Lordsburg to Silver City, NM
BRRRRRRRR! It was 38 degrees when we left Lordsburg, we bundled up and headed out. 48 miles today, most climbing. Whenever you have lots of climbs there are a few miles of descents thrown in, just to give you a moment to thank God, and refresh for a moment. And I have to tell you they typically arrive at the moments that you need it the most.
I would describe the climbs as going up stairs — have you climbed several flights of stairs that twist and turn, and at one point think that you are at the top, but when you arrive there is another flight? Each time we climbed and made it to the “crest”, we were often greeted with another climb.
So many challenges so far on this trip – and another “first” occurred 5 miles out! My first flat! So if you picked New Mexico for my first flat – you are correct! Having my first flat on day 13 was actually pretty lucky for me — there are a few that have had multiple flats already, and one person that has had 5!!! I pulled over and we started to work the flat, I was so stressed out! I know how to fix it, but I had not ever actually done it (note to self: next time practice, practice, practice) . Another rider stopped and the three of us started to make progress.
Adding to my stress is the fact that I am typically at the tail end of the group – so there is not a lot of help that is going to come upon me, plus I get stressed about the fact that I am going to be further behind.
The cavalry arrives — first to stop was a Lordsburg police officer to see if we were okay. Very nice to touch base with the local law enforcement 🙂 . And then out of the distance, the WomanTours van and trailer is approaching – they were heading into Silver City and pulled over. Carol once again saved the day, or at least saved us time as she was able to get me up and running very quickly.
The tires that I am running are GatorSkins – and they are a bit thicker than the typical road tire, so they are a bit more difficult to wrestle with. Tomorrow on my rest day, I am going to practice changing my tire in the parking lot a few times so that I will be able to do it all by myself!!!
The next 10 miles were grueling. The road ahead looked flat, but it is what is called a false flat. Because you are working to get up the incline in a lower gear, and when you think your legs are going to fall off you stop and look back and realize that you have been climbing for miles. Plus after 8 days of riding, I was gassed.
One of the highlights of the day was arriving at the Continental Divide! I was whooping it up at the top!
I had to work to get out of my head – I kept thinking this is the hardest thing that I have ever done, and I think that contributed to making each pedal rotation even more difficult. After the first SAG stop, I worked to accept that it was going to be a long, hard slow day. Between 15 and 30 miles I was able to find a better place emotionally, as I realized that this in fact has been the hardest thing I have every done physically, but it is truly not the hardest thing I have ever done.
In a few days, it will be my friend, Canaan’s anniversary of when he left us and earned his angel wings. A true warrior during his battle with Nueroblastoma. On March 23 when I arrive into El Paso, I will honor his cowboy spirit with a dedicated blog post.
For today, I will share that the most difficult thing that I have ever had to do was honor his life by delivering his eulogy. When your dearest friend asks you to do this – how can you refuse. I have been blessed with the ability to speak publicly, and was that obnoxious kid in third grade that always wanted to read out loud. I did not have that fear that many have, but that does not mean it was easy. It took everything that I had to not lose it during the reading.
I am heading into a rest day tomorrow and it is well needed. Laundry, trip to bike shop and catch up on emails and thank you notes. And speaking of thank you notes – I have more to write, but I need more people to send them to — If you have been thinking about making a donation to Make A Wish on behalf of my ride – please take the time to go to the top of this page and select the Donate to Make a wish tab. Your donation can help make a wish come true for a deserving wish family