Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Quemado to Grants

I went to be last night a bit worried. The day's ride had sapped all my energy and I was sore everywhere. With no internet or phone service  I was also not sure if my phone would adjust to Mountain time sometime in the night or not. To be safe I set my alarm for 5:30 am and hoped for the best.

It was daylight when the alarm went off so I was pretty sure it was 6:30 am. I got out of bed carefully and was surprised that I felt pretty good. Still a bit sore from the saddle but certainly better than the night before. I was not sure how well I would do if we faced another day of headwinds.

Within reason, I don't mind the wind but yesterday's experience got to me. All I could hear was the wind. The roaring sound alone gets to you when it's non-stop for 8 hours. It also makes it impossible to hear cars coming up behind you until they are pretty much at your side.

So hoping for the best, I joined Don and Dennis for breakfast. We asked about any markets or stores between Quemado and Grants and were told there were none. Yes, this next segment was going to be the most remote of all! The chef at the kitchen offered to make us sandwiches and we gladly accepted.

Don and I rode off a bit chilled but not as bad as yesterday. The air was thin and quiet. Yes, it looked like a tail wind. As we rode, it just got better and better. Beautiful views, sunshine, and virtually no traffic.

The road surface was not bad but chip seal gets pretty tiring over time, especially when moving quickly.  We both stopped after a few miles of this and deflated our tires down to about 80 psi. Seems so wrong to do this. But wow, what a difference. Felt like we were on smooth blacktop.

We  had planned for a water break at miles 20 and 60 with lunch at 40. But it was only 11 am at mile 40 and we decide to press on. We found a great lunch spot at mile 60. It was now 11:45 am. And we were in a great setting.
Check out the views...

I had ordered a cheese sandwich at the motel's restaurant and expecting nothing more than that was pleased to see two sandwiches and two cookies in the brown paper bag they had given me. The Largo Cafe and Motel definitely lives up to its high Yelp ratings.

 After lunch, we expected some head and cross winds and I decided to bring out my trusty Bike Friday, just to test it out and see how it would do.

Here are a couple of shots Don took:

It was fun but my legs were too used to my BMC so shortly after I went back to the big wheels.

Before we knew it, we hit I-40. Did I mention we ignored all the route cues that tried to put us on dirt roads and trails?

So now we had to backtrack several miles to get to Grants. We took the freeway and enjoyed the mixed blessing of all the big semis passing on our left. Scary but they sure provide a great tail wind!

In summary, another great day. Here's a link to the ride summary.  The number say it all: 83.7 miles with and average speed of 20.6 MPH.


  1. What a great today, mostly downhill with favorable to no wind. We were ripping through the miles, trading pulls and exchanging smiles. After yesterday brutal headwinds I thought there was good chance for another sufferfest today. What a pleasure surprise, we got to the hotel by 2:00, I got my laundry done while I enjoyed the pool and hot tub. Life is good


  2. I'm so glad to hear yesterday was a much better experience than the day before. The pictures of Dave on his Bike Friday make him look too big for that little bike, but I think it's just the camera angle.
    Have a good ride into Albuquerque! Amy and Dedi are on their way.