TRIP 2003

Update #14 - March 24th
Las Cruces, New Mexico - 2421 miles (3874 KM)

There was no ride (bikewise) between Ozona, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico Right after I got done updating my website, I left the library in Ozona. When I got to the bike, I noticed that there was a strange kind of bulge on the front tire. The tread had a twist to it and there also seemed to be a flat spot. I walked to the First Baptist Church from the library. I had gotten permission to stay in the First Baptist Church before going to the library.

When I got inside the church, I took off the front wheel to check out the tire. There was no bulge in the tube and there was no hole in the tire. What I think had happened was that there was some kind of belt separation in the tread. It had to had happened because of the rough shoulders that I had to ride along. This belt separation had caused the twist in the tread. I tried several times to see if I could straighten out the twist but I couldn't. It would not be safe for me to ride on the tire especially along the shoulder of I-10. The I-10 corridor was my only real route to take between Sonora and El Paso.

I got up early and left the church around 7 a.m. I walked to the last western interchange for the interstate to see if I could get a ride west. After about two hours of trying to get a ride, four guys in a van picked me up. They were on the way to Las Vegas and I got dropped off in Fort Stockton. The First Baptist Church hosted me by getting me a room at one of the local motels.

During the night the wind really picked up. When I left the motel in Fort Stockton, the wind was coming from the west at around 25 m.p.h. It was a struggle to walk the bike to the interstate. When I got to the interstate, a hispanic couple in a pick-up truck stopped to see if I needed any help. They offered to take me as far as Van Horn. I had to sit in back since there was no room in the truck cab. We zipped along the interstate going over 70 m.p.h. Along the way, there was quite a few dust storms.

It was around 11 a.m. when I got dropped off in Van Horn. I opted to stay in Van Horn for the rest of the day so that I could be able to attend the Wednesday night service at one of the local churches. Near the east end of Van Horn, there was a motel that had rooms for just $18. The rooms were really good at that price. That evening, I went to the First Baptist Church for the fellowship meal and the prayer service. There wasn't a really long prayer service since the minister had gone to California for a family funeral.

I left the motel early Thursday morning and my goal was to try and get a ride to El Paso. It would have been a lot easier for my friends in Las Cruces, N.M. to come and get me from there. I spent nearly seven hours at the last interchange but nobody stopped. There must have been at least six hundred trucks that had gone passed me. Around 3 p.m., I decided to abandon my trying to get a ride and I called my friends up in Las Cruces to tell them my difficulty. My friend, Bob, told me that he would come and get me Friday around noon my time. I went back to the motel and got the same room for the night.

My friend, Bob, did come and get me. It was finally great to get out of Texas. I had spent nearly three weeks trying to ride across it. I'll be here in Las Cruces with my friends till around the first of April. Bob wants me to speak at his church next Sunday.

With all of misadventures in trying to ride a recumbent across Texas (especially across the West Texas desert), I'm thinking that it would be not wise for me to continue my ride along the interstate to San Diego, California. I'm concerned about the winds coming from the west, the possible dust storms, weather, and the traffic along the interstate.

I'm opting out to take a Greyhound bus the rest of the way. The price would be reasonable. If I would purchase the ticket three-days in advance, the fare would be only $59. The bike broken down and packed in a box would only cost $15 more. My next major stop for the trip would be in Santa Maria, CA between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. There is a Greyhound station there. The bus trip would only have one transfer point and that would be in Los Angeles. Instead of a bike trip that would be at least three weeks long, I could make it in around twenty hours by Greyhound.

I'll try to post an update as often as I can if there are any changes in my plans.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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