Diary

Mileage:† 74 miles

Elevation Change:† 2152 feet††††††††††††

Weather:† cloudy and cool†

Morale: Proud of ourselves!

Incidents: Raymond had a scary front tire flat on a high speed descent

Daily Summary:

Our last day started out as an easy group ride through the pecan orchards.† Most people were wearing their Canada to Mexico jerseys, and since it was Saturday morning there were a lot of other cyclists out on the road as well.† Cool weather made it quite pleasant.† About half way there we had one last big climb which took us back up over 5000 feet over a six mile grade.† The view from the top was nice, over El Paso and Mexico beyond.† We had a great high speed descent, but near the bottom Raymond had his front tire blow out.† All you cyclists out there know that a front tire blow out on a high speed descent is probably the scariest thing that can happen to you on a bike.† Fortunately, Raymond didnít lose control and was able to slow it down to a controlled stop without falling.† It scared him to death, and I donít blame him!† The first inner tube we put in didn't hold air, so we had to put a second one in.†† We finally got back on the road and finished the hill slowly!† Next we did this huge loop around El Paso.† As you can see above, we did about 12 miles due east.† What you donít see is the ugly four lane highway, the monster headwind, and all the traffic and debris on the road.† It was one of the most unpleasant stretches of the entire trip.† But, as usual in cycling, when things are bad they change for the better.† Soon we were headed West with a lovely tailwind.† We rolled into the hotel for lunch, then got back on our bikes and headed for the border.† If we were going to wear the T shirt, we were going to stand on both borders first!†

 

The afternoon was spent back in the real world:† packing bikes, packing stuff, getting bikes shipped, etc, etc.† I didnít get this posted until days late, because as soon as youíre back in the real world life takes over and you have to get things done!† We left our lovely eat, sleep, pedal, repeat cocoon that we had been in for over three weeks.†

 

That evening we had a very nice closing banquet with all of our new friends.† The next morning at 6am we were at the airport to fly to Chicago to help Raymond start the next chapter of his life.† What a great summer!

 

Below Raymond leads the paceline through the pecan groves.† Then, one more mountain lies between us and the finish.† You can see the wind that we battled for the last hour.† Finally, the Mexican border!† WE DID IT!