When I first told my friend Maynard I was going to try to ride my bike across America, he said, “I hope you like riding 8 miles per hour into a headwind.” Well, Maynard, today was the day. We started at 8 a.m. and finished after 6 p.m., and the whole day was into the wind. 8 mph? Maybe 7 most of the day.
I don’t know that I would say I “liked” it, either. It felt a little like playing that game my brother used to call Why Are You Hitting Yourself. If you’re not familiar, it’s when your older brother grabs your wrists and hits you with your own fists/hands. It was like that.
Then Tony’s crank suddenly locked up, and wouldn’t go anywhere, when we had about 35 miles left to ride. We worked it loose again, and squirted a bunch of chain lube around it, which seemed to work. A phone call to Scott may solve the problem if we can pick up a 10mm allen wrench at a hardware store tomorrow, and we can hopefully limp it into Silver City, where a mechanic can look at it.
Then we got chased by a couple dogs literally right to the eastern border of the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Well, Tony got chased by one, right in front of me, and when the dog gave up on him and came after me, another one suddenly appeared. I didn’t really know what to do, and forgot I had mace in my jersey pocket. I just pedaled faster and prepared to get bitten in the ankle as they ran right next to my pedals. I realized I probably won’t be able to outrun a dog on a fully-loaded touring bike, in the future.
Then one more dog chased us later, but didn’t get as close. Plus I had the mace ready.
I continue to cough and not sleep at night, and Tony continues to gulp Advil for his knees. We’re going off the route tomorrow, to Lordsburg, N.M., to stay a little closer to civilization, should something go really wrong with his bike. The next day, we’ll head to Silver City and get back on the route from there.