Monday, April 30, 2007

Day 8 Albuquerque, NM to Las Vegas, NM 133 miles

Last night I had the first real good night sleep on the trip. Maybe it was the two beers I had with dinner or the fact that I knew I didn’t have to rush off in the morning. I still got up at 5:10 to get the luggage packed and have breakfast with the group, but after putting my luggage in the van I got to go back to bed instead of hitting the road. It felt strange being all alone in a strange city, with only my bike.

The bike store wasn’t scheduled to open till 9:30, but I got there well before 9:00 hoping that they’d get there early and could start on my bike that much sooner. The owner showed up around 9:15, but didn’t have the keys. She called the manager, who had overslept. He showed up a few minutes later and started opening it up. The burglar alarm sounded, then was turned off. My confidence level was dropping. He brought my bike in and worked on it a while, then we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to get fixed and the bottom bracket needed to be replaced. It was one they didn’t have in stock and so called another bike store to see if they had one. In order to find out for sure, they needed to know the size, but this store couldn’t find their calipers, so they called Co-Motion (who had built the bike), and determined which size. The second store had it in stock ! Major Relief. They put it on hold for me.

I rode over to the second store. They brought it out, looked at my bike, and said it was the right size but wrong type. Uh oh! They went back and determined they didn’t have one that fit. Several of the mechanics started discussing the possibility of using a different brand. They decided that wouldn’t work. The thought of panicking crosses my mind. They then realized they were building a bike (presumably for the store floor) that was my size/brand and decided to use that. A few minutes later it was together and I was back in business. Did I luck out or what?

Gregg D. came and drove me to about the mid-way point on the ride. What a lifesaver! I can’t thank him enough and he wouldn’t even let me buy gas for his trip. It was about a 45 minute drive out to where he dropped me off and it was nice chatting about biking and the ride experience. We soon saw some of the riders and so he dropped me off by the next exit. It was fantastic to be on the road again. I rode 8 miles and got to the second sag, which was lunch. While I had missed the scenic part of the ride, it was also the toughest. Several people were riding in the van today because it was so tough. At lunch I joined with Jerry and Ken, then we rode part of the way with Dave, Kasper, and Rob. When we got to Las Vegas, Ken and I rode through old town. It was an interesting little side trip. Dinner was a hot roast beef sandwich at Pinos, then topped off with Gatorade and junk food from the convenience store.

By then it was time to get ready for the morning and go to bed. As I get ready for the morning, I can’t find the bike shorts I wore yesterday. Darn, must have left them in Albuquerque.

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