Another Rest Day
Today was the big day for us to get moving again, right? Nope. We are just that lazy, and Caballo, NM is so nice that we might just stay here forever. Again, this is not true. We woke up and tried getting all of our stuff ready to go, but in doing so, ol' mother nature flipped us a few hints that made us think otherwise.
First of all, there was the initial step out of the door to go take a shower a little before 7:30. It was still extremely cold here. After the shower I stopped at the little convenience store for coffee, and the RV park owner informed me of the 22 degree temperature. Well, the sun was out and it still looked promising for us to head out on the road. As soon as the sun really took hold of the sky and began to heat the ground, the snow and moisture in the ground melted and began to rise into the cold air above creating an instant fog bank that, in turn, blocked out the sun. Still, we were considering leaving. Then we started to realize that we would have to ride 60 miles today, and checked the weather and found that the temperature was not supposed to rise above freezing until just before noon. If the sun were out, and the temperature was hovering around freezing, we would probably be fine, but with no solar radiation and cold freezing temps, we were not too motivated. Then to top it all off, I went to fill our water bottles and they were frozen solid with the water that remained in them. Then, the water spigot outside our cabin was also frozen solid.
After a short debate about pros and cons of stay or leaving, we decided, hey we are in no hurry, so we decided to stay. And why not? Today is one of the three coldest days we have had so far on our trip and tomorrow is looking like it is going to be quite a bit nicer. So, today we listened to Car Talk on NPR, my favorite radio show. Then we watched a movie for free on hulu. Now we are eating some lunch in our cute little log cabin. (The groceries by the way are very limited here and cost about twice as much as they do in a grocery store, but oh well, the have the literal corner on the market). Sitting in a cabin all day after riding a bike leaves us a bit crazy. We need something to do, so we are eating like horses, but the food isn't all that great. We have had some very processed cookies and ice cream, and now we are eating Wheat Thins and cheese. We are two regular health food nuts.
I decided I would take some time on this blog to mention some things that have just not worked out for us our trip, and maybe some things that have worked out. We are not sponsored by anyone or anything, so our criticisms are just our feelings. The biggest disappointment for me, and I think Danielle too is our Andiamos. Andiamos are supposed to be an alternative to wearing lycra/spandex bike shorts. They are something that a bike rider wears in place of underwear, and they are padded for comfort. The benefit is supposed to be that you are allowed to wear “regular” clothes but still retain the comfort of bike shorts without looking like a cyclist. The problem is, they don't work, not at all. Maybe they would work if you only rode 10 miles every few days, but even then I would not buy them. The material they are made out of is almost abrasive. The seams are almost strategically placed so that they wear against our skin right at the point where our sit bones ride on the seat. What this equals is an item that provides the rider with no additional comfort, but instead has actually worn through my skin on my butt to the point that I have started bleeding. I am so disappointed I just had to write about it so that no one would buy them in hopes of comfort. How do I know it is not just my seat you ask? Well, I wear my normal lycra bike shorts under my pants (I still don't want to look like I am wearing underwear when I go into grocery stores or wherever) and I don't feel this discomfort at all. The only variable changed is the lack of Andiamos.
On the more positive side, we want to point out one of the most important pieces of gear we have had on our trip. Our Adventure Cycling maps are absolutely the way to go if you are looking for an extended cycling adventure in uncharted territory. We had not been to the vast majority of the places we have already visited, and for the places still to come on our trip, well, we have never even been to this part of the country at all. Trying to sit down and map out our own route with good shoulders and low traffic flow would be hard enough. To compile all of the information on the Adventure Cycling maps and to gather it in the same organized fashion, well, it would be impossible. These things are the key to a long distance trip like this. We cannot stress enough how much stress they take off of us. We are not wondering where cities are, or where the next grocery store is, or campsite. We have even discovered from encounters with other cyclists in different localities, that the routes we are taken on by these maps always seem to be the best for scenery, low traffic, safety, wide shoulders, or whatever else seems to be desirable in a road for cyclists.
Just some information that we thought would be really helpful to others who are planing tours.
P.S. Here is a link to a really cool video on youtube. It is on a much different route than ours, the Trans am route goes all of the way across America. This guy had a camera on his handle bars that was set to take a picture every five miles. He strung them all together and put the thing to music. Gives you an idea of what the world looks like from a cyclists eye. Check it out.