A day of rest in Albuquerque on Sunday passed very quickly. We were told that active rest, walking or biking or other exercise, would make today a little easier. I chose to walk 2 miles briskly – back to hotel from the bike shop where I purchased a new bike seat and canisters of compressed air to fill flat tires.
Today’s biking was as reported, 137 miles from Albuquerque to Las Vegas, New Mexico with 7000 feet of vertical climb. It started at 6:30 a.m. with a slow and steady climb up almost 10 miles at 3-5 % grade. The view from near that location looking backward on the valley and the sprawling city was interesting. We then climbed onto Route 66 with more climbing integrated with rolling hills and much vegetation; the scent of pine in the air was intoxicating. The air warmed quickly, and we were able to shed our jackets by 9:30 a.m.
At 46 miles, we entered the artistic town of Madrid, the location of the film Wild Hogs. There were festive decoration on buildings – it appeared to be an artist colony. Just up the road we saw the Origami in the Garden. (I wonder how the idea for that unfolded?)
Much of the roads ran alongside I- 25, another interstate. We passed through areas that served as bedroom communities for Santa Fe, but we did not reach the city limits. Our lunch, in a local voluntary fire station, at mile 79 came none to soon – everyone was tired and needed a rest. Unfortunately, our youngest rider, displaying viral symptoms at lunch, threw up afterwards and stayed in the van for the rest of the day.
Several of us went to the Hillcrest restaurant for dinner. Opened in 1946, the original jukebox and other Americana from that age remain.
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