TRIP 2003

Update #15 - March 30th
Las Cruces, New Mexico - 2421 miles (3874 KM)

The eight days off with friends went okay. I didn't do much but rest, read a lot, and help out around the house doing some minor house maintenance. My friends also helped me celebrate the tenth anniversary of my ministry on Thursday, March 27th. The hardest part for me was to get acclimated to the elevation. For the past year, I'm been mostly close to sea level or under one thousand feet in elevation. Las Cruces is around 4,000 feet above sea level and is in a valley in the Southeast New Mexico desert about 40 miles north of El Paso. I've never really had any problems with being this high before but it could be also some allergies from the pollen in the air.

This morning was sort of special because I had been asked to speak at my friend's church. My talk was okay but I was sort of nervous. For one thing, I was dressed in street clothes instead of my usual cycling outfit. From what I heard, the congregation liked my talk about compassion and how we should live out our faith through our actions. I was surprised at getting almost two hundred dollars as an honorarium.

Tomorrow, I'm moving on. As I wrote about in my last update, I decided to take a Greyhound bus between Las Cruces and Santa Maria, California (my next major stop) instead of riding across the desert. I had too many problems with my tires in West Texas and I didn't want to risk it especially since I was planning to ride most of the way along the shoulder of the interstate. We went to a nearby bike shop and got a box and I took the recumbent apart to pack it. This is only the second time that I have had the bike taken apart since I got it back in November of 2000. I just hope that I can put it back together when I get to California.

I also got a bus ticket Friday, so that I could take advantage of the three day in advance fare reduction. I'm saving over $70 that way. I'll be leaving Las Cruces tomorrow afternoon at 5:45 p.m. (MST) and arriving in Santa Maria, CA at 2:45 p.m. (PST) Tuesday afternoon. There will be onlu one transfer and that will be in Los Angeles and there is also a seventy minute layover there.

I'll probably in the Santa Maria area for the rest of next week. It looks like I'll be getting back on the bicycle again Monday, April 7th.

I'm really looking forward to riding up the California coast. I especially like CA 1 between San Luis Obispo and San Francisco especially in the Big Sur Area. My concern is how good the recumbent will handle on all of the tight turns and hills. At least before I head out from Santa Maria, I could make a visit to the company who built my recumbent (Lightning Cycle) in Lompoc which is around twenty-miles south of Santa Maria.

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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