Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 20: Guyman OK to Liberal KS

Hello LR12 fans. First of all I'd like to thank everyone for their kind comments along the way. Its really fun for Michele and I to read the comments every day. It feels like our many friends are on this journey with us....well, I guess you really are. That is one of the points of the blog. Keep following; keep commenting!

Today was a 'half-rest' day with a ride of only 40 miles. Unfortunately, surface winds of 10 - 15 knots were directly in our face the entire trip. Even though a short trip, it was like riding up a hill all day. Once again, Mike K and I worked together in a 2-man line and completed the trip in 3 H 16 min, averaging 12.1 mpg and arriving at the hotel at about 1pm.

We did enter our 6th state today!!

Mike K and Tom in the land of OZ

We'll be in Kansas for 6 straight days so I'm sure we'll be seeing lots of flat fields of corn. The entire wild card is the weather, specifically the surface winds and thunderstorms with rain. Oh well, that is part of the adventure.

After arriving, Michele and I went on a tour of a local 'Land of Oz' and local history museum. The story of the developments from the Native Indians, Coronado and even the settlers of the dust bowl era was very interesting.

Who couldn't resist walking on the yellow brick road.

Some kids refuse to grow up.

Aunti 'Em......Aunti  Em

Talk to you tomorrow!!!

Click here to see details of today's ride.
Day 20: Guyman OK to Liberal KS by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 19: Dalhart TX to Guymon OK

 Well as I mentioned the last two days of 96 miles and 109 miles took alot out of the tour riders. As strange as it might seem, I was looking forward to today's relatively 'short' 73 mile ride. The only unknown was again the headwinds. Winds for Dalhart and Guymon were forecast to be NE thru ENE 8 to 15 knots which again meant basically a headwind all day.

We woke to a comfortable 55 degrees but with an ominous overcast sky. 50% chance of thunderstorms were on the menu for Guymon after 3:00 pm local time so we all wanted to get rolling. Mike K and I decided to again work together and we rode our 2-man pace line basically the entire route. Thankfully the headwinds were not too bad and we completed the ride in 4 Hr 38 min averaging 15.6 mph. This road was straight as an arrow for 70 miles and very flat; just a gentle decline from start to finish. Contrast to the previous 4 days of total climbs of 4597, 3668, 3307, and 1680 vertical feet, today we only climbed 243 feet!! All in all a pretty easy day.

Signs of the agribusiness that supports the area are abundant.

Mike K and I stop to pose with one of the locals

These are rolling irrigation contraptions; fixed on one end that supplies water and the rest of it motors around in a large circle. Look at the satellite map included below and you can see the green circular fields.

Michele was waiting as we crossed into Oklahoma!! Our 5th state!!!!
Departing the OK border for 25 more miles to hotel in OK
We also began to see large fields of wheat. I'm sure more to come.

Click here to see details on today's ride.
Day 19: Dalhart TX to Guymon OK by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 18: Tucumari NM to Dalhart, TX

 Hello LR12 followers. A quick survey with the riders this morning at breakfast indicated that yesterday's 109 mile ride was the toughest of the tour thus far; even more grueling than the 116 miler from Blythe to Wickenburg on Day 5. Everyone was indicating low energy and enthusiasm for today's 96 mile stroll into Texas.

The premonitions of another tough day came true today thanks to a strong and persistent north wind. Since we were traveling NE all day, well you get the picture: 96 miles into a quartering headwind.  Mike K and I worked as a team-of-two pace line for most of the day and that really helped. The front rider bears the brunt of the wind and 'pulls' for about 1/2 mile or so and the rear rider gets a significant relief. Then the two riders swap positions for another 1/2 mile or so, and again and again. This kind of cooperation allows the two (or more riders) to significantly extend their range or increase speed when compared to a single rider. Anyway, even with this help the day was slow: it took us 6 Hr and 48 min to cover the 96 miles, only averaging 14.1 mph. Tomorrow is a short and flat 70 miles, to OK so we should be in better shape, barring any unusual wind. [Note fingers crossed]

The classic windmill of the prairie .....

L-R: Tom, John, Mike K, Mike F and Craig at the Texas border

Welcome to Texas!!!!!
The cattle fead lot near Dalhart, TX. 70,000 cows in there, and yes you could smell them all!!!!

Click below to see details of today's ride....
Day 18: Tucumari NM to Dalhart, TX by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 17: May 28 Las Vegas, NM to Tucumcari, NM

Hello LR12 followers. Today was a very difficult day for me mentally. The distance was 109 miles and we lost from starting point to ending point about 2400 feet. However, during that distance we climbed about 3500 feet. The scenery was beautiful but it seemed that the roads just continued and continued endlessly with continual rollers. I thought the day would never end.....

The temperature at the start was a rather chilly 37 degrees so I wore arm warmers, a wind breaker and full finger riding gloves but quickly shed those at the first SAG stop.

On the first part of the trip we rode about 8 miles before seeing a car. The prairie grass and fields seemed endless.....

.....but Tucumcari was still a long way away.....

At the first SAG we got official credit for reaching the 1000 mile mark!!!

On the fast descent, a quick stop for pictures and checking tires for wires.

I think these friends were thinking 'what in the world are those crazy people doing??'

A 0.7 mile, 8 - 10 % grade at the 66 mile point. Much like training east-to-west on Serrano back home.

Had to stop to record this beautiful red rock and green tree formation.

Finally at the hotel. Get this tired 'bum' off that saddle!!!

Click below to see details of today's ride. Again, heart rate not working correctly for entire trip.
Day 17: Las Vegas, NM to Tucimcari,NM by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 16: Santa Fe to Las Vegas, NM

Hello Life Ride followers. Today was a really enjoyable day and full of noteworthiness; the scenery from Santa Fe to Las Vegas, NM was absolutely beautiful: full of green pine trees and layered red rocks, we reached our high point of the tour: 7450 feet above sea level, and we broke 1000 miles total thus far for the tour!!!

Day 16: 73.3 miles, 16.2 mph average, 3670 feet of climbing.......

We rode most of the day on old Route 66....

.... portions of which are called the Santa Fe trail.

Descending into a beautiful area around the town of Pecos

Indian church ruins at Pecos National Historical Park
Michele enjoy walking the trail and seeing the ruins (1450 to 1550) and gorgeous scenery

Fascinating Pecos Pueblo Indian Ruins throughout the park

A closer view of the impressive Indian church

Services long gone here.....

I wish I knew more about geology.
Our route sheets clearly identify the dangerous road hazards such as this cattle guard at mile 32.1!!

...........I really enjoyed seeing the layered rocks of multiple colors.

 Click here to see details of today's ride. Note: Again the heart rate is falsely high during the middle section of the ride...
Day 16: Santa Fe to Las Vegas, NM by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 15: Rest Day in Santa Fe, NM

What an enjoyable rest day in Santa Fe, NM.   We enjoyed our breakfast at the hotel with Mike and visiting wife Dianna.

Then we were off to the Lorretto Chapel to view the " Miraculous Staircase" said to have been built by a mysterious stranger that is believed to have been St. Joseph himself.  The self supporting stairs astounds even modern craftsmen today having been built with only simple carpenter tools and no nails in 1878.  It was truly breathtaking.

We then enjoyed our relaxing walk in the Santa Fe Plaza with Mike and Rich and took in the peaceful southwestern atmosphere.



Tom, Mike and Rich