Day 88 – Mexico!

9.19.2012
Start: I-10 / 46 junction
End: Antelope Wells, NM / MEXICO!
Today’s miles: 65
Total miles: 2755
Splats: 0
Divide crossings: 1; 32 total
Wildlife: tarantula, fox

65 Long Miles to the Border

This is it. The last day. My parents dropped me off where I stopped yesterday and I started riding. It’d be 65 flat, paved miles to the border. It seemed to take forever for me to get to the mountains that had been looming in the distance. When I finally got there, I was still nowhere near close to being done. I stared at the white line on the road and kept pedaling; I’ve gotten pretty decent at that by this point.

Starting off

A brutally loooong, boring road to the border.

Something on the road caught my eye and I hopped off the muni to investigate. It was a tarantula! I dug out my camera and tried to get some shots from its level. The tarantula was either attracted to the camera or possibly it wanted to eat me. Either way, it chased me around as I tried to take its picture.

This guy helped me along my chasing me.

Fourteen miles from the border, I started riding like I was drunk. I didn’t want to accept it, but I knew what it meant – flat tire. I’d suffered multiple thorn punctures in my tire and decided that I’d had enough; I was ready to quit the ride right there. Fortunately, riding to my parents car at the border was the shortest evacuation route so I had no choice but to swap out the tube and ride on.

The last few feet!


I was a little dismayed to see closed gates and ‘restricted area’ signs at the border crossing as I rode up. The flat had set me back and I arrived about 20 minutes after the crossing closed for the day. I ducked under the gate to seek Mexico anyway; stopping 100 yds from the goal after 88 days and 2755 miles was not an option! I went past the closed inspection station up to a second gate. Went under that one and took a step into Mexico as the Mexican guards with big guns looked on with amusement.

I MADE IT!

Disregarding the closed gate and restricted area signs

I think I went a foot too far.

While my parents waited for me to arrive, they had plenty of time to chat with Tim at customs. We visited him in his nearby house where I tagged his wall and was treated to ice cream and a cold coke!

Tim shared ice cream and a cold coke!

Tagging Tim's wall

The riding is over, thank goodness, but stay tuned for more updates, gear reviews, pictures and videos!

~Butterfeet

Day 87 – Wrong Turn

9.18.2012
Start: Silver City
End: I-10 / 46 junction
Today’s miles: 59.2
Total miles: 2688.8
Splats: 0
Divide crossings: 1; 31 total
Wildlife: rattler


I’ve made it this whole way without making a wrong turn and on my next to last day I go the wrong way and end up in the middle of someone’s ranch with the dogs guiding me out. Ok, technically, this is the second time. The first happened on my second or third day, but I don’t count it because I was aware that I might be off course. This time I had no idea, and upon returning to the point of error, I wasn’t quite sure how I could have missed the rather obvious junction. I think I must’ve been facebooking keeping you up to date while riding. I payed the price for my inattention by having to backtrack and ride an extra threeish miles through sandy washes.

The riding was fast for most of the day; my average speed was up near 9 mph! My speedometer tells me that I maxed out at about 14.5; that’s fast on a 29″ muni! Back in Canada I remember my top speed being about 10 and thinking 8 or 9 was super fast. No way I would’ve been able to maintain that speed for any length of time back then, let alone over 60 miles :) Ok, enough bragging.

Today’s ride took me through yucca desert. The beautiful scenery was difficult to capture by camera (I don’t think I was successful). The twisted yuccas have lots of personality and cheered me on as I rode through.

Tomorrow = Mexico!

Day 86 – Leap Frogging

9.17.2012
Start: Road to Sapillo Campground
End: Silver City
Today’s miles: 32.2
Total miles: 2629.6
Splats: 0
Divide crossings: 1; 30 total
Wildlife:

Wandered around Silver City with my parents this morning while waiting for my part to arrive. I got the call around noon and we rushed off to get it installed and to get me back on the route.

