Thursday, 18 February 2010

We’re on a ride to nowhere

There is always a first time for everything and this morning was one of those times. With no rush to get up and complete a 90-mile trip to a pre booked motel, all we had to do was to ride 32 miles into Sierra Blanca. With no motel booking we ‘let our hair down’ and cycled west into the hills…just going with the flow man!

In light of our newly found laissez faire attitude, we meandered down to breakfast, saw that the jigsaw puzzle we had started last night had just one new piece added and consequently discussed the possibilities of staying an extra night at El Capitan and riding the 92 miles directly to Fabens tomorrow, passing straight through Sierra Blanca. Nothing to do with having extra time to complete the 500-piece jigsaw puzzle you understand! However, common sense kicked in after seeing the weather forecast predicting 20mph WNW winds for tomorrow… it was fun whilst it lasted!

Fed, yet feeling sorry for ourselves, we returned to our hotel room, got kitted out in our bike gear then made our way back down to reception. After saying our final farewells to Russ and Laura we were on the road at 1:00pm. It’s a strange feeling, cycling in a foreign country not knowing where you’re going to sleep for the night…umm maybe that feeling is called “Camping”. Heading for Sierra Blanca along Interstate 10 we didn’t speak much on the ride. We’re sure you’ll appreciate that cycling along an interstate with 40-ton, 80ft juggernauts passing by at a rate of 1 every 5 seconds is not an environment conducive to cycling abreast, taking photos or having relaxed chatty conversations. It wasn’t ‘all bad’ though! The scenery and road surface were beeeauutiful and we have now passed into a new time zone: Mountain Time.

Arriving in Sierra Blanca, we stopped off at the service station to get beers, chocolates, crisps and peanuts… just in case we had to sleep rough for the night. And then, as if by magic a convoy of Border Control Enforcement Officers rolled in. Of course they were interested in our story (or maybe they were just doing their job) and recommended a place for us to stay the night…sorted!

Pedalling the short ½ mile to the recommended motel, we were met by the manager and the breaking news that a disgruntled taxpayer had just flown his plane into an office block in Austin, Texas in the belief that IRS officers worked in the building and were responsible for him paying what he believed to be too much tax. Being the place where we celebrated Kat’s very special 40th birthday we feel strangely connected to this awful event and send our deepest condolences to all who have been affected.

Fyi - After checking out Russ’s “helmet cam” footage Anthony is now researching online and can’t wait to purchase a helmet cam…you’ve been warned.

Us x

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