SILVER CITY, N.M. — I’m finding that much of the downtime on a transcontinental bicycle ride is spent on logistics. Taking care of the essentials: bike, body and blog.
The daily routine is to wake up before dawn; have some breakfast (usually coffee, oatmeal, yogurt and fruit) at first light; break camp, which entails taking down the tent, rolling up the sleeping bag and bed rolls and packing everything into the panniers on the bike.
After checking the tire pressure and the balance of the load, you’re ready to roll.
In the afternoon or evening, after the day’s ride, the routine is much the same, but in reverse: find a good place to pitch the tent at the campsite (I usually look for grass, shade and proximity to electrical outlets, the bathroom and showers); put up the tent, unpack the sleeping bag and bed rolls, make sure the bike is secure and covered.
It’s advantageous to arrive at a campsite early to get best pick of the tent sites and to take care of any chores that hadn’t been attended to earlier for lack of time.
On Sunday, for example, I arrived early in Silver City, found that a bike shop was open and that it was only a few blocks from our campsite. I spent a productive hour or so at the shop getting my bike throughly checked out for the next leg of the journey. Dave Baker of Gila Hike & Bike, a Texan transplanted from Plano to Silver City by way of Austin, gave my bike a thorough going-over and charged me only $25.
Dave cleaned and lubed the chain, topped up the tire pressure, trued the wheels, checked the spokes and brakes, adjusted the shifting and generally cleaned off the road grit accumulated in more than 700 miles of traveling.
I’ve also been able to use the downtime in Silver City to update this blog. I posted several new photos on the Pix page and updated the daily mileage and cumulative mileage on the “day by day” subpage of the Route page.