This should have been a fairly easy day. Only 35 miles with a gradual incline for the first 20 miles with the ride ending on a downhill.
Wrong! Just to make it interesting, we had a 20 + MPH head wind. To combat this head wind the three of us got in a pace line and took turns pulling for a mile at a time. (A pace line is when we ride in one single line and each rider follows directly behind the rider in front of him, so the person in front of you front is breaking the wind so you can rest). This is almost like NASCAR. We are separated by only 2 to 3 feet. This makes a big difference. True Team Work!
Ed had bike problems today and they worked on it once we arrived in camp but it will take someone with more tools and experience to fix it. Tomorrow Ed will be riding one of the support person’s bike. It will be hard getting used to a new bike on a 90 mile ride.
Tonight we are camping in a RV park. It has showers and a laundry room. It is amazing how fast we accumulate dirty clothes.
Today’s stop at McDonald’s was a little unusual. We arrived at 6:30am and the place was packed. It was located in the enter city so there were a lot of homeless people there. One thing we found unusual was they did not have a soft drink machine where you could serve yourself. Although they were very busy, their service was fast. Before we went in we locked our bikes together, because the bikes created a lot of interest.
Once on the road, we spent about the next 20 + miles riding on El Paso city streets. One difficulty we run into when riding in cities is trying to get everyone thru stop lights together. The leaders had to stop occasionally so the others could catch up. During this section there were 5 of us together. The roads had good shoulders so we had plenty of room to ride.
Our first rest stop of the day was unusually long, 31 miles. This was due to the route, it was on a gradual downhill and fairly easy to ride. This trend continued thru rest stop #3 at Esperanza.
Then our climb began. It wasn’t very steep, just long and the last 20 miles on I-10 and we exited at Sierra Blanca. This was our longest day to date and we were all exhausted.
Here we stopped at the city park, where our support staff announced we had just completed the first 1000 miles of the ride. To celebrate the support staff prepared and served us fajitas. After dinner we moved to the First Untied Methodist Church of Sierra Blanca for the night.