After Ron fixed two more flats this morning at the motel, we left Van Horn, Tx. in 47 degree temperatures. Out came the leg warmers again for the first segment of the trip on a rough chip seal frontage road along I-10 for 21 miles. We dropped the leg warmers and some other extra clothing and then had to ride on I-10 for 17 miles up into the Davis Mountains. The traffic wasn’t too bad and the road surface was smooth, but the shoulder was full of many pieces of steel belted truck tires which is what had caused one of Ron’s flats this morning. Rick met us with the van and trailer at the Kent, Tx. exit and we ate our homemade sandwiches at an old schoolhouse. As soon as we left our lunch stop, we started climbing even more on the remaining 52 miles. The wind was not friendly on this part of the ride! The climbs averaged 3-6% for the next 20 miles and then moved into the 8-11% range for the next 20 miles up to the top. On the way up we met a self-contained rider going the opposite way. His name was Curtis Hollerback and we are guessing he had at least 75 pounds of gear on his bike. He has been on the road for three years riding all over the U.S. So STCR widows, our seven week adventure is really not that long is it???
Finally we got relief and were able to fly down the grade to the Ft. Davis Inn & RV Park. We drove on into Ft. Davis for supper at the Old Texas Inn. Some of the riders were hungry for a “Cowboy Cut Ribeye”. –Bob
The cool morning gave way to a warm day. The riding after lunch was about too much climbing for my skinny legs to handle. I was looking for a few lower gears that my bike kept telling me I didn’t have. When the McDonald Observatory came finally into view I knew there wouldn’t be much more. My hopes came true with some extensive down hill runs. Roger and I both topped out over the previously set speed for the crew as we plummeted to the bottom. Another fine day for the books. –Phil