Day 14: Somewhere in NM to El Paso, TX


Today was our third day of headwinds, and with it, more flat tires than we could have ever prepared for. First, Mom and Dad had a flat on the tandem, and then, as we entered El Paso, I (Abi) managed to not-quite bunny-hop a truck bumper that was crossing the entire berm and lane, effectively blowing my front tube completely (and most likely, damaging the rear tube–but I didn’t realize that until later). I changed the front tire and continued descending into El Paso, only to have it go flat less than three miles later from a thorn. While changing my front tire for the second time, I realized that not only was the CO2 cartridge Mom and Dad gave me empty (I only carry one), but that my rear tire was entirely flat as well. I walked my bike over to the Subway where Mom and Dad were eating lunch and called Josh. He took me to two bike shops (the first one surprisingly did not have any 700×28 presta valve tubes), and then I resumed my journey. While Mom and Dad’s route skirted downtown El Paso, my new departure location allowed me to ride right through downtown–and since I love riding in large cities (Paris, London, etc.),  it totally made up for having three flats in less than fifteen minutes! In the end, we all made it approximately 65 miles to the southern side of El Paso, Texas and, at least for right now, have four fully inflated tires!


Day 13: Deming, NM to the middle of nowhere, NM

With our second day of constant headwinds, we slowly made our way southeast from Deming to a point roughly 60 miles between Deming and El Paso where Josh met us with the RV and we camped on the side of the road. Only later did we realize that the fence in the distance was Mexico, which explained the numerous Border Patrol vehicles that were coming and going along the dirt road next to our camping spot. Josh also served us homemade chocolate chip cookies out the window of the RV as we passed his parking spot / running trailhead partway through our ride.

Day 11: Solomon, AZ to Lordsburg, NM

Abi started out the morning by waking up to her third flat tire of the trip–a small pinhole had caused her tire to go flat while still on the bike rack. But we were soon off and riding, steadily ascending a gradual grade for most of the day. We stopped for lunch in Duncan, Arizona, and shortly afterwards, at about 40 miles into our ride, crossed the New Mexico state line. State #3! Our entrance into New Mexico preceded a generous tailwind, helping us along for the last 28 miles of our ride into Lordsburg, New Mexico, where we met Josh for the day.

Rest Day #2

We stayed an extra day in Roper Lake State Park for our second rest day of the trip. At 4 a.m., Josh left on an epic hike to the summit of Mt. Graham–58 miles round trip (20 miles on a mountain bike and 38 miles by foot). Mid-afternoon, we (Mom, Dad, and Abi) drove the truck as far as the road was open (to about 9,000 of the 10,724 feet) to get some photos and enjoy the view from the mountain and saw him making his way back down the mountain (He made it back to camp by 6:30 p.m.–impressive!!). Abi went stand-up-paddleboarding on the lake in the morning, and then chauffeured Mom and Dad into town for a laundromat trip and a large iced coffee from Starbucks.

Day 10: Peridot, AZ to Solomon, AZ

We experienced much less climbing today–and no flat tires! For most of the day, we rode alongside a gorgeous snow-covered mountain (Mount Graham) which Josh hopes to climb tomorrow. There are some sweet mountain bike trails at the top, but since they are snow-covered, Abi is going pass on that and go stand up paddleboarding in the lake instead. Altogether, we rode 62.8 miles with a mere 1,490 of elevation gain. Because tomorrow is a scheduled off day, we are camped at the Lake Roper State Park, which features a “hot tub” formed from a natural hot spring–which felt wonderful this afternoon!