Monday, April 20, 2015

Day 30 Clovis, NM to Plainview, Texas

Today started for me at 2:30 am. I awoke sick to my stomach.   Was up again 3-4 times before crawling out at 6:30 am to attempt eating breakfast. I had some oatmeal and yogurt and hoped for the best.

We took off at about 10 minutes before 8:00 am and faced our first bout of rush hour traffic in a long time. . I was struggling to ride.It was cold. My bones ached.  Everything felt out of place and I was tempted to pull over and just lay down.  But I didn't. I just held on to Don's wheel and hoped things would settle down.

We soon found ourselves stopped at a train crossing. As the train cars whirled by, we could see a sign on the the other side of the road: "Texas state line".

No "Welcome to Texas."

The first sign we saw in fact said "Don't Mess with Texas, Up to $5,000 fine for littering".  I made sure my candy wrappers were well tucked in my pocket.

We then rode into the city of Farwell. Don kept reading it as farewell and was worried that they wanted us to leave.

Eventually we did see a "Welcome to Texas" sign and we stopped for selfie.

The road shoulder was nicely paved and wide. No complaints there. It was a bit unnerving that the speed limit on this 2 lane highway was 75 MPH, but cars gave us tons of room.

At about 10 miles, Dennis drove by and stopped. I got off my bike and laid down in the back of the vehicle. Dennis then offered me some Pepto Bismo he had stopped to pick up at Walgreens. Dennis is truly a great mother hen! Really looking after us.  I took a dose and felt better but still couldn't shake the queezy feeling.

Don and I then rode on, alternating back and forth to give each other a break from the wind. I certainly did more drafting than he did and really appreciated the help. We rode through Muleshoe and then worked our way over to Earth, Texas.

We stopped a a gas station in Earth.  The cashier was curious about us and Don handed him a HAA card. He seemed impressed. We then rode on a bit and found some picnic tables and stopped for lunch.

I was able to eat my sandwich but still felt ill. We did some stretching and then back on the road.
I'm still struggling...

We stopped with about 20 miles to go and refueled. I found a small real Coke in the cooler and drank it up. I never drink Coke. But I did today and it settled my stomach almost instantly...We then gave Dennis the go ahead to head for the hotel.

As we were riding, and fighting the increasingly strong cross and head winds,  I saw some sort of farm equipment coming up behind us. It straddled both the road and the shoulder so I hollered out to Don to move as far to the right as possible. The vehicle gave us good clearance and as it passed us, I thought, I wonder if we could draft behind it.

We tried and soon found out it was the ideal draft vehicle. It sat up so high, we could see the road ahead and it completely knocked out the wind. Even better, the driver held a constant 21.9 MPH pace. It was almost effortless. He carried us for 20 miles, all the way to our hotel. Considering how bad I had been feeling this was a most welcome gift. You can see the effect of this in Garmin data uploaded to Strava: (Power is down, speed is up and steady) HR is down).

So now we are in Plainview and tomorrow is a true day off. My body needs it. Legs and lungs are good but everything else needs some R&R.


  1. Clovis, NM to Plainview, TX was predicted to be just a slightly shorter version of our ride from Santa Rosa to Clovis, pretty much same SE wind that punished. The wind was there from start, not as strong at first but it didn't take long for it to get to 15 - 20 mph. Game plan was not to fight, just try to push through at a decent, sustainable wattage, somewhere around 150. I knew Dave was hurting so I tried to pitch in as much as I could. We were getting miles in but they were rolling by as quickly as we had grown accustomed to but it was all manageable. What a treat to have that hay bailer pass us 20 miles out of Plainview. It was the perfect vehicle to draft behind. I'm thinking the hay bailer driver knew we were drafting, as we were in his rear view mirror the whole way. We waved at him as we turned onto the road our hotel was on, but saw no reaction from the driver, so maybe he never saw us. Will enjoy and use our off day tomorrow wisely.


  2. Wow, sorry to hear you weren't feeling well today, Dave. Do you think it was something you ate, or a flu? I'm impressed you would still put in a full day's ride despite not being up to par. You're really determined to ride every mile across America, aren't you? Very impressive! Hope you feel better soon.

  3. Yuck ... sorry to hear you're not feeling well ( I'll share my story one day :) ) Glad the coke helped and that you were able to draft behind whatever that was! Looking forward to a better day tomorrow. Btw ... any update on Sean?

  4. Hope today you are feeling better Dave. A rest day is good!

  5. Hope today you are feeling better Dave. A rest day is good!

  6. Dawna, Sean is doing much better. Out of the hospital and back home. He plans to join us in Dallas. Can't wait!

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