Sunday, May 27, 2007

Nothin Happen in Las Vegas!

Obviously they aren't talking about Las Vegas New Mexico when they say what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. I don't think any thing has happened here in thirty years. Downtown looks pretty much as it did in 1940. Maybe I should have said 70 years. Las Vegas was an important point on the Santa Fe trail in the 1890's and a lot of the downtown buildings were built in that era. However after the great depression the importance of agriculture declined and then after interstate highway pushed past Las Vegas, it's importance and growth stopped.

Today's 75 mile ride from Santa Fe definitely had the most hill climbs in it, and was arguably the most difficult. In addition to all the roller coasters we reached the highest point on the entire journey. At Glorieta pass summit we reached 7570 feet. The battle of Glorieta Pass spelled the end of Confederate hopes for victory in the west (I read it on a historical marker - I am not that smart). However it was a beautiful ride and one that I really enjoyed. There was only 5 miles on the interstate. The rest of the ride was on the frontage road which parallels the interstate, but the grades are much steeper. We had the road almost totally to ourselves. While it is probable an exaggeration I don't think 20 cars passed me all day, and for a fact I know that only 1 semi passed me. What a difference from riding the interstate and where the semi's were passing less than 18" from you. The scenic hills are breath taking beautiful and really fun to ride. Fly down about a half mile then grind up about .75 miles. Late in the afternoon it was dodge the thunder storms and in fact I was caught about in the hail for about 0.5miles. However I flew into a truck stop and had a Subway for lunch. There were some bikers in Subway that were riding from LA to Chicago. We teased each other about trading rides. It was fun. After the rest stop I was really flying and in fact rode down one group of the hammer heads. They were about 15 minutes ahead of me and within 25 miles I had caught up. I don't think they were too pleased. I made the remark that I was surprised to have caught up and the reply was "SO ARE WE" Came in 8th today. It's NOT A RACE!

Today's picture is of the ruins of the Spanish mission Church that was built in 1717 by the missionaries (if you click on the picture you can see it full size, but you knew that). It is part of the Pecos national monument. I stopped and spent about 30 minutes going though the monument, however you could spend hours walking the trails and reading the signs. It is built on a hill and is a really beautiful place.

OK I have to go the Coca-Cola 600 has started and Denny Hamlin is in 5th place.

Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for all the great comments.



Ken C. said...

Hi Terry. Thanks for your second set of photos; looks hot and dry. Soon, I'm sure, you will be hitting the prairies. It was a good weekend in Calgary for cycling, and I got 50 km rides in on Saturday and Sunday, although, they would have just been warm-up rides for you. I have been following your itinerary, and see that you hit 1000 miles tomorrow. Have a good ride, and give a big Calgary Ya-Hoo when you hit the 1000.

Agnes said...

Sounds like you had a great day . . off the interstate, historic things to see and interesting people; miss you, ride safe.


grs said...

Hey Terry, I just checked into your site this am, sounds like you're having a great time! Way to show those yankees how to ride.


Anonymous said...

Hi Terry. I really enjoy your picture posts and blog; they really give this "armchair cyclist" a taste of what the terrain and heat are like.


chris said...

hey you know you're having fun when you have the most difficult day for climbing, get caught in hail and can find beauty and joy in the scenery and being "free on the road". The sights look magnificent! Not surprized you caught those "hammerheads", you have lots of hill strength!