I think I speak for everyone in the group that today was a ‘gift’ of a 109 miles with a tailwind for most of the way and only 1900 ft of climbing between Roswell and Clovis, NM. Again, the skies were cloudless and temps in the 80’s- just perfect weather. My average speed for the day was 20.5 MPH. Since today’s route was uneventful I thought I’d yak about a couple of things I haven’t mentioned to date.
First, a few words about a couple of unusual bicycles on the tour. The distinct winner of the ‘ironman PAC Tour’ rider goes to Steve from California with his fixed gear bike. In case you don’t know what a fixed gear bike is about, he has ONE gear for the entire trip (49/19 gearing) and he can’t coast- he has to pedal the entire time. So when we’re coasting downhill at 44 MPH, he has to keep pedaling and slow down by backpedaling and tapping his single break but his legs are constantly moving. The other unusual bike is Susan’s recumbent bike- again, probably difficult to climb with but she can kick some butt on the flats. Speaking of flats, these last couple of flat days have been good to mix up the group and ride with people we hadn’t ridden with in the mountains. The group stays closer together so we get to see different people along the route, at the rest stops, and lunch.
Next, I thought I’d describe our typical PAC Tour day (at least from my perspective). I set the alarm for either 5-5:30am, depending on our departure time, either at 6:30 or 7am. I get up and check e-mail, pack my bag, and then about 10 minutes before breakfast (either at 6am or 6:30am) I bring my computer to the trailer and bring my bike to the rack. I pump up my tires with the aid of a hotel light or flashlight, then filll my water bottles. Breakfast happens at 6 or 6:30am sharp and we usually eat outside in the parking lot but the last couple of days we’ve had breakfast sitting down inside the hotel’s breakfast area. We eat oatmeal, cold cereal, bagels, banana, juice, etc. I go back to my room to get my gear bag which is loaded just prior to departing and then we’re off. Rest stops are about every 25 miles and we refill our stomachs and water bottles. Lunch happens at about the 75% of the route and we take about 30 minutes to eat. We jump back on our bikes to finish the daily route, then get to the hotel in mid to late afternoon. We pick up our hotel keys, clean and lube the bikes, and shower. We usually go to local restaurants in groups of 4-8 people and go to sleep by 9-9:30pm but not until we check the weather channel on TV. We get up the next day and do it all over again!