Reporting on: Thursday, May 21, 2009
Riding Route: From Grants NM to Albuquerque
Temp: 50-60 degrees - Winds:10 mph
Elevation Climb: 2700 feet
Miles Ridden Today: 75 (well, sort of)!
We were up at 5:30 am and walked about 1/3 mile to Denny's to have a Grand Slam breakfast! You can't believe how much I'm eating! Rain was in the forecast for the entire day and the hotel employees gave us shower caps to put over our helmets as we left in low 50 degree weather. Great idea, huh? It poured for the first hour! The roads were slippery, it was hard to see (especially for those of us with glasses) and our hands were c-o-l-d!
We completed about 30 miles on Route 66 - passing a few lost and forgotten towns! Traffic was minimal and it was an easy ride - especially when the rain eventually let up! (In fact it stopped after about an hour and we didn't feel another drop the rest of the day)! The picture above is typical of many of the buildings we have passed in the past several days. This is Budville! It was named for H.N. “Bud” Rice. The town began when Bud and his wife Flossie opened an automobile service, trading post, and tour operation in 1928. It was a full fledged business for the many travelers of Route 66 for many decades The store was held up by desperadoes in 1967 and unfortunately Bud was murdered. Flossie continued to run the family business for another 12 years before it closed for good. Now I can guarantee you "This Bud's NOT for you"!
After our first SAG stop we got back on Interstate 40 - BUT - there was road construction - and NO bikes were allowed! So we packed into the vans (6-8 at a time with the bikes on top) and were shuttled about 16 miles through the construction zone. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow! Tracy - our tour captain, did a great job! We then had 19 more miles on I40 and I have to tell you it just wore me out! We had a 2 foot riding area because the rest of the berm was like a washboard. You know - with the ruts in it to wake you up if you're dozing off! There seemed to be an inordinate amount of noise and smell from the big rigs - and they were traveling a 65+ mph about 2 feet from us...creating a draft that was a challenge to not get sucked into! Also, my legs just didn't have the same "juice" today!
The last 5 miles of the day were straight uphill - and as we crested the top we looked down into a huge valley...home of the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque! We rode through town and across the Rio Grande River! This is the second longest river in North America. It's second only in length to the Mississippi/Missouri River. We arrived at the hotel about 2:00.
We are losing 6 members of our riding team here. Many of our riders are still working full time - and 2 weeks was all the time they could take off! It's sad to see them leave us and I imagine it will change the dynamics our our group. Tonight a dozen+ of us went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in "Old Town" to bid them farewell! We have a couple of people joining our group here - and we're looking forward to getting to know them.
Tomorrow will be a challenging ride up to Santa Fe, NM. I'll be reporting on our route up the Turquoise Trail!