Bike Travelogue: the 22nd (and final) day,
by Bob Eberlein
It is still downhill, and I am making great time. I wonder if I can just coast to
Eventually the mystery begins to resolve as I head into the hills and turn a little bit to the west. I will be going over these mountains; I guess it could be a challenge. But it starts as relatively short ups and downs, with some interesting vistas and one really great rock formation. I am definitely in a dry area that used to have an active river.
After a time a come to the town of
As it happens, it does have a hill climb that is pretty similar to what
Having missed my second breakfast in
There is a short steep descent, but for the most part the road continues along a high ridge roughly level. I just keep going until I get to a really spread out set of housing developments below what is clearly a ski resort. I don’t know if these are ski condos or just houses but there is no town, just the development. It is all kind of strange to me.
The road starts to climb slowly, but a big tail wind has kicked up so instead of going really slow, I simply go slow. I just plug along, feeling pretty hungry and hoping something like a store will appear. The road gets bigger and more cyclists appear. They seem very little interested in me, oh well. Eventually I do find a gas station store combo and buy a quart of chocolate milk. It tastes wonderful. The store is really busy, I guess it is the only thing around. Lots more cyclists ride by in both directions.
From there the road gets bigger and bigger. Usually there is a decent shoulder, so the riding is not bad, but the whole thing feels a little bit yuppie surreal. There are lots of cyclists, but this is not really the nice part of the road to be riding on. A couple pass me and say hello, but are only mildly curious about what I am up to.
Route 14 finally ends and this is where I am pretty sure there is a road that follows I-40 even though it does not show up on my map. It turns out to be NM 335 and is also marked bicycle route 66, which eventually becomes historic US 66. This road is basically downhill into
The road is not really very interesting, and I reflect how much more fun it is to ride around the
Eventually this road turns into historic US 66 which is an incredibly straight road that runs downhill about 10 miles from the outskirts of
From there it is just down the long straight hill. Lots of traffic, stop lights, entering cars and similar obstacles. There are three lanes in my direction with no shoulder so I ride in the middle of the right lane. I decide to stop the stupid drivers, of which there seems to be no shortage, from passing too close. It works, and nobody seems to get mad at me so while they may be bad drivers, they are nice bad drivers.
The road is lined with miles of motels. The going rate seems to be 29.95 per day, though that may require a weekly rental. I am amused by all of this and also by the destruction of the Economy Motel on the left of the street. Still, for all its run down appearance there are not that many places that seem to be out of business. It just looks like business has never been that good.
I finally reach
I started on July 4, the same day as the Tour de France, but they still have a day to go, and still will not go as far as I have. I look at the times and have to laugh – 81 hours, I can do way better than that, why I must have at least 200 under my belt by now. Gosh, I’m as good as a whole team. Still I will follow the end – it looks like Lance Armstrong has been a good team player and will help Alberto Contador to victory.
I am off the road, and into real life mode again. Or maybe not, I am writing this in a Laundromat as I wait for my clothes to dry. Who knows what tomorrow holds.
Total Distance 2425 miles. Average daily 110, riding daily 116.