Day 30 (3/30/13) 8200 +
Day 30 was a big mile stone for me. I took the day off yesterday and we toured the Gila cliff dwellings national monument. The rest day helped prepare me for the big climb to over Emory pass at 8228 feet. We spent the night at Gallinas national forest campground, and awoke to 38 degrees. But by the time we at, got ready and drove to my starting point east of San Lorenzo it was a pleasant 52 degrees and calm. I fortified myself with a multi vitamin and 600 mgs of vitamin I.
Route 152 was relatively smooth and shoulderless, but fortunately the traffic was minimal. I plugged away taking breaks whenever my quads or heart dictated. At one point my heart got a real jolt when 50 feet ahead of me a huge black beast emerged from the wood across the street. At first it appeared to be large black bear, but thankfully turned out to be a wild cow. I’m not sure who would have been more surprised a grizzly bear or a grizzly unicyclist.
After 12 miles of ascending 2600 feet from where I started in the morning I reached Emory Pass at 8228 feet. The price of admission was high but some of the views were the most remarkable of the ride so far. At one point rode through a canyon so narrow I could have easily thrown a stone from one side to the other.
When I reached the top I felt a little emotional, although I would never admit it in public. I couldn’t help thinking what my old pastor Father Moran would have thought about the accomplishment. After all he was the instigator of my passion for unicycling in the first place, and believed we could do anything.
The ride down turned out to be a little easier than I anticipated, but don’t get me wrong. While I was inching my down the mountain at 6 to 10 mph a couple of cyclists passed by me doing at least 40 mph. All in all it was a better ride than I anticipated. I made it a little way east of Hillsboro. When the route started to climb again I said enough is enough.
Stats for day 30 (day 25 riding) I rode 32.5 miles at 8.5 mph, Max=14.6, Ascent=2654’, Descent=3514’, Max elevation=8228’, Min elevation=5247′ , Ave temp=66 degrees, Calories burned=1347. Grand total of 750 miles.
Day 31 (Easter Sunday) Crazy Legs.
Day 31 held uncertainty after making the big climb the day before. I picked up where I left off the day before a few miles east of Hillsboro, and rode through some rolling hills. The wind was up early and crossing me and heading me as I traveled east on route 152. I felt like I was riding a bucking bronco the way I had to gyrate every which way to maintain balance. I horsed around like that for 14 miles in high gear until the route turned south on route 187. At last, the wind at my back just like it’s advertised in the brochures.
Route 187 was smooth and a very slight down grade on average. My legs didn’t know how to act they just kept spinning. I hated to stop. I knew the forecast called for the winds to clock south. I rode like this for about another 11 miles then the wind started crossing me and heading me again, but not quite as strong. I kept plugging away not wanting to waste such good road.
By the time my crew caught up to me, I had logged 44.5 miles and I decided to pile on three more to make it my most daily mileage for the trip to date. I finished about 10 miles south of Hatch NM.
Stats for day 31: 47.5 miles at 11.2 mph, Max=14.8 mph, Ascent=317’, Descent=1755, Max elevation=5488′, Min elevation=3969′ , Ave Heart rate=109, Max heart rate was compromised by radio interference. Ave temp =80 degrees, Calories burned 1000 according to Garmin.
Day 32 Flat and Fast but ran out of Gas
Day 32 Started with very little breeze so I tried to make as many miles as I could before the conditions changed. Route 185 was mostly flat and I cruised along in high gear for 12.4 miles at 12. 5 mph before I took my first break. In a few minutes I hopped back on and rolled along some more. After about 23 miles my crew met me to replenish my water and on I went while my crew did some grocery shopping.
The wind came up first from my right then from ahead then from my left. If I had been sailing I would have played the wind shifts, but the road tends to restrict that. I pushed on to Las Cruces. The traffic was tight and I was glade to head out of town on route 28 through pecan orchard after pecan orchard, but not of the trees had leaves and they did not offer any break from the cross wind.
It must have been the combination of the two hard days before and the increase in temperatures but I just ran out of gas. When my crew called I said I’m done. I rode until my crew arrived after pedaling 43 miles.
Speaking of running out. Check out the Rio Grande.
Stats for Day 32: 43.16 miles at 11.5 mph, Ascent=308′, Descent=525, Max elevation=4034′, Min elevation=3812′, Ave heart rate=102, Max heart rate=136, Ave temp=80 degrees, Calories burned=989