Day 18: Ft. Hancock to Van Horn, Texas – 72 miles

A nice rollout from Ft. Hancock with the group I rode with yesterday. A great group of experienced riders. The countryside continued to be vast, agricultural and beautiful. We saw horses and cattle.

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The road rose again and we climbed some more. After the first SAG stop the group took  a break in a good spot in the climb. The climbs can go on for miles. My roommate noticed a wobble in my wheel. I checked the rim and it had broken and failed at 27+ miles today.

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My day was done. I got a SAG RIDE into lunch and found out the tour mechanic and staff have a loaner wheel I can use for tomorrow. I got dropped off at the El Capitan Hotel in Van Horn to my loving wife.

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The group had to be rerouted for the night after a report of 55+ mph winds tonight. No camping in Van Horn. They will stay in the gym at Valentine, Texas. Tomorrow is another day. Peace. The littlest free wheeler.

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Day 17: El Paso to Ft. Hancock , Texas – 57 miles

A short hilly but beautiful roll out of El Paso. We went through the downtown section that had lots of construction and detours. There was tons of road work. Not much time here it was sort of a shame. Stopped at a Valero gas station and was mobbed by people asking about the ride. First SAG stop at huge ranch market in outskirts of El Paso. Great market. More road construction after the SAG. Pecan groves all over. More headwind today but riding with a big group. Lunch in Fabens, Texas. Great steak tacos.  It is official my wife is in the state of Texas heading to Van Horn. The earth is back on its axis.

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Day 15: Columbus, New Mexico – REST DAY

Our second rest day of the trip. We had another hour or so to sleep and eat a later breakfast. We went to the Pancho Villa State Park for a lecture about Pancho Villa’s impact on Colombus, New Mexico. Basically a local hardware owner promised to purchase arms for Pancho and he gave him $50,000 to do it with. The hardware guy did not give Pancho his guns so he raided Columbus killed 10 including the hardware guy and burned some buildings to the ground.  The lecturer was a WW II vet pilot that gave a long talk about the First Aero Squadron that was in Columbus in 1916-1917. Nice guy. Cool museum.

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We then went to the border and went to eat lunch at the Pink House in Palomas, Mexico. The town is also known for cheap dentistry and dentures and some pharmaceuticals. The town had a great laid back vibe. I took a walk away from the group and found the park with a bandstand and a beautiful Catholic Church.

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I prayed for everyone.  Pink Store had great food, music and all kinds of Mexican art.

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A busy but good rest day.
Muerte Rider

Day 14: Rodeo to Columbus, New Mexico – 95 miles

Huge long day out of Rodeo to Columbus with a great tailwind. Actually did 92 miles today. It was great except the last 3 miles. The desert which is vast and now incredibly remote. Remnants of rabbits and vultures with big open sky. We had lunch in Huachita, New Mexico.

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The only place to have it. There was an abandoned church that really must have been something in the day.

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Columbus offered us a new school for two nights with a rest day that included A trip to Palomas, Mexico and the Pink Store. A visit to Pancho Villa State Park. Glad this one was in the books. No way to do this until now.

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Day 12: Tombstone to Douglas, Arizona – 50 miles

A beautiful roll out from Tombstone. A quick stop through the fun historic downtown. A kitschy scene but looked fun. Off we went after that. We had been told of our ascent of the highest elevation of the tour. 5885 feet. It was the toughest hill of the tour, prior to rolling into the very cool hippy tourist town of Bisbee, Arizona, the Queen of copper camps. Great old buildings and stores. It is the home of the Bizbee Bicycle Brothel. A great collection of bikes and accessories. Incredible L’Eroica bicycles. A nice downhill out of Bisbee into Douglas and the great historic Gadsden Hotel. Middle of nowhere. No pics today. Peace.

Day 11: Tucson to Tombstone, Arizona – 73 miles

Huge climbing day right out the shoot rising out of southeast Tucson. The climbing was beautiful and STRENUOUS. It seemed like I bonked during this first 25 miles of climbing. It was hard.

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3700 feet of climb.  The scenery did change and the Sonoran desert is gone because the mighty Saguaro is gone.

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More mechanical problems with the seat post. Called Carl and with his guidance and my roommate seemed to be fixed. Tired blogger, short post.