Today’s thirty some miles were all on pavement. There was a big climb, but the riding went by quickly as my parents leapfrogged me in their car. Every few miles, I’d round a bend to see their camera lenses aimed at me.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but I’ve come to accept my new trail name, Butterfeet, as I’ve been dubbed by the Queen Bee. Supposedly, I trip over things a lot. Today, as I crossed a busy intersection on foot, my feet tangled multiple times. I may now actually be more graceful riding a unicycle than walking.

Day 85 – Evac

9.16.2012
Start: Black Canyon
End: Road to Sapillo Campground
Today’s miles: 26.6
Total miles: 2597.4
Splats: 0
Divide crossings: 2; 29 total
Wildlife:

I managed to get a text and call out to my parents from the dirt road this morning. They were able to meet me and pick me up on a paved portion of route in the afternoon. We’re in Silver City tonight. Tomorrow, the part I need should be delivered, hopefully with enough time for me to get out and complete the stretch into town that I missed this afternoon.

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The big news today: Queen Bee and All Downhill arrived at the border! They rode the 120 miles from Silver City in one go. Now they turn their bikes north and head to Tucson. Congratulations you two! Again, you can read their very entertaining blog (and get the real scoop on me) at: losingthedivide.blogspot.com

Other excitement tonight: all you can eat China Buffet!

Day 84 – Who knew?

9.15.2012
Start: near Ghost Lake
End: Black Canyon
Today’s miles: 59.2
Total miles: 2570.8
Splats: 0
Divide crossings: 3; 27 total
Wildlife:

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Who would’ve guessed that New Mexico would be the coldest, greenest, and most flowered state (and perhaps one of the wettest). I stayed nice and toasty in my sleeping bag as ice formed in my water bottles last night. I was awake, once again, well before dawn to try to get a start as soon as it was light enough to see. It was cold, but I was finally feeling hardened to it; about time…

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I couldn’t believe how green everything was today. I mean, I expected to be riding through 100 degree deserts through here, not 30 degree green grasslands and pine forests. To make things even more spectacular, wildflowers were blooming everywhere, adding yellows and purples to the mix. For much of the day, the forest floor and hillsides were blanketed in a carpet of little yellow flowers. I feel pretty lucky to be reaping the rewards of the rains earlier in the week. Some locals said they haven’t seen it this pretty up here in many years, if ever.

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The miles went by rather easily today, a nice change. I was on track to do close to 70 miles, but ran into some issues about 55 miles in. Let’s just say that currently my seat and handlebars are half held on with duct tape. I feel quite vulnerable sitting atop this thing. Will have to keep a close eye on it tomorrow; I do not want the seat to fall off while I’m riding. It’s about 60 miles to town from here. I’m hoping to at least make it I the pavement where I may end up hitching into town where a new seat base should be waiting. My patents / rescue team should also be arriving there tomorrow!

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Day 83 – Sunshine!

9.14.2012
Start: The Toaster House, Pie Town, NM
End: near Ghost Lake
Today’s miles: 65.4
Total miles: 2511.6
Splats: 0
Divide crossings: 0
Wildlife:

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Perfect riding weather today. It was cold, down to around freezing last night, but the crisp air and warm sunshine made for pleasant riding. A few remnant puddles and mud holes presented themselves early in the day. I promptly fell in one of them and covered myself in mud. It was nothing compared to what Queen Bee and ‘All Downhill’ had dealt with. We were able to get ahold of each other early this afternoon. They somehow managed to ride a century through the impassable mud. Their bikes we’re so caked in mud that the wheels wouldn’t turn when they pushed the bikes, which were also too heavy to lift. When the mud began to dry on their bikes, they had to chip it off with their tent stakes. Despite the mud, rain and some big mechanical breakdowns, they managed to push through and made it in to Silver City today. They’re kind of making me feel like a wimp. I recommend you read the harrowing tale on their blog.

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The rest in Pie Town seems to have done me good. My legs no longer feel like jello and I’m not immediately out of breath whenever I try to move. I was hoping to do my biggest day today, but was set back early on by a malfunction with the handlebars. I’ve managed to keep them working, but I’m trying to be delicate with them.

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