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Blog 174 Carrizozo to Roswell

29th March

Carrizozo had two gas stations, an Express Mart, Maisie B’s Diner and a couple of motels of which mine was really very nice. It was a well serviced cross road and as Roswell was on the 380 East it was an important junction. I had a SSW wind forecast, cross to slightly behind, tyres up, 3 spare tubes, here we go again.

There were several long rises up to the Rio Hondo watershed at Indian Divide. Strong southerly winds funnelled through the valleys and turned into the direction that would advantage me completely. I didn't need my engine and pedalled free. to be completely behind me. I’m riding with the wind sufficiently for me not to have to use my engine. As the motor was limited to 25kph, with a wind I was faster without it on the flat.

30 miles done when I have a front wheel blow out, the tyre and innertube deflate so quickly I'm on the rim before I get a chance to stop. Beside the road flanked by a small canyon wall I remove the wheel and examine the problem, it's obvious that an old patch has blown off. Did I keep the tyres too soft so as to accommodate this problem thereby engendering an extra surface area of tyre to touch the ground and that attracts more debris and sharp metal filings. Pump in too much air to reduce this risk and sometimes a patch previously used to repair a recent separates from the tube. I kept checking, all day stopping to get the feel of the pressure of the tyres. I'm out from the plain to a small ravine, cliff faces, falling rocks and then it blows. Almost a blow out. I stopped and replaced it with the best tube I repaired last night and off I set off again.

The absolute joy of being in magnificent scenery blown along by hurricane to a place I want to see, and get new tyres. Speeding down the hills, the telegraph poles were passing less slowly. It’s a relative thing speed. Bicycles are rudimentary vehicles but within the context of folk lore and how far you can travel on one they are unrivalled as a machine that can carry a human.

I rode on and on, over the lumpy hills, bush vegetation, stunted growth trees, on a road that was dispiritingly short on comprehensive scenery. Already I miss the hills, the corners, coffee shops and somewhere to hang out with people, but highway 308 America is not like that.

At 41 miles there is a narrow valley basin, scratchy farming, rusty water sprinklers. I see bushes on hills evenly spaced to maximise the efficiency of the land. Where the 70 merges with the 360 east I’m now on a well marked four lane grey top. Armco is rusty so could not be so new. Ronnie Silver Dollar, At the small town of Riverside the buildings are all abandoned, white goods strewn in fields, The Windmill Store, once a shining example of how to keep a dream alive is now decrepit, dors and shutters banging. The prettiness of the morning ride has gone. 

I made for the bike shop which turned out to be similar to the 'Dr Bicycle' set up in Perth. Just one guy called Daniel to go through everything, replace, re-fashion but to just make it so everything works. I asked him what he thought about cycling.

Daniel Cederburg about 'cycling'.

If you're passing through Roswell, this is the bike shop to go to - in cat, it's the only one. It's basically a 'Doctor Bicycle' shop - can fix almost anything, good supply of tyres and tubes.

At the bike shop (Moon Rock Outfitters) Daniel Cederburg cleans the rear cassette, changes the chain, cleans the hubs, new cables, fitted the derailleur hanger is added. A squirt of sealant is pumped into these heavy duty innertubes. Tyres of choice and they are not even a sponsor, and Schwalbe Mountain High tyres, the same I used since Athens when I punctured once in 10,000 miles. 

Map of the Day

Postcard from Home

It's snowy around my home at Tyntwll Farm in Wales. The snow is rarely deep and doesn't stay on the ground for long, but the contours of the mountains and nooks and crannies of the hillside dramatically stand out.

Through the kitchen window

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