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Old 04-28-08, 08:10 PM   #51
will dehne
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Day seven. Sunday April 27, 2008.
Gallup, NM. to Albuquerque, NM
Temperature was in the lower 20's and wind strong against us all day for about 140 miles. I do not like pace-lines but under those conditions it is the only way to go reasonably fast. I did have my first accident. I had to blow my nose and I bumped the guy in front or he bumped me. I took a tumble but was able to roll like a ball. The bike had some repairable damage. Much of the day was on expressway shoulder so we covered long distance reasonably fast.
I had to replace the Rear tire with a Continental Gatorskin tire. I also changed the cassette to a 27-12 cassette. I do have a triple crank. This should allow reasonable cadence on the hills yet to be climbed.
The bike got fixed up and looks like new. Do not forget your Credit Card on such a tour. Emergency repairs are pricey.

Waking up this morning showed heavy bags under my eyes. I was not the only one. We needed this day off to get some rest.

There is a significant number of bikers needing SAG transportation. Most of us will not do that unless we get injured. Tomorrow will be another long hard climbing day out of Albuquerque to Las Vegas, NM.

Until then, Will
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Old 04-28-08, 08:16 PM   #52
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Tomorrow will be another long hard climbing day out of Albuquerque to Las Vegas, NM.

Until then, Will

Do not, repeat, do not eat at the Chinese buffet in Las Vegas, NM.

Otherwise, I am glad to hear that you are OK after the fall.
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Old 04-28-08, 08:16 PM   #53
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Good luck on the rest of the trip Will. Glad to hear you didn't get hurt. I was waiting for a update this morning and I started to worry that something happened.
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Old 04-29-08, 06:42 AM   #54
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At Will's request, I changed the fourth picture posted above for another picture. I have encouraged Will to send many pics.

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Old 04-29-08, 04:47 PM   #55
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There is a significant number of bikers needing SAG transportation. Most of us will not do that unless we get injured.
By looking at your "Team Picture", I assumed the SAG would be crammed. Kudos to you and the rest. Only SAG I would ever use is an ambulance. I don't even speak to SAGers unless they are seriously injured.
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Old 04-29-08, 08:15 PM   #56
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Wow-just saw the revised picture of Will-#4. You have really shaped up the past couple years Will!! Good going!! Nice teammate you have there as well!
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Old 04-29-08, 09:51 PM   #57
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Wow-just saw the revised picture of Will-#4. You have really shaped up the past couple years Will!! Good going!! Nice teammate you have there as well!
Yes, I got lucky. Sandra is a lot of fun to be with. Her husband took some time off work and followed with his SUV. That got me some free lunches. He is happy that Sandra has a reliable partner. As a former MTB Racer she is very determined and fast for a limited time race. I am very good in reserving energy for long haul. So many accomplished bikers have already burned out or got injured. We had another injury again today. A tube blew at high speed descent. Bruises but no big injury. The guy is shook up. He is a fit Triathlon Athlete.

I am really trying to be careful and limit my descents to about 30 MPH. Sandra goes along with that.
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Old 04-29-08, 10:00 PM   #58
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Day eight. Monday April 28, 2008.
Albuquerque, NM
Rest day. Day was used for sleeping, fixing things and spending money in LBS.
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Old 04-29-08, 10:03 PM   #59
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Will, great thread. Congrats on the progress so far!
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Old 04-29-08, 10:19 PM   #60
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Hi Yen,
It is for people like you that I write this. Perhaps you will do this type of tour someday. You came a long way.
If you do, the training and the tour will change your life but do not try to do it without training.
You've made my day.

Don't worry, I would not even think of attempting it without training. I'm fairly conservative about my goals at this point... I'm just trying to ride as often as possible and aim a little further each time.

