On day 33 I felt a bit like I was cheating, but just like in white water boating sometimes it’s best to stop and scout. I wasn’t looking forward to riding a unicycle through the city streets of El Paso Texas, so on the advice of our friend Jo Ann we decided to scout (drive) the alternate course that loops around most of El Paso.
Now ordinarily I would not opt to ride more miles and climb more hills, but that is exactly what I chose to do. Today I rode 7 miles to the split of the alternate course then, after the scout I picked up where I left off and climbed 500 feet to get to the other side of El Paso. Because of the shortened riding time, the hill, and two sections of strong cross winds making it very hard to balance, I only did 29 miles. Tomorrow I will be on a freeway instead of city streets. The extra distance of the alternate course is reported to be only 7 miles.
Just made it into Texas.
Stats for Day 33 ( riding day 28): 29.06 miles at 10.1 mph, (869 miles on the trip so far), Ascent=772’, Descent=592’, Ave heart rate=102, Max heart rate=139, Max elevation=4410′ , Min elevation=3776′ , Ave temp=85 , Calories burned=808
Day 34 From North of El Paso to Just short of Tornillo Texas.
Thanks again to Jo Ann who suggested I consider the alternate route around El Paso. I am not a city person, and had no desire to ride through El Paso. If anyone was riding their bike on this route and they had support they might want to take the alternative. For me it was well worth the extra climbing and miles. I think I could count the number of traffic lights on the alternative without using my toes.
I started today in a small suburb and rolled four miles or so to the 375 Loop freeway. The freeway was very smooth with a wide shoulder. I made good time rolling along in high gear. But then again you would expect to make good time on a freeway unless you ran into a unicycle jam. Come to think of it that only usually happens in a muni race (mountain uni, unicycle off road race). I almost hated to exit onto a frontage road as instructed by the map.
To demonstrate the confidence my crew has in me while riding on freeways in El Paso they had a pedicure. When I got off the 375 and joined the regular route on 76, the area no longer looked like a big city. I called my crew and said I was headed out of town. Try and catch me. I rolled south out of town and after a couple of small towns I was riding again in high gear on smooth flat two lane roads.
I pushed on through a modest head wind until my crew showed up at my usual quitting time after logging 43 miles. No internet for me yesterday or today.
Stats for Day 34 (riding day 29) Rode 42.93 miles at 11.1 mph, Max=15.9, Ave heart rate=98, Max heart rate=129, Ascent=310, Descent=716’, Max elevation=4020, , Min Elevation=3591′ , Calories burned=880 ( hardly enough for a beer)