Thanks for the report & photos. It's great that you took the time to
document your trip. I was puzzled by the sign prohibiting recording
devices. Cameras? Videos? Sound recording? Having the backpacking
experience sounds like an excellent background for being in such wild
country. The notion of "packing for my fears..." is interesting but given
the amount of stuff on your bike it doesn't look like you are too fearful.
I refer to "defensive packing" when someone tries to cover every
contingency & ends up with 80 lbs of stuff lashed to their bike.
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 <https://www.plotaroute.com/route/298220>
> 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.
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