First of all, before I even begin to talk about today's ride, I want to let everyone know what an absolute saint my wife is - she was so supportive during all my training, and as you know has gone the extra mile to post these blog entries while I dictate them over the telephone.
So today we rode from Socorro, NM to Roswell, NM. This was our second day of riding in New Mexico! Wow - it's a big state, but I guess I already knew that... On paper, this didn't look like it was going to be that difficult of a ride. There were a couple of climbs, but mostly the terrain was rolling hills. But as I mentioned on yesterday's post, how hard you work on a bicycle has a lot to do with the wind. Where yesterday the wind was at our backs and I felt at times like I was flying, today's ride was into strong headwinds ALL DAY. Maybe it's because of my height(as I sit higher up on the bike than most people), but riding in a head wind is absolutely the toughest thing for me. While I was able to manage an average speed of 17.3 mph, this was by far my hardest day. I tried not to go so hard as to suffer physically, but I did have to dip into the "mental toughness" bank once or twice. As much as I love being on a bicycle, riding into a head wind for 10.5 hours isn't that much fun... In spite of that, we were riding through the land where my heart is - the land where I grew up - and it's just so beautiful to me that I was able to keep a smile on my face.
Tomorrow we cross the border into Texas. It feels like the Elite Tour just started, and already we're one-third of the way across the country. I guess I'm just getting used to the routine. 5 am is wake-up, 5:30 is breakfast, and 6:00 we start riding. We ride all day, have dinner, and then go to bed. Pretty much the same thing every day, but I am really enjoying myself. Every one of the guys I've met on this ride is great. The atmosphere is very friendly and supportive.