Too Much Fun!
I’ve been on the road with Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier – Van One group for almost two weeks now. We made it safely across California, Arizona, now finding ourselves in Silver City New Mexico, and taking a rest day. Rest for the riders, a couple chores for me, and a lot of catching up to do … yeah … paperwork too!
Co-leading an Adventure Cycling van supported tour is no lazy cruise. You can have a great time riding sweep because unlike going “on your own” you’re not in any more hurry to get anywhere than the last person in the group. You can dawdle a bit, smell the roses, maybe even take a nap, if all is going well. But if any member runs into trouble, be it mechanical, physical, or otherwise, you’re first job is to do whatever is required to get the rider up to the day’s destination.
I carry a first aid kit and tools for most common bike repairs … both of which I’ve opened already for non-emergency issues. Let’s keep it that way!
On the driving side, I’ve done grocery shopping, lodging arrangements, supplying riders with food and water, and shuttling them when situations dictate.
All our people are terrifically nice and fun folks. We’re all getting along great, helping each other out, laughing a lot, maybe eating a bit too much, and generally riding well. We’re all sorry to lose a member who had to drop because of a knee injury. So, we are now 14.
The mountains of California were tough for some but the California desert was likely the hardest section to date. I was on drive duty the day we had to sag six or more people across a really hard windy desert section. It was surprising to see how many made it on their own.
Arizona was a mix of terrain and conditions. Some of it surprising.
And since I’ve been to this section of New Mexico, I’m comforted by familiar sights.
Silver City is wonderful little town and a great place for a break.
Between the bike shop and the coffee shops, I think everyone is feeling recharged and ready for the next two days, the first up to the Gila Cliffs, and the second over Emory Pass which at 8500’ and the continental divide, is the highest point on the trip!
Wish us well!