Monday, June 22, 2009

Great Divide Mountain Bike Route Update #3

Still hanging onto your seats waiting to find out whether I made it or not? Weirdo! Ok, I did....sorta. The 1st day out of Grants was glorious. Cloudy, but no rain. No water either! All the reliable water sources were either dry or gone completely. After 70 miles of super eroded trails through a fantastic desert landscape, I had to climb over a 10" tall barbed wire fence to get to a pump in the middle of nowhere (don't ask) . Theif!!!!

So after a splendid sunset at camp that night, the rain came. Drat! It continued through the next morning while I rode the last 30 miles of clay soiled roads into the town of Cuba. The moist clay shot up off my tires like pellets, sticking to everthing, and in particular to my drive train, rendering it semi-functional.

So my bike and I limped into Cuba and got a motel room for the night. Let me tell you a little about Cuba, NM. A seedy highway stop between Albuquerque and nowhere, this town boasts several flea bag motels, some gas stations, lots of nothing, and a restauant famous the state over for the best New Mexican food around. Strange, yet true. So I checked into my motel room. Let's be honest. I stunk. The room smelled worse. There was a bed (luckily), a semi-sanitary bathroom with a heavily leaking shower, a tv that got zero channels, and two books on a table. The books included the ubiquitous Gideon's Bible, and the equally ubiquitous Hmong-English-Hmong dictionary. As most of you know, I am not Christian and am perfectly fluent in Hmong. So, alas, I had no use for either.

I went to the restaurant, El Bruno, for lunch. I ordered the "Fiesta Platter For Two". I ate the "Fiesta Platter For Two". Later I did a #2 with the "Fiesta Platter For Two", then went about town serching for a book to read, as I finished my last one. There was this variety store, which sold everything from 90's hip hop cd's to glass smokin pipes to oil of oley. They had a small bookshelf of books for $1. And what a selection it was. I passed up on "Combines: The How to Guide", "How to Fix Your Marriage In 90 Days" and "Classic Fords: 1979-1986" and chose a biography of Mikhail Gorbochev, that was apparently written for and by a 7 year old. Ah well.

So on from Cuba, yesterday I rode 65 miles and learned all about Mikhail Gorbochev. The first 45 miles were up hill, and the last 20 were down a seriously rugged 4 wheel drive track. My poor bike was bounced around (sorry, if anyone has a good analogy, please insert it here) something that really get's bounced around. Boy.

Last night after another gorgeous sunset, the skies yet again opened and let the good lord pee on me and my fabulous tent. But hey, no more clay soils....hoorah.

So here I sit in the library in El Rito, NM. For those of you who don't speak Spanish as well as I do, El Rito loosely translates as "The Rito".

OK, enough of this nonsense. Oooh, by the way, as I blog, I try to write in the style of the book I currently am reading. Last book was Kurt Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions" (ahhhh, now I see why you're such a schmuck, says the reader). Next up: Beowulf.

Colorado in 2 days. BOOM.


  1. What's the Hmong word for hilarious?

  2. Bounced like a pit bull in the cab of a pickup truck during a monster truck ralley.

    Having fun keeping up with the ride Daniel. Just about to start a workshop in Central Oregon and given the blue skies and high desert air, it's really hard for me to imagine rain right now.

    Farrah and Jacko arrive at the pearly gates and Peter says"..." You finish the joke you've got the time.

    Have a great trip, and get back safely where you'll be Hmong friends.

    p.s. extra points if you can name my pic.

    "Camper" Dave