It had been a cold, rainy, windy winter in Seattle, so Sheila and I decided to head to the sunny southwest for spring vacation. We found a tandem host family from Tandem Club of America. They (Tom & Pat Fritts) graciously invited us to stay at their home for a week’s getaway. Leaving our rain gear and fenders behind, we flew to their home in Belen, just south of Albuquerque.
We spent 6 lovely nights there and got in three days of riding. It turned out that April is New Mexico’s windiest month and with all that open land, the winds really can get going. The good part of the news is that it almost always means you’ll have a tailwind eventually. Our first ride took us 15 miles into the teeth of a stiff breeze. Then we flew back home, cruising at an easy 24 mph.
The organic items, shown left, were prevelant along the rode side so Sheila took this photo to show Tom. Apparently it’s some kind of dried out Coyote squash.
The next day looked threatening, so we shortened our scheduled ride. It turned out to be a very good thing. We got about 15 miles under our belts and stopped in Belen for some groceries. In the time we were in the store, a storm blew in and started dumping huge amounts of rain. We waited it out, mostly, under the eaves of the store. The good news was that the wind was once again at our back sending us home quickly.
Pat and Tom loaned us their car for a trip to Santa Fe to visit old EarthSave buddies, Olga and Amy (shown right). It was a good day to be off the bike as the winds hit 60 mph. We had a nice visit with O&A, including a vegan Indian meal to close our day.
We finally got in a 50 mile day on the bike on Wednesday. Boy, we’ve never been on such long, straight, flat roads. Again with the wind! It was nice as it pushed us up the gentle slope of the first leg, annoying as it slowed us on the downhill, crosswind leg, and aggravating as it slapped us in the face on the last ten miles home. But there was no rain, so that was a big plus.
Our last day down there found us wandering around local pueblo and mission ruins. They were quite interesting and gave us a chance to rest our weary backsides. We just don’t have the miles in yet this year!
Tom and Pat were great hosts. They gave us use of their computers as well as their car. They introduced us to their neighbors and fired up the hot tub for us on a couple of occasions. We shared stories and played lots of cards all week long. We’d love to be able to return the favor if they came up to the northwest.
Dec 2007 Update
You will notice there’s nothing else posted for cycling in 2007. That’s because we rode less than 1000 miles all year! Quite out of character for us. That’s what happens when you don’t set a goal for the year. We’ve already set one for 2008. In fact we’ve set one for 2009 already! In 2008 we’re going to do Ride Idaho with the Boise YMCA and in March of 2009 we’re going on a 12-day Santana tandem tour of New Zealand! (Note this never happened…we cancelled it due to the impact on our carbon footprint!