Saturday, March 27, 2010

Marathon to Sanderson, TX 54 miles 3/27/10

Our breakfast this morning at the Gage Hotel was in a room with a long, wooden something you would see on "Bonanza!"  I hated to leave the Gage; it was such a beautiful place, decorated in Mexican, American Indian, and Old West styles.

Last evening I got some more biking technique advice from Linda Baldwin, our chef and bike ride leader.  She has a way of explaining things that really make a difference!

We only had 54 miles to go, and the terrain was a gradual downhill.  We started out with no wind, traveling due East.  We advised not to start until after 8 am since the sun would be in our eyes, as well as vehicle driver eyes.  As the sun rose, the wind came up and we were thrilled that it was mostly at our backs!  We were able to maintain 20-22 mph.  The SAG car appeared before we knew it.
When we stopped, we had company...a herd of a dozen buffalo, quietly grazing near the SAG car.  They did not seem too concerned about all the bicycles and people taking their photos.  Since there was a fence between us, this obviously was not a wild herd.

When we left, the road had some nice downhills, and in my effort to apply the advice that Linda suggested, I really started to hit my stride.  I was going 25-26 mph with seemingly little effort!  My knee was doing well, and I was using my upperleg muscles, my aero bars, and my largest gears.  Of course the tail wind helped, too!I arrived at the Outback Oasis Motel around 11:40 am - a record for me!

The owners are amateur herpetologists, and they have a room off the lobby with glass cages of many of the local snakes.  A few of the rattlers were coming out of their winter hibernation, and would become quite noisey whenever we stood in front of their cages.  Ruth, one of the owners, was happy to show them to us.  Her husband raises them in an area behind the motel.  (Right behind Mike's room, much to her dismay!)

Many of us arrived quite early into Sanderson, and 15 of us walked the few blocks to the town center, where there was a nice cafe.  Sanderson's population is 900, so if we were to walk another few blocks we would have been out of town!

After everyone came in so early there was time to play games, catch up on blogging and clean bike gears and chain.  We have our big 111-mile day tomorrow!  We are ordering pizza for tomorrow's dinner because not everyone will be riding in by our 7:00 pm dinner time!