Day 35 (4/4/13) was a dog day afternoon, actually it was dog day morning.
I started riding just North of Tornillo on Route 20 and shortly encountered headwinds. I pushed along in high gear on a road that had almost no traffic. Then I came across a farm-house close to the road on my side with barking dogs. The dogs ran toward me but we were separated by a canal. When I passed them they ran along side on the other side of the canal until they reached their driveway.
Then it was on. They all entered the street led by a fearless Chihuahua. The pack was five strong. I crossed to the other side of the street hoping the boundary of their territory was on their side of the street. I couldn’t believe they would cross the double yellow line. I almost ran off the road but crossed back to the center where I had more room to maneuver. Two dogs went on my left, two on my right and one behind.
Alright now everyone raise your hand if you have ever been chased by 5 dogs while riding a unicycle against a head wind. Then you know what was going through my mind. I pictured a live speed bump, dynamic UPD, and then being eaten alive. As it turned out rather than a pack of dogs they were all fraidy cats. Not one of the dogs nipped my heals as they churned charged with adrenalin, and not one wanted to be the first one to challenge the 36″ wheel. Or maybe they were just offended by the yellow stream running down my legs (just kidding). I passed their self established boundary unscathed, but it took a couple of miles before the adrenalin subsided
I passed a sign that announced the town of Alcala, then two minutes later I passed another sign that had me leaving Alcala. That’s a very short town. I met my crew in Fort Hancock, ate some peanut butter crackers and pressed on. At McNary I changed to route 192, that had an irregular surface. The wind did not seem as bad and I rode down the middle of the road to find the best lines. I was only passed by a couple of cars each way in 18 miles. Some would have called the place boring. I called it peaceful.
I leapfrogged with my crew until I got to Interstate 10. After the tranquillity of 192 I just didn’t have the psyche to take on the trucks plowing by. I’ll save that for after my layover day.
At the end of the day I went to lockup my unicycle and noticed the tire was flat. I guess I know what I will be doing on my layover day.
Stats for day 35: 42. 2 miles at 11.8 mph, Max=14.4 mph, Ascent=266′, Descent=240′ (did I mention it was flat?), Max elevation=3621′, Min elevation=3497′, Ave heart rate=105, Max heart rate=134, Ave temp=75 degrees.
Lay over day (36) I examined the outside of my tire and found a thorn. I checked the tube in a tub of water and found two holes. I checked the inside of the tire and felt another tiny thorn. I put a new tube in and patched the old one as a reserve. Keep your fingers crossed.