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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 32 (28 riding): Total overall distance: 2069.64mi Total distance today: 126.07mi Total time: 8.27.08 Avg speed: 14.9mph Top speed: 41.0mph

Random thoughts of the day:
-Oh my fast, 41mph on a bike is as crazy as 75 in a roller coaster
-Brrrr not only is wind cold...but it's dead in my face! And at 10mph :(
-Wind switched from right to left and I took a 90 degree turn left...perfect
-I feel fantastic
-Silly me, I thought I could get through Texas with 0 dare I
-Frontage roads may be the single biggest waste of money I've ever seen
-I could go on forever today
-30 miles of bitter cold wind in my face and a flat tire should've dampened my spirits...but I feel fantastic!
-I'm actually excited to stealth camp
-Tonight, I sleep in the desert brush like a rattlesnake or scorpion...who I hope are sleeping...

Today was a very strange day...It started off frustrating me because:
1. I had to climb multiple hills to get DOWN a mountain...irritating
2. I had to go 30 miles into a bitter cold 10mph headwind
But then the wind switched...and so did I. I ended up having a 10-12mph tailwind for the rest of the day, so I decided to make the most of it. I felt great and was in a great mindset for some reason. The hills and headwind never really got to me, so when I got the tailwind, I was ecstatic. I was actually excited to ride on I-10 with basically all 18 wheelers...mainly because it had a nicely paved and wide shoulder but also because truck drivers are easily the best and most courteous drivers I have encountered. I would take them over regular cars everyday. I wasn't on the interstate all that long...maybe 20-25 miles when I switched to the frontage road. What a colossal waste of money these roads are. They are simply a 2 lane road that runs right to the side of the interstate. I have no idea why you would ever go on it though, and apparently neither does anyone else because in 70 miles of it, I saw 5 cars and only 1 going the same direction as me. Such a waste of money to make a paved road literally 25 feet from the interstate. It as obviously great for me...a huge bike lane essentially. Although I did get a flat tire on it :/ but even that didn't get me down. Maybe because I knew I was due for one and it was the front tire, which is really easy to replace. Anyway, like I said, it was a weird day...I never even really got hungry. I had a nice scrambled egg sandwich that John made for me and never stopped for any other food. I ate a bag of Barnum's animal crackers while riding, but that's it. It was actually the first day of the whole trip that I did not spend a single dollar!! Cha-ching!

Since my legs felt so great and I had a tailwind, I decided to just keep going until I finally got hungry or it got really dark. Plus I didn't want to camp in Sierra Blanca (google search why) so I went 126 miles!! I could have kept going too, but decided it was a good idea to stop and eat and we found a great place to stealth camp in the desert brush about 100 feet off of the main road we were on.

Yes, I said we. At right around mile 95, I ran into 2 guys on the side of the road with loaded bikes. One was just finishing replacing a broken spoke and the other was watching. They turned out to be 2 cool guys about my age named Tim and Noah and they were doing the same thing I was today...just riding until around dark to take advantage of the wind. They are far crazier than me though. They have been riding off and on since the November before last and have yet to pay for a place to sleep! They stealth camp every night and they even go as far as eating roadkill when it's fresh! That may save a lot of money, but is out of my league for sure. Anyway, we rode the last 25-30 miles together and found a good place to stealth camp. I have to say, it was pretty cool to camp on the side of the road in the desert. They made a meal with pots and a propane burner and I had my 5-6 PB&J sandwiches. We shared stories and chatted for a while. They are filming a documentary about their travels...I'll post the website in the next blog. Cool guys and fun to hang out with. Time to hit the proverbial sack because it's cold outside!!

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