Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blowing winds

It’s really neat how the cycle of life continues. We enjoyed the opportunity to visit with our Nephew, his wife, and their little girl in Roswell. I believe that it was the first time that we really had a conversation with him since he has become an adult. Wasn’t it just yesterday we were visiting his mom and he was only a week old?

But it’s verified. If you are a motorist out there, you have absolutely no idea if it is really flat out there. We were told several times that it was flat between Roswell and Artesia--wrong. It is actually a slight uphill all the way. Even I wouldn’t have known it by looking out the car window.

As we spin the pedals round and round, inching our way across the New Mexico countryside, we find ourselves smack-dab in the middle of busy oil patches. One of the ways that you can tell that you’re in oil country (besides those giant robotic insectoids bobbing their heads up and down) is all the work gloves scattered along the side of the road. The popular colors are florescent green and orange with traditional white coming in 3rd, all having seen a hard day’s work. We've taken to calling out, "Green glove," "Orange glove," for simple amusement that helps pass the time. We, of course, had to put one on the back of the bike so that it's waving to people. At first, we had a ‘green glove’ but I, Kamala, thought that might give the go ahead to hit us, so now we have an orange glove. We even washed it!

Going to Lovington was a different trip altogether. We climb for about 35 of the 64 mile day. Halfway here, just a mere mile and a half from topping the caprock, we stop at a rest area, and just as we’re almost stopped, slip in some sand and down the bike goes. While recovering ourselves (actually it was Charley recovering me and the bike), the park caretaker comes over and tells Charley in jest, “I saw you throw that bike on top of her. Y’ll want some coffee?” We spend the next 30 minutes or so in Mack’s office coffee brewing and the conversation flowing. He tells us about this one cross-country cyclist who stopped to use the restroom. Mack got to wondering what would happen if he were to move the man’s bike 10 feet. He said the fellow came out, didn’t see his bike, ran one way in the park, then the other way, then again repeating his back and forth jaunts. Mack stops to chuckle during his tale as he recalls that the cyclist even went back in the bathroom to look for the bike. By that time Mack was feeling guilty for causing so much trauma and came clean and said that he was sorry, he didn’t know that it would give him a heart attack. All I could think of, while I smile and nod, is that is why we never leave the bike alone.

Coffee now in our cups and as we drink we were treated to a joke:
An elderly man went into the hospital. His granddaughter came rushing up to visit and blurted out, “Grandpa, talk like a frog! Talk like a frog!”
The man scratched his head and said, “Huh? What you talking about?”
“Grams says that when you croak she’s goin’ take me to Six Flags! So talk like a frog!”

We bid farewell to Mack and head back out on the road with a wind at our backs. We top the caprock and it is relatively flat. The tailwind is strong. Caffeine is pumping our systems and we are flying. I look down at the speedometer and can’t believe my eyes: 27.7 mph! I take a picture because who, really, is going to believe me? Too soon though, just after that it was 30 mph!

I see a dark front moving across the plains. Soon we are caught up in it at a crosswind. Charley is fighting to keep the bike on the road. It passes and the tailwind is once again at our backs.  We stay an extra day in Lovington as the wind switches around and vows to be our enemy if we ride. As we leave town a mailbox attendant waves, “So long!”

We finally get to camp out at the Brownfield city park. Mack told us about this little gem.
When daybreak comes back around, we know we have some maintenance to do: Thermarest has a small leak and the tent needs a patch were a seam is pulling loose.

Still, a tailwind persists today, good thing too, because we pedal at an incline all the way to Lubbock. Along the way, the English teacher comes out of me when I notice the misspelling on a business sign.

 On the shopping list is a bicycle shop specific item and so we set out for, as Charley calls it, the mouth of the dragon (into downtown traffic of a big city). We normally try to avoid cities, but sometimes it is a necessity. While we are stopped, trying to figure out a route, a lady exiting the bank stops to help us. She says, “Let me see, if I were a cyclist, this is the way I would want to go. . .” She actually picked out bicycle routes through town but I don’t think she knew they were designated routes, just that the roads were safe. Thank you! It even has bicycle lights, like The Netherlands! Thank you! Thank you!

So here we sit an extra day hiding from the wind that is pointed and gusting at 40 mph the wrong way. Tomorrow we have scheduled our departure for yet another run down the road. Stay tuned! Comments are welcome, it lets us know you’re out there.

No comments:

Post a Comment