Great job John! The pics are wonderful - I've visited the Silver City area 
and think there may have been some serious climbing but also serious 
Dennis in PDX

On Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 11:01:02 PM UTC-7, John M wrote:
> For years I have wanted to make a bike tour out of the quiet backroads and 
> hidden corners of SW New Mexico where I live.  But a whole litany of 
> excuses, both real and imagined conspired against it—didn’t have the right 
> bike, too hot, too windy, too little water, not enough time, not in good 
> enough shape, not safe to go alone, and on and on and on.  This year I 
> became the new owner of a barely used Hunqapillar and resolved to make it 
> happen.  About a month ago I sketched out a rough plan and started putting 
> touring equipment together.  Last Thursday after spending way too much time 
> agonizing over the final details and packing for my fears instead of my 
> confidence, I locked the front door and soft pedaled through town headed 
> south towards the bootheel of New Mexico, destined for the Chiricahua 
> mountains just over the border in Arizona. 
> I figured I could do 50 miles per day, with a mix of dirt and 
> pavement—though I haven't had many rides over 15 miles in the last few 
> years.  More worrying than my ability to go the distance was the 
> resupply—mostly of water, but also food.  Water, like towns,  are scarce 
> out here and I planned to pack enough supplies to ride straight through 
> each day without needing to count on uncertain water sources (cattle tanks) 
> or stores that might be out of business or closed for the day.  I spent 4 
> days touring, camping in Forest Service campgrounds or just out in the wide 
> desert on BLM land.  
> Pictorial highlights here:  Flickr photos 
> <>
> Route info here: Plotaroute <>
> Other than the Chiricahua mountains which are justifiable famous among 
> bird watchers (Trogons!) and outdoorsy folk, it was wonderfully desolate 
> out there.  Ranch trucks and the Border Patrol were about the only other 
> travelers on the roads.   On one 20 mile stretch of dirt road, I spent 
> three hours spinning away in the small chainring, climbing in and out of 
> small drainages without a car passing me, or even having one in sight.  
> The bike did wonderfully—no mechanical failures or tire punctures.  I had 
> converted the Racing Ralphs to tubeless about a month ago to make sure they 
> would be reliable.  I still didn’t trust them completely and rode pretty 
> cautiously to prevent failure out in the boonies.  The bike came with the 
> Albatross handlebar, and though I am more used to riding with drops, the 
> Albas were fine.  I definitely missed the lack of *comfortable* hand 
> positions but they certainly didn’t prevent me from finishing the trip or 
> having a good time. 
> john

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