Forge on!
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Old 04-29-08, 10:22 PM   #61
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Do not forget your Credit Card on such a tour. Emergency repairs are pricey.
Where are the repairs done if you have a breakdown in the middle of nowhere?
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Old 04-29-08, 10:23 PM   #62
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Good luck on the rest of the trip Will. Glad to hear you didn't get hurt. I was waiting for a update this morning and I started to worry that something happened.
Ditto!!!
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Old 04-29-08, 10:27 PM   #63
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Day nine. Tuesday April 29, 2008.
Albuquerque, NM to Las Vegas, NM
This was a compareably good day for most of us. The weather was perfect. The wind favorable. The roads better than further West.
I teamed up with Sandra for much of the tour because we are well matched in biking skills. She can bike very fast but burns out to the point of being ill. There was concern she may give up. I was able to convince her to follow a more modest steady pace and we were rewarded with a good day today.
I had a little excitement. My new Continental Gatorskin tire did not prevent a flat. While fixing it I sit down to do it properly, In the grass or what they call grass here. Well, there is some miserable little cactus hidden in the grass and you can imagine how much fun I had sitting on my butt after that. I soaked my butt in Epsom salt and that seems to help. Not a crisis but another challenge.
There was a lot of climbing to be done. The GPS said about 8,000 feet. There were also descents where you could go over 50 MPH. IMHO the road quality makes that very risky. I kept my speed to 30 and Sandra followed my example.
One of the enjoyments of this tour is the diversity of the bikers. I mean we have a big range of people here. CFO, Retirees, Minister, Lifeguard, Engineers, Housewife, Truck Driver, Lawyer, Consultant, Students, it is amazing.
We all get along fine. Small groups form based on biking ability and how they communicate with each other. There is no social activity because you need to get up at 5:00 AM. Many bikers get to the motel by 4:00 PM or later. Doing laundry and bike maintenance and health maintenance and dinner leaves little time. Reporting back home and to the Bike Forums is about all I can do.
Until Tomorrow.
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Old 04-29-08, 10:28 PM   #64
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Wow-just saw the revised picture of Will-#4. You have really shaped up the past couple years Will!! Good going!! Nice teammate you have there as well!
Hey, she's wearing a jersey from the shop where I bought my bike! Austinite, hm?
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Old 04-29-08, 10:38 PM   #65
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Where are the repairs done if you have a breakdown in the middle of nowhere?
Good point and needs a good answer.
This is why such a trip is so expensive Yen. We have not one but two very good Mechanics in the SAG support. They race back and forth with two Vans and look us over for trouble. You are supposed to fix your own flats but anything more that that is done by the SAG. They have spare wheels, spare bikes, tubes, tires and many items based on many trip experience. I would not want to do such a trip without SAG.
I hear that it is done but I say "No Thank You". We had quite a few busted wheels and gear adjustments are frequent. Many bikers are also not fully prepared. How can they be? Most bikers do a trip like this once in a lifetime.

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Old 04-29-08, 10:46 PM   #66
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Do not, repeat, do not eat at the Chinese buffet in Las Vegas, NM.

Otherwise, I am glad to hear that you are OK after the fall.
We are at the East side of the town. The Days Inn. Across the Street is a small Vietnamese Restaurant. The food was surprisingly good and plenty.

It is good to see that so many care about what happens to others. That is nice.

BTW, I will send more pictures. The download speed of these motel wireless is ridiculous. I need to do it from a better connection. I tried and it does not work. Text is all I can do here.

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Old 04-29-08, 10:51 PM   #67
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Hey, she's wearing a jersey from the shop where I bought my bike! Austinite, hm?
Yep.
I must have an affinity for Texan. The same tour in 2006 I teamed up with Dough from Houston.
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Old 04-29-08, 11:12 PM   #68
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Glad to hear your incidents have not been major. Be safe. As I said early on, with your preparation and experience the biggest challenge for you is preventing accidents (as if that's possible).

Also remember that there are a whole bunch of us that are pulling for you every mile of your journey. good luck be with you.
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Old 04-30-08, 04:26 PM   #69
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Karen and her husband Darrell are experienced cyclists and involved in competitive sports. Both are more knowledgeable than I about cycling and I asked both to comment about Karen accident for the BF benefit.
Here is her statement:
As far as a few tips for avoiding accidents…keep your eye on the road. I took my eye off for only a second to look where Jack was pointing and I didn’t see him fall quick enough and then I had no time to react. I know you are supposed to stay on the wheel of the person in front of you in a paceline but I never get that close. I have been keeping almost a full bicycle length behind. Make sure you can see ahead of you in case you might hit an object in the road. I think I will only ride behind Darrell in the future or else I will be the one in the front. Jack does not even know what happened. He called me to ask what had happened. He has some memory loss. I thank God I was wearing a helmet.
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Old 04-30-08, 07:55 PM   #70
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Keep it up

