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Blog 175 Roswell to Brownfield

30th March

There is a back road out of Roswell which separated by several large fields of early spring grasses, maybe potato, this route parallels the high street except here there is a duck pond and a nice view of a sleepy sunrise and the quietness of a place without cars. 

The 380 is quiet by comparison to most of the roads I’ve ridden on and the hard shoulder is clean of debris. Given that my new tyres have a thicker skin it and the thicker walled innertubes are also filled with a fluid sealant, it gives me renewed confidence that they will not puncture.  I feel after several days of severe puncturing I can now focus on the riding.

The plains stretch out to the horizon and other than plains scrub, the beginnings of growth, road furniture and buildings I pass mostly in poor state of repair, abandoned there is nothing much to see. Often white painted metal gates indicate the entrance to a cattle ranch and the driveway disappears far into the distance. The wind has picked up and as it strengthens to push me along I can now use less and less power.

Everywhere I see the nodding donkeys pumping oil. Everywhere I smell it.

Tatum was small and halfway to Brownfield. At Tiny’s Burger Barn on the right as I entered into town I order a Philly-Steak sandwich, eat it quickly and I set off again, ever east until journeys end.

On the Road

Highway 380 has been a fascinating journey since I joined it off the 60 when I went past Pie Town. After the I-25 ends the journey of the 60, at San Antonio, that is where the 380 starts (or finishes) and halfway across Texas I'm still on it. I haven't spoken to many people and anything of very old archhitectural interest has been abandoned - affluence is not on the Main St. but further out of town; new buildings, hospitals, civic areas once more. Across the Plains the town's new prosperity has just moved further out of town whilst the old wooden shops, mostly empty and up for sale. This route has been for me a benign part of America, there is a general feeling of calm. The long straight roads don't make this area a magnet for cycling so by a margin of maybe hundred's of thousand's to one I am outnumbered by trucks and cars travelling on the same route and it magnifies my role in this story simply because we have the same view here that lasts 100 miles, for any other motorised vehicle this can be crossed in 90 minutes. On a bicycle it takes me all day.

Because roads are linked to transportation and communication hence telegraph poles and cable are like a lattice work keeping New Mexico together and as well as being closely attached to Texas. You’d need a very big field away from a road not to see something man made here. Whichever way you look and how hard you try not to see, a claim of ownership has been fought for, contested and protected, every single inch. Every parcel of land is fenced. Notices on gates offer stern warnings to trespassers as if by waiver of what could happen next.

The hard shoulder has debris and I ride on the white line that separates me from the line of travel, but what few cars and trucks pass, they all give me a respectful amount of space, but for cyclists it is really 'forgiven trespass on the road' because cars don't think bicycles should be there. Car drivers in America feel it's not just the car but the space it's in that governs the first rule of motoring out here to not get into that space, or appear you might.

I've bought Poweraid drinks and three cans of Monster. Some snacky strawberry filled biscuits and chocolate. Tomorrow I will ride 140 miles. Happy Easter Monday!

Map of the Day

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Wow, big ride today Nick! 👏 Are thoughts of home giving you more than usual extra surges...apart from the energy drinks's the final leg after all although still a fair way to go. What an accomplishment though so far Nick!! Respect! 👍🏼☕🍪

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