Thursday, June 18, 2009

Great Divide Mountain Bike Route Update #2

Grants NM.

Life is like a bucket filled with an mysterious liquid. Could be good. The above photo of the camera-shy cows was taken exactly .87 seconds before they charged me. Like linebackers, cows have large bodies, small brains, and short tempers. Unlike linebackers, some of them have horns. My escape was notable. Less so when the half dozen ranch dogs came after me a few days before. Riding uphill against the wind with 2 mongrels frothings and nashing on each side, my escape was nothing short of god-sent. The bastards.

But that's another story altogether.

The liquid in this bucket for the most part has been sweet. I have ridden just under 300 miles to date, much of which through glorious high desert.

Let me tell you about the wind here in NM. At around 2 in the afternoon, like an in-law on a Vespa, the wind comes shooting through life. Generally it points NE (unlike many in-laws and Vespas). The afternoon the dogs attacked me, my bike and I were staggering SW. The wind on it's vespa was not. Ouch.

Earlier that day, I discovered that the route was closed due to fires in the Gila National Forest. My options were: #1: to backtrack 40 miles, then ride a 150+ mile paved route around the forest to rejoin the route. #2: accept a ride in the back of a forest service pick up filled with friendly forest service employees for the 35 miles the route was closed, then keep riding. Uh, hello? Took the ride. So here it is. I did not ride every mile from Mexico to Canada. And quite frankly, I'm quite ok with that. This experience is just that. With the idiocy of fundamentalism released, I can have fun with the process. And the process has been swell.

Then I came upon my 1st resupply: Pie Town, NM. I could tell you all about Pie Town, but I won't. Or I can't. Or something.

The other thing I should mention is the summer monsoons that come up from Mexico. They deliver sudden volumes of water from the sky with the temperment of a cow on a vespa (ok, not really). Anyway, the problem for me is not the rain or the wind. The issue is that much of the route is on clay-soil forest roads that turn to pecan pie when wet. Who here has every ridden through pecan pie? Anyone? No, me either, and I have little intention of finding out. I squeezed through the 1st sections of clay roads with little rain, and have one more big stretch coming up today and tomorrow. The wisping clouds have returned, which means storms on the way. Yikes.
Time for me to stop blogging and check the weather.

Stay tuned next week to find out if I made it.


  1. hey - vivian's keeper played once in grants, nm. i wonder if you're hanging out in the same place we played.


  2. the library? then again, maybe you did hang there?

  3. didn't reckon there were too many places to hang out there. can't remeber where we played (some cafe), but i imagined they might have internet access by now.

    it's dry and pleasant here, by the way.