Bicycle Journey Progress

The journey begins on April 5th and ends on June 20, 2012

Ride Progress: COMPLETE!
Daily summaries:

sexta-feira, 25 de maio de 2012

Having lunch!

At a nice little restaurant in Ashfork, AZ!

Arrived in Ashfork, AZ!

This is a nice little city. We're now looking for a place to have lunch on. We want a local place, not a chain restaurant. Let's see what we can find!

On the way to Seligman, AZ!

Nice 15 miles of downhill until Ashfork, then 24 more to Seligman.

Day 43 – 05/15/2012 – Albuquerque, NM

The day started sunny and the temperature was very pleasant, but soon it rose significantly. The hotel owner was very nice and even made us an omelet with a local recipe. On our way out I took a picture with him:

As soon as we left the hotel we looked for a place to inflate my uncle’s rear tire properly. To our luck, there was an open tire shop right next to the hotel.

There we met two nice fellows who owned the tire shop. We started chatting and they told us about how proud they were to be natives of New Mexico, and that they considered Spanish to be their official language because that piece of land used to be Mexico. They also told us they were the only tire shop still opened in Moriarty, so we were lucky to be there.

After a few minutes, we said good bye and moved on. The next seventeen miles were hard. The elevation was tough and the sun was hot, which made it that much harder to progress. When we finally reached Edgewood city we looked for a place to eat and, as usual, found a Subway restaurant. The manager was very nice. He let us place the bicycles inside the store. We also got to talk and he asked to take picture together with us.

Just when we were returning to the road we noticed my front tire was flat: remove panniers, disassemble tire, change tube, find hole, apply patch, replace tube, assemble tire, inflate and attach panniers.

After this point the ride was smooth, we went downhill for pretty much the remainder of the course, the longest downhill stretch we got on this entire trip! As we approached Albuquerque’s urban area the landscape started to change. We started seeing mountains on both sides of the road and, looking behind, we could see the giant mountains we have crossed in this and the previous day.

We then stopped to navigate using the GPS and found a hotel on the West side of the city. Just as we were resuming the ride my uncle saw his front tire was flat. We fixed it and moved on.

We passed by a Walmart and stopped to get food, and then rode to the downtown section of Albuquerque. The place had welcoming feeling to it, with many restaurants and coffee shops. We were crossing through Central Ave, so we cut through the center of the city.

We arrived on the hotel very tired, so we tried to be quick in preparing to sleep but that didn’t really happen. We ended up sleeping close to midnight, and as usual when we sleep too little, that would affect my performance on the next day.

Day 42 – 05/14/2012 – Moriarty, NM

We woke up early this day in an attempt to leave the hotel early as well. As soon as we walked out of the room we saw it was raining. We had a nice breakfast at a local restaurant a few feet away from the hotel, and then came back to grab our bikes and start the ride. But as soon as we left the room we discovered my uncle’s front tire was flat.

We unassembled everything and fixed the tire, which took us a while since the hole was quiet hard to find. By this time the sun had appeared already.

We still had to inflate his tire properly, so we looked for a tire shop or a mechanic which had a compressor we could use. We saw a place called Steve’s Garage and decided to go in. To our surprise, they were building a custom car which had the cover of an vehicle from the 1950s, but with a Corvette engine! There were three friends working on it and we spent some good time chatting about the car and our journey.

After inflating the tire and saying good bye to the folks at the shop we finally were on our way towards Moriarty, our planned destination.

WE rode 40 miles pretty much straight without stopping for anything other than water. There wasn’t much to stop for anyways. When we completed these 40 miles we arrived at a nice convenience shop, and had lunch. To our surprise, on our way out we notice my uncle’s front tire was flat again. You know what happened next: disassemble, finding hole, apply patch, change tube, assemble tire, inflate tire.

We then were able to progress twenty more miles. My uncle noticed his front tire was getting flat again, so we added more pressure to arrive on the next gas station where we one more time fixed the tire.

By this time it was already almost dark and temperatures were dropping fast. I bought a warmer pair of gloves and put another jacket. My uncle also prepared to ride in the cold desert night with pants and thick gloves. We then left the gas station to complete the remaining twenty miles.

These last miles were hard. I was shivering and riding as fast as possible, but from time to time I would stop and wait for my uncle since he was not confident in his tires and riding slower. Suddenly I noticed we had reached the top of a mountain and our destination, which was still eighteen miles away, could be seen down in the valley. We rode downhill for the last miles, pretty much just concentrating in keeping the bicycle on track.

After about two hours riding in those conditions we arrived in Moriarty. We looked for the hotel location and saw there was a small shop where we could get food.

Guess what happened just before arriving in the shop… that’s right, one more flat tire. This time my uncle’s rear tire. We walked the bike to the shop, go some canned soups which were the only thing available that resembled diner, and then went outside again to fix the tire one more time.

Finally we were able to ride to the hotel and arrived about eleven thirty. The owner was very nice and received us very well. He promised to prepare us an omelet the following morning, and then handed us our hotel keys.

As soon as we got to the room we did everything we had to do as fast as we could and went to sleep. That was a very hard day, but one that we had to go through in order to approach our next destination, the city of Albuquerque.

Day 41 – 05/13/2012 – Unable to Proceed - Santa Rosa, NM

This day we had plans to wake up early, pack as soon as possible, go eat breakfast, inflate my front tire properly, get new bandages for my uncle’s injured knee and hit the road before 10am. Almost everything went according to the plan, except getting the breakfast. This day was mother’s day and almost every food store was closed. We ended up getting one sandwich to go, a bottle of chocolate milk and starting the ride without a proper meal in order to reach our destination before dusk.

My shoes were still very wet from the previous day's rain, so I wrapped them with plastic bags over the socks to keep them warm.

As soon as we started riding the rain started again and the temperature dropped. We pulled our rain coats and moved forward slowly. My uncle’s knee was hurting so we couldn't maintain the same average speeds we have been doing in previous days. I had forgotten my gloves in the previous hotel and my hands were freezing. We kept advancing this way for about nine miles, when we crossed paths with a gas station and decided to go check if they had gloves to sell.

We ended up eating and drinking a hot coffee too. Just when we were ready to leave the place a strong storm reached us and we decided to stay and wait before moving on. After a few minutes it intensified and heals started falling. In just a few minutes the parking lot was covered in little icy blocks.

We decided to have lunch and wait some more, but with all this delay and the fact we still had 70 miles to go we estimated we would only arrive 2am, if we had no flat tires. That summed up with the fact temperatures were very low resulted in two people agreeing to go back to Santa Rosa.

 We rode 7 miles back and found another cheap hotel to spend the afternoon and night. During this time we caught up in blog updates, washed the clothes, and went out to a local restaurant to have diner. We eat a giant pizza and had a good chat there, then came back and prepared to sleep.