First days on the road in New Mexico

The on-ramp of Interstate 10 has a bunch of signs, one of them (amazingly) aallowed us to ride on the shoulder of these 4 lane ‘motorways’. We had to get back east 20 miles to a little place called Separ and there was no alternative but to ride the interstate – a trifle intimidating but there is a healthy sized shoulder to ride on and Americans are some of the politest drivers around.

We joined the large trucks and cars racing along, pushed by a healthy tail wind, so made fast time. At Separ there is a tourist shop selling a lot of trinket souvenirs and some snack food. We stayed there a while solving my jammed camera zoom lens problem (stressful to have the new camera jam at the start of the trip) but a bit of banging brought it to its senses!

From Separ we started proper on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the 70 miles of paved road south to the Mexican border weren’t logistically easy to do so we were happy to start where the dirt road starts. We enjoyed 20 miles of cruisy desert riding on a recently graded road with the predominant wildlife being cattle.

It wasn’t too hot biking as we were at elevations of 2000m or so. We carried 4-5 litres of water each for the 2 day ride but didn’t need to as the water tanks en route were full. We camped by one of the larger tanks and a cattle yard, breaking one of our tent pegs trying to get it into the rock hard ground. The skies were blue but the evening wind was very strong and didn’t abait till the wee hours.

Next morning we met the local rancher (super friendly) and avoided being run down by a mob of cattle by being packed up and getting away early. It was 20 miles more of dirt roads to the State Highway. Just before the highway a car pulled over and an old fella climbed out and handed us a paper plate of fresh brownies, “Happy Mothers Day – you’ll need these for the hill ahead” and jumped back in his car and drove off – too good to be true.

It was a 20 mile highway haul up to Silver City, luckily with mostly tail winds. We were directed to The BIke House to try for free accommodation and were welcomed in and given a room upstairs with some pretty cool paper mache characters…

Our next leg is 190 miles to Pie Town – and few services in between – so don’t hold your breath for the next post..