Ride for the Dream

Cycling From Coast To Coast

Day 14 – El Paso, TX

by on March 17th, 2014

Today we left New Mexico and entered Texas where we will spend the better part of the next 16 days, longer than we have been on the road total to this point.
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We had a fairly easy riding day with good conditions ….. but a long day at the same time.  We were plagued with multiple flat tires as a group. Buck had three and Ben two for a total of five separate flat tire fix stops.  At that point everyone was also low on tubes so we had to take some time to repair/patch a few as well.

We stopped at a local bike shop in El Paso to restock on tubes and get some tube liners for Buck’s tires to cut down on his flats.  The Gator Skins he is using are no match for steel belted radial wires on the sides of the roads or the goat head thorns / bull head thorns (I have heard them called both). We rolled our bikes off the road to take pics at the Texas state line and all got bull head thorns in our tires.  I spent twenty minutes pulling them out of my tires without an actual flat (Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires are thicker and have kevlar lining).  Both of Buck’s tires went flat immediately.  The thorns are everywhere.  I stepped on one in my hotel room last night.  Flat tire count.. Buck (7), Ben (3), Kevin (2), Baptiste (2). Below are what the bull head thorns look like, they are nasty little buggers.

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Later in the day we rolled through downtown El Paso which was nice on a Sunday afternoon with little traffic.  We were stopped at at traffic light recounting the “flatathon” that made up the day to that point when someone commented that it was not so bad…nobody had been hurt yet or taken a tumble from their bike, etc. Ben made a point that he had never fallen off his road bike or wrecked.  At the next traffic light I looked back and Ben’s bike was on the ground and he was rolling across the sidewalk.  We stopped quickly as the light was a long yellow and he thought we were going to go through and had to slam his breaks on.  Once we realized he wasn’t hurt we had a huge laugh at his expense.

We are once again very close to the Mexican border and will continue to ride near it for the next several days. Tomorrow we are scheduled to stop in Hancock, Texas but may try and push to the next town with basic services depending on how the day goes.  It gets pretty sparse after we leave El Paso for quite a while.

 

 

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