Will, I am enjoying your reports. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and observations. Keep them coming and keep spinning safely. Best Regards, Mike
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Old 04-30-08, 09:10 PM   #71
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Day ten. Wednesday April 30, 2008.
Las Vegas, NM to Tucumcari, NM
We biked the 110 miles in 5.5 hrs because we had a strong wind from the back. Wind gusts were up to 50 MPH. This presents a challenge for guys like me who are not used to high speed biking.
Our star biker reached 62 MPH on a downhill passing me going 30 MPH. The wind gust were not always from behind but bounced of the cliffs and produced crosswind and scared the hell out of me.
We discussed that later at the Rap meeting and I asked him only one question: Are you married?
The answer was NO. I am imagining being send home to my wife with a broken back because of reckless biking.

I must advise potential CC candidates that there are two challenges and I do not think there is a way around it: Accidents and getting good nutrition.

I am not used to the poor quality food and at my age that causes issues. Tonight we had to eat at Pizza Hut because it was the only place within walking distance. It was not terrible but also not good if you are used to a healthy diet.

BTW, NM is very beautiful. I will get some pictures and post them soon.
The weather was sunny and stormy. I did not feel the sun and got burned. Back to Sunblock for tomorrow.

The road Rt. 104 from Las vegas to Tucumari is a very nice Bike Route. Not much traffic. Lots of big illuminated sign warning motorist about Cyclist. There are a few challenging hills going up as well as steep down. You will use all the gears. The 12/27 cassette came in handy.
More Tomorrow, Will Dehne
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Old 05-01-08, 07:30 AM   #72
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Hi Will, Glad to hear that you are safe. This is windy season in NM. Sometimes I can hardly get the car door open. Wind Gust today up to 60mph. Stay safe, 30mph is fast enough for me too!
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Old 05-01-08, 07:46 AM   #73
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This makes for an incredible read. Thank you Will and keep safe.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:32 AM   #74
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Hi WIll,

Tucumcari is often a fuel and/or overnight stop for us when flying coast to coast. There are some great places to eat in the area - too bad about Pizza Hut. We stay at the Pow Wow Inn - cool bit of 1950s kitsch with decent food and great service. I continue to read your adventure with great interest. Someday, I want to do something like this.

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Old 05-01-08, 03:06 PM   #75
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Day eleven. Thursday May 1, 2008.
Tucumcari, NM to Dalhart, TX
This post will create a little controversy but I will post it as it is. My goal is to keep up with the faster riders regardless of age. I did not do so well Yesterday. Someone observed that my speed increased noticeably as I took some Hammer Nutrition Gel but I did not have enough of the stuff to last. The SAG food does not have the energy content to do what I want.
So I consulted with Sandra. She was a MTB racer on National level until 4 years ago. She and her husband know more about nutrition then I am likely to learn fast enough. The following supplements were used today:
GU 2 O
Endur OX
Enervitene
GU Energy Gel
PowerBar Gel
Hammer Nutrition Heed
All this stuff is ridiculous expensive. Enervitene cost $5 for one serving for instance.
The result of all this? We had a team of 5 bikers chasing up to the Texas state line at average speed of 27 MPH with a wind from behind. Sandra mounted a sprint at that speed and sprinted ahead of the Hammer Heads in that team. I observed this spectacle from the tail of the pace-line and it was quite a sight. Chivalry is not dead. The guys knew she was from Texas.
Anyway, I am thinking that you cannot be a top performer without synthetic supplements.
Natural food as served by SAG will not digest fast enough to do this kind of biking. I will let you know what happens with that in a few days.
BTW, there is a bug going around and a few of the top bikers are affected with energy loss, headache and nausea. I hope it is not this stuff? Of course I am concerned. I have never used any synthetic food in my life. But the power rush is quite a trip and I have more time to do these posts.
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