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TRIP 2006

Update #32 - November 19th
Las Cruces, New Mexico
9,235 miles ( 14,776 KM) since March 27th,
9,726 miles ( 15,562 KM) since Jan 01st



After a two day break with some new friends, through the Warm Showers Cycling Program,in Las Cruces, New Mexico, I'll be getting on the road tomorrow. I needed the time off. I've been sort of pushing myself to get here. I was hoping to see some old friends here in Las Cruces that I haven't seen in three years but our paths didn't really connect. They had changed email accounts so they didn't get my last email to them telling that I'm coming and also this was the weekend where their two teenage sons had to compete in a swim meet in El Paso, Texas. I kind of wished that I called ahead of time but there were no phones available from where I was staying along the way.

The ride from Seminole, Texas to Las Cruces, New Mexico went pretty well. I basically followed the route that I took on my very first cross-country bike trip back in 1986. I had nightly stops in Hobbs, Lovington, Artesia, Cloudcroft, and Alamogordo, New Mexico. I spent two nights in the Artesia area because there were some really strong winds (in some places in New Mexico over 50 mph). Most of the time, I was hosted by churches. This is actually my third night here in the Las Cruces area. I've been hosted by two members of the Warm Showers Cycling Association.

Overall, the ride went really well. The scenery went from cotton fields, to brush land, through miles of oil wells, scrubland, apple orchards, forests, and back to desert. I surpassed the elevation that I did back in the Palmer Lake, Colorado area. At Cloudcroft, New Mexico, I was over 8,600 feet above sea level. Between Cloudcroft and Alamogordo, I had a 16 mile coast downhill with a grade of six percent. I tried to maintain a coasting speed of less than 15 mph. I didn't want to have another accident like I had back in New Hampshire in 2002. Friday, I rode the 77 miles between Alamogordo and Las Cruces. This was mostly through the White Sands Missle Proving Grounds and passed the White Sands Monument. I did have to get over San Augustin Pass (around 5,700 feet above sea level). I had left the United Methodist Church in Alamogordo around 6:40 a.m. and I had 51 miles done by noontime. I was at the top of San Augustin Pass at 2:30 p.m.

Tomorrow will be the first day of two riding along the shoulder of I-10 here in New Mexico. Not really looking forward to it but there is really no other way to get across the southern section of New Mexico. I'll be trying to make it into Deming before dark and then Tuesday, I'll be riding along the interstate between Deming and Lordsburg. At Lordsburg, I'll be heading Nw on state routes to Phoenix, Arizona. From Las Cruces, I figure that I've got around 16 more cycling days to get to San Diego, California.

These seven hundred miles will not be easy because I've got more interstate travel in Arizona and SE California, several long climbs to get over (including crossing the Continental Divide between Deming and Lordsburg), and riding through the desert.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change. The next update should be posted between November 26th and December 02nd.




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