Day 17: Somewhere east of Las Vegas to Tucumcari, NM

82 miles, 2211 feet climbed

Today’s ride was shortened from 109 miles due to the fires to the north of Las Vegas. For the same reason, instead of riding from Santa Fe to Las Vegas yesterday, we spent another rest day in Santa Fe. I’m not complaining because Melanie and I had more time to spend together before she drove back to Albuquerque to fly home.

So we began by loading into the SAG fleet, augmented by two rental passenger vans and drove about 2 hours towards our designated starting point at what would have been the first SAG. Had we ridden to Las Vegas, it looks like it was all on frontage roads, avoiding I-25. We shared the same views from the vans.

At the starting point at an abandoned gas station, we unloaded. The early birds set out ahead of the main group. I had a pinched inner tube from my efforts on Saturday to seek and remove any wires that would eventually lead to a flat. When I pumped up my rear tire to full pressure, it blew a minute later. Dana quickly inserted a new tube and all was well.

I’m glad the ride was truncated because we faced pretty strong headwinds or crosswinds the whole way. You can see a lot of downhill on the profile but the winds pretty much negated it, either by pushing back or by being too gusty to allow us to take advantage of the gravitational boost.

In the Vanpool
Starting point
Looking forward from the starting point
Bits of straw embedded in the guardrail support post where the above picture was taken. Only this single post seemed to have them.