Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 18... Socorro, NM to Albequerque , NM

I73.68 miles in 7:48....9.4 mph average speed...1109 ft in ascent...  650 descent....max speed...18.2
If you look at these stats and compare them to other days, it tells the tale of the days ride. It was relatively flat, as this is the least I've climbed on any day yet, but if you notice the average speed, it's about the slowest I've had on this trip. The reason? 73.68 miles of headwind, that I could not escape. It wasn't terrible in the morning, but increased in speed and consistency as the day went on. And every road and turn seemed to have the wind. It was the most unheard of thing I've ever heard of.
The ride can basically be split into four quarters. My first 25 miles out of Socorro was on I-25, with wildlife and bird sanctuaries occupying the Rio Grande valley, while the interstate rolled through the more western foothills. When I left, just before nine am, it was cold. I wore my long pants for the first time on this trip, full fingered gloves, and two shirts under a jacket. All things that I have been carrying, hoping that I wouldn't need them. It snowed 100 miles north of Socorro in Sante Fe, and I was heading north, all day.
I got off the interstate and onto NM 116, which is a two lane road, that runs parallel to I25, but slightly down in the valley. The scenery was more interesting, with Adobe homes, both abandoned and new, and lots of ranches and animal farms, with the accompanying animal sounds and smells. There was only local traffic, and it would have been a nicer ride if I wasn't working so hard. 
When I came to the town of Belen, I picked up NM 314, as well as more civilization, and businesses. It was four lane in places, and Belen ran into Los Chaves, which ran into Los Lunas. The road was busier, but the the shoulder was wider, but the wind still blew in my face. One of the more interesting things I saw was a pillow on the side of the road that was just filled with goatheads, which reminded me of how lucky I have been with my tires, which are not exactly new right now. 
Next came the Isleta Indian Reservation, which I rode through for about ten miles, with Indian Taco and fry bread stands, as well as a sweat hut, which I really wish I would have taken a picture of, and a casino. Speaking of pictures, headwinds make me not want to stop and shoot pictures, so I might have missed a few today. The Rez came to a sudden end as I passed under I 25, and suddenly I was in south Albuquerque. I rode on a stretch that was marked as the original US66, and the original el Camino Real. Now it's called Isleta Blvd.  It felt weird to stop for a red light again, after this last week in less populated areas. GPS girl led me to a three mile long bike trail that followed a 'diversion' canal as I got closer to the city. Albuquerque is definitely a city of canals that direct all the water that rolls out of the mountains that surround it. I stayed at a Motel 6, that was very close to the bike trails end, and it was also right next to the university of New Mexico's athletic campus. I walked about a mile to eat at a Denny's ( after being without ID and rejected at a Buffalo Wild Wings), and I went right past The Pit, which is their famous basketball facility, the football stadium, ( did you know Brian Urlacher and Robin  Cole played here?), as well as a baseball stadium, softball stadium, tennis courts under bubble, and the indoor track ( where NCAA Indoors nationals were held). It was pretty neat and they have fantastic facilities here. 
Also, they had a washing machine at the motel, so I threw in everything I own and got a good cleaning.

Getting off I-25 made for more interesting scenery

NM 116

A typical property in this area!

Rudy and Laura have been neglecting the ranch!!!

Going into a little swampland on the reservation south of Albuquerque.

The mountains that I have to cross tomorrow are in the distance

South Albuquerque

The same road as historic US 66

The Rio Grande in Albuquerque

The Riverside Bike Trail brought me to within a mile of a motel.

University of New Mexico football stadium

U of NM basketball arena

UNM all Americans on the football stadium

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