About : RAAM

Deming, NM 135.7m*

It seems like I typically start these with some side comment. Todays – though it seems like there might not be much going on when youre sitting on a bike 9 or 10 hours a day, Im actually quite busy all the time. Gotta get started early to make the mileage, cant take any naps during the day, next town is 40 or 50 or 60 miles away and unless I want to waste a lot of time or sleep next to the interstate in the desert, gotta get there, gotta regroup, gotta do these updates. Im going from 6am to 10pm or later every day.

This is a bad picture of all my stuff laid out in the morning. Id rather sleep to the last minute, so I try to prepare the night before (after doing the updates).

It was a good riding day today. Bryan and I made up for the short mileage day yesterday with a personal best for Bryan. 135.7 miles, and it wasnt as difficult as it might sound. We started at 7AM and finished at 5:30PM, and could and would have gone father if the next hotel wasnt 52 miles down the road. Sunny day, tail and cross winds only.

We started out with three valleys (out here this means a 5 mile downhill, 10 mile flat, 5 mile uphill. Most of the day was on the shoulder of the Interstate, but we went through a variety of small rural towns.

This is Bowie, AZ. It has perhaps 6 motels, 4 gas stations, 10 or 20 shops, and a handful of restaurants – all closed. Before they built the interstate, around 1973, it was probably a thriving little community. Now these towns have been replaced by collections of franchised operations centered around every 2nd or 4th freeway entrance/exit (which are, out here, 15-25 miles apart.). Where they still exist, no one drives the old 2 lane federal highways, and they are falling into disrepair. Note that there are no visible people on the main street of this town, at 10 AM on a Sunday morning. We let our bikes take a rest here, and rode through, a little saddened.

We stopped at a rest stop just before the border, and took a picture of the plaque dedicating it Percy Jones, a genius highway locator for Arizona.

(Hope you can read or enlarge and read this. Its kind of hard to understand the genius part. The roads are either long, flat and straight from low point in ridge to low point in ridge, and/or located right next to railroad tracks probably originally laid by the Southern Pacific in the 1880s.) We crossed into New Mexico.

The whole day was in high desert, between 4,000 and 5,500 feet or so. Not much scenery except mountains and flatlands.

We were supposed to say in Lordsburg, 100 miles away from Willcox, tonight. But it was only 74 miles away (?) and Bryan has to make it to El Paso, rent a car, drive back to Tucson, and fly back east tomorrow night, so we photoed the Lordsburg sign, ate at their Arbys, and pressed on.

At 104 miles into the day we came to the continental divide. This was a real letdown because it was in the midst of a slow, steady, (undifferentiated) 30 mile climb into Deming, and because there was no well deserved downhill.

Thats Bryan taking a picture of me taking a picture of him and the sign. We quenched our disappointment at a Dairy Queen 113 miles into the day, and then almost raced into Deming.

Greetings from Bob and Bryan. More to follow!

PS. The day was also marked by things falling off my bike. One of my two water bottle holders simply broke (metal fatigue of some sort?) and my mirror also fell off.

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