Friday, April 17, 2015

Day 27: Albuquerque to Moriarty or California Rookies saved by New Mexico Love!

Today started of nicely with a good New Mexico breakfast and a later than normal start. 41 miles ahead of us, sunny sky and rapidly warming temperatures.

We were met at our hotel by Brian  Rashap, John Woods, Gavin Flury, and Ira, a recent transplant from Austin. We rolled out a few minutes past 10 am and enjoyed a nice ride through the UNM campus, quaint neighborhoods and some nice trails.

About 200 meters from our first meet-up point at the Four Hills Shopping Center the first hint of problems to come came when Diana  (Dedi) announced the dreaded "FLAT" word.  Hers was a slow leak so we gave her tire a shot of CO2 and off she went. I looked at my tires and saw not one but two flats. I also tried the CO2 blast and it got me about 100 meters from the meeting point. That was a waste of a good CO2 cartridge. Oh well... So I walked over to the center and was greeted by lots of happy faces. Great turn out!

Waiting for us are Jim Ryan, Diana Fehrenbach, Kenny Black, Scott Noren, Burt Schippers and Susan Rehrig. I think I'm missing at least one more...And most importantly we also were met by Eric Bock driving a second SAG wagon.

After some quick hellos, I  quickly went to work on my tires. My front tire had at least 6 goat heads in it and since the tire was close to being ready for replacement, I just ditched it along with the poor tube  full of pinholes. The rear tire only had one goat head that I could find so it was put back to use with a new tube.

Gavin hung back with me and the two of us pace lined up the hill to catch up with the rest of the group. He noted though that his tire was slowly leaking but hoped it would make it to the next stopping point.

We reached this area and waited for the rest of the riders. Just as we were ready to leave,  Don and John discover their tires are flat. This gives Gavin the chance to also fix his tire. John gets his flat fixed but the tube blows out and he was back to ground zero.  So the count is so far, 7 flats.

Finally we are all good to go and the team takes off again. About 3 minutes into the ride, Dedi  announces FLAT! Here we go again.

I pull out a latent goat head, replace her tube and once again we are off.

This time no further mechanicals await us. Only cold cross winds and little by little Don and I start feeling the chill and regret having left our leg warmers and jackets in the van. Lesson learned: Watch the locals and emulate them!

We eventually reach Moriarty and as we get within striking distance of our motel (Sunset Motel) our route tells us to hang a left, jump a fence, and ride through some fields which I'm sure are full of more nasty goat heads. We wisely ignore these cues and head back to the main road. A 1/4 mile later Scott spots the hotel, I see the van, and we are all smiles.

The motel is not much to look at but it lives up to its bill of a "Classic Route 66 Motel". Easy access, big rooms, clean, great heater and powerful hot water. Oh yes, and clean towels!

Shortly after we arrived, Eric showed up with a bag of presents for us. It contained about 6 presta valve  tubes with removable cores, 2 Stans sealant vials and a large reservoir of Stans sealant.  I asked how much we owed him. And he smiled and replied "Nothing. This is just a bit of New Mexico love."

We've learned our lesson! Thank you Eric!

We all then took some more photos, bid farewell to our local riders who piled into to Eric vehicle, and wished Gavin and Scott the best as they rode out back over the hills. Yikes.

Don, Dedi, Dennis and I then snacked on left overs, decided on an early 5pm dinner and I went to work on laundry, hot bath, and uploading video and photos.

Here are some photos  taken by Dennis as we all rolled along..

and for those of you with the fortitude to read all the way to the bottom, here's a short video clip, also courtesy of Dennis!

Dinner time is around the corner and lots to do in preparation for tomorrows ride to Santa Rosa.

Until then,



  1. Despite all the flats (7!), it sounded like a good day. I hope they don't have those nasty goat heads in Texas!

  2. Boy, were we schooled today. Felt like a rookie. We were politely told at the Intel Health Fair/Heart Across America event yesterday that we should put slice in tube to be ready for the goat heads. I thought we got this far without the need, so why bother now. Well, today was an awakening that it is wise to take the advice of locals. Thanks for the "New Mexico love" and support from all that joined us today. Truly, a memorable day. And as always, thanks to Dennis for all the great photos and SAG.


  3. It was a great day and a pleasure for us, and the folks from the New Mexico Touring Society that also joined us, to be even a small part of your epic cross-country adventure for a great cause.
    Ride strong, be safe and know that a bunch of us in NM will be cheering you along the way!

  4. It was great riding with you all today! Thanks for your help with the flats in Cedar Crest :) Don, Dave, Scott, and Gavin, thanks for your encouragement all the way to Moriarty. Dedi, it was fun meeting a fellow Lobo who's now a Californian. Dennis and Eric, thanks for the SAG support and ride back. Like Kenny said, it was great to be a small part of your epic journey for a great cause!

  5. We can totally relate. We had a total of 8 flats in a week when we biked in New Mexico a few years ago.

  6. It was a pleasure and a privilege to ride this leg of your epic journey with you across the US, raising awareness of heart attack and stroke. Continue to ride strong and safe!
    Susan Rehrig