When the humans at the front of the pack get tired, they can slow down; when the humans at the back of the pack get tired….well…uh…errrr….there is no way to slow down. We, instead, get a van “bump”. When you’re running low and too far behind, the van puts you in and pushes you up the road.
Now, for some humans this is a terrible thing. They’re Type A and see the bump as a failure. But, going into this, my human knew that the fast riders are…uh…fast and my human just toodles down the road. So, there would be days when we would get a van bump. Today was another bump-ing day. The altitude, the climbing and the inability to fuel the engine just took a toll. Some days there are a lot of bumpers; other days not so many. Today about 15% riders took a bump; yesterday almost 25% took a bump.
But, let me tell you, we still road 50 miles. And, on the bright side, for a while I got to ride with Edwin in the van (who is still whining).
So, enough crying….we’ve been riding desert now for more than a week. And, while it is still desert, it has changed. We’ve seen different ecosystems along the way; places where no one would seriously want to live; other places where you could see the appeal. But, the changes have been gradual so if you don’t stop to think about things, it seems like it hasn’t changed at all.
Today, we went through a farming area that didn’t look forced like it had back in El Centro. We also went through a stretch of desert based on a lava flow — odd to see cactus growing out of dark black rock. And finally, we climbed up to Ruidoso. It was a lovely climb, albeit spooky as the area had seen a major fire a few years back. The scrub had returned, but the trees were still black with ash.
And, along the way, we got this awesome sundog picture…