I’ll tell you what, after 73 miles of riding, I always like to use the next day as an opportunity to kick back, relax, and grind out another 78 miles. And that’s what we did today!
We began the day at the Wal-Mart in Safford, looking for a 10mm allen wrench to fix Tony’s crank, with advice from gentleman and scholar Scott Taylor of Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop (still the greatest bike shop in Denver, and now serving espresso!). Voila, good as almost new, and we were on our way.
It was quiet about 30 minutes later, as I was spinning through the parts of Safford where the city was giving way to the country, and I was snapped awake by a loud bark. Dogs! I swerved immediately and scanned around me. Three puppies, the biggest probably weighing about 15 pounds, were hot on my trail. I was probably in grave danger of getting nuzzled to death.
Then we ground out 78.5 miles, most of which felt like this:
We met the mayor of Duncan, Arizona, today, in Ol Jo’s Cafe, the eatery of choice in Duncan, which is about 800 people, and the last town we saw in Arizona. Today’s ride went like this: Ride 42 miles, eat lunch in Duncan. Ride 36 more miles, collapse in Lordsburg, New Mexico.
The handlebar tape I put on the Team USA before I left Denver is starting to peel off one end, and every day now I get to sit out there pedaling in the middle of nowhere, constantly reminded of my bad tape job. I also get to look at my right pedal and remember how I cracked the outside of it on a curb on 17th Street and Stout in downtown Denver that one time. About three years ago. And I never replaced it. But hey, the rest of my bike is tip-top. Could use a good bath, though.
Tomorrow, we ride to Silver City, home of Mountain Gazette editor M. John Fayhee, who has assured us we are welcome at his house.