After 5 weeks on the road, I’m taking several days off the bike. Going off the ACA Southern Tier route to climb into the Guadalupe Mountains, visit Carlsbad Caverns, then struggle into headwinds up the back slope of a mountain range to Cloudcroft, NM, left me weary. I rolled into Alamogordo after descending 4,000 feet in 16 miles, a quarter mile of it through New Mexico’s only tunnel
After climbing up to Cloudcroft over 110 miles from Artesia, the descent takes 45 minutes.New Mexico’s only tunnel
Upon arriving in Alamogordo, I rode to a bike shop where I replaced the small chainring on the crankset with an even smaller chainring. I did a lot of walking up climbs into the mountains east of Cloudcroft. This told me I certainly need lower gearing to climb the many mountain passes in southern Utah. Much of keeping the wheels turning requires mental tricks; lower gearing provides some delusion fuel. Oh, those mountains will be easy now!
For now, I’m off the bike and enjoying hiking in New Mexico. Plan is to resume on Saturday.
I’ve posted a bunch of photos to a new gallery. Click on the picture below to go there.