A divided day

Trip Start Sep 13, 2012
1
19
41
Trip End Oct 24, 2012


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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 18 Taos New Mexico to Raton New Mexico 93.6 miles; 4902 ft climbing

It was a quiet breakfast as we are diminished in number but it seemed more leisurely – perhaps that's because we were cycling only (only!) 93 miles today.   The temperature was minus 3 as we set off but with a 20 mile uphill opener, I thought I’d soon warm up.  I did up to a point – my feet were still freezing at the top of the climb but, hey, it’s Monday morning, it’s not raining and I’m about to start a descent out of the Rockies through Cimmaron Canyon State Park.  We were still at over 8,000 ft when we descended through brilliant autumnal forests.  We lingered as long as possible, rejoicing in the beauty of the flame coloured trees, the clear brooks, blue sky and warm sunshine. This is what cycling is all about! 

Before the trip David had worried about the heat of the desert.  I had worried about the cold of the Rocky mountains but the cogniscenti talked repeatedly about the wind of Oklahoma.

Fast forward an hour and we’re out of the forest and onto the plain.  We're not yet in Oklahoma but we are into the wind.  Again.  This time is is a strong cross wind mixing with a head wind -at a wind speed of around 25-30 miles per hour.  It lasted for 45 miles.  It was so dispiriting to have to pedal hard downhill.  Don joined us for the last 25 miles and we slogged our way to Raton.
Congratulations to the European Ryder Cup team!  I’ve been bursting to say something but the Americans have been so complimentary about the Queen’s Jubilee, the British cycling team, Bradley Wiggins’ success in the Tour de France and super-complimentary about the spectacularly hosted Olympics, that the word G-O-L-F has not passed my lips.
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