Then the rest of the riders motored by, with Blackie trying to scare off those offending creatures. When everyone had passed, Blackie came over and was very friendly. I just scared the s--- out of her!

Carol, who had sag duty today, pulled in and we put the bike on the car and headed back to the van and trailer for a consultation with Michelle, our guide and tire expert. Her diagnosis was a sidewall defect (the tire was brand new for the trip). So, we dug out my spare tire, another tube, and some rim tape for good measure and got the tire ready to go. By this time the riders were about 15 miles down the road, so I stayed in the van until the town of Duncan, approximately 35-40 miles from Safford. Linda dropped me off and I rode into Lordsburg without further excitement! On our layover day in Silver City day after tomorrow I'll put new rim tape on the back tire for good measure.

The stretch of road I rode was relatively flat and there were absolutely no towns or settlements of any kind between Duncan and Lordsburg. Long stretches of road going forever. Saw some cows and a roadrunner (but no Wiley Coyote). So few cars that you could pee beside the road and not worry about anyone seeing you. Guys have it so much easier.
Arizona didn't observe daylight savings time, so we lost an hour today by riding to New Mexico, which does. Tomorrow we head to Silver City and a well deserved layover. We have lots of people adjusting bike seats, so a day off the saddle is really due right now! It is getting hotter too.
Bike stats: 40.63 miles (would have been 73 miles if I had ridden all day)(lucky Kak - she doesn't have to pedal 3 extra miles); saddle time 3 hours 10 minutes. Food- cereal and milk and small donut for breakfast, couple of handfuls of peanut M&M's and some almonds, chicken taco salad from Taco Bell. Linda said we'll have corned beef and cabbage tonight.


Lynne said...

I really love the desert and the scenic photo you posted today. Roads like that make it hard to think you're getting anywhere unless you count telephone poles (speaking as a runner here rather than a rider).
Sounds like you're enjoying yourself and that the camaraderie is sweet.

marty said...

What happens if you run out of tires? Is there a place in the wilds of New Mexico to buy new ones? Should Brian go shopping for you for bike stuff when you get in beautiful central Texas?
Rootbeer floats - one of life's best foods!

Margaret said...

Sun is shinning life is good. Hope you had a happy St. Pat's Day. Just wishing the best for you today with no more tire problems.


kak said...

I loved the picture - sky so big - love that distance feeling. So glad you didn't s yourself when the tires blew. We have enough of that with our community patrons! When I read about you getting a ride my first question was going to be how far - thanks for answering! My tires are doing fine - am developing finely turned calves (about that size). Have you ever had an amaretto orange blossom??? That's a refreshing drink! Orange juice and amaretto! Enjoy your day off - I'll use it for catching up! Lots of love, Kak