Day 13: Grants to Albuquerque, NM

79 miles, 1686 feet climbed

Another day with less Interstate, more frontage roads. I had two flats while on the Interstate, one a 1-inch nail which deflated my tire in a second, the other a slow flat from a tire wire. A SAG van was close for each, allowing me to use a floor pump to bring the tire pressure up to a full 100 lbs rather than the 70-80 lbs I can achieve with my fame pump.

Coming in to Albuquerque was a steady downhill, beginning at the edge of the developed area. As I was putting my camera away, a blast of tailwinds hit, pelting the back of my legs with sand. A dust spiral formed to my right and I ended up following it down the hill, slowing at times so I didn’t get enveloped by it.

After crossing the Rio Grande, the rest of the route to the hotel was slightly uphill. A theme that will continue tomorrow as we leave for Santa Fe. Luckily my room was available right away and I was able to clean up and then take a Lyft to meet Melanie, helped also by her flight being an hour late. She’ll be joining us until Sunday.

Now is a good time to mention a change in our itinerary. If you’ve been following the fire situation in New Mexico, you’re wondering how we could ride to and stay in Las Vegas, NM. It turns out that we won’t be. Our hotel there cancelled our rooms, expecting to either be evacuated, or needing the rooms for firefighters. So we’re taking two rest days in Santa Fe. On Monday, staff will shuttle us to a point east that allows us to ride to Tucumcari and continue the rest of the tour on schedule.

Evidence of past volcanic activity
Uphill after 2nd SAG towards rim above Albuquerque