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Hello from Albuquerque, NM! May 15, 2007

Posted by jonpierson in Bike Touring.

strongman.jpg  raaahhh.jpg  bodyboard.jpg

So today is the official first day of tour!  woooo hoooo!  Funny how 5 years has past since my last big tour.  I forgot how strange it is to ride a fully loaded bike.  Not sure how much it weighs, probably around 30 pounds of bike, plus 40 pounds of gear at least.  Thats without water and food weight added.  New Mexico has some of the most remote sections of the Great Divide Trail, so I’m looking at carrying another 10-15 pounds of water through some of these sections.  My legs are gonna be HUGE!

I also forgot about all the strange looks you get riding a loaded bike.  You really stand out.  You have to be prepared for attention, especially in places where even typical bike riding is not common.  I think Alburquerque would qualify as one of those places.  I toured here 2 years ago, taking the same 5:01 am train from Flagstaff.  I can recall finding a bike shop on my way out of town (I was headed to Sante Fe) and even THEY looked at me like I was nuts.  In Flagstaff there are tons of folks who are travelling, most of them carry backpacks.  But when you see someone one a bike, you don’t really think twice.  Anyhow, it’s amusing to me, and the nods and smiles you get force me to recognize the fact that I am kind of on the outskirts of society here.  I think people really liked the fact that here I am in central New Mexico and heading to Canada, but FIRST I’m going south, only to turn around!  Well, not exactly true.  I’ve got a ride to the Mexican border. 

Later today I will meet 2 out of 5 other riding partners, Jim and Michael.  I don’t know much about Jim other than the fact that he seems really nice.  I think he’s done most of the Divide and will be joining the group for only one week, not quite sure though.  Michael is 45 years old, German, and has major touring experience behind him.  16 years ago he traveled by bike from the bottom of South America to the northern most road of Alaska.  He is my core partner.  I hope to start and finish the trip with him.  He is a road warrior.  By the end of this thing, I will be too. 

 Special thanks goes out to Kristen who rode with me at 4 am…. yes that’s right, 4 am, and rode with me to the train station in Flagstaff to see me off.  She’s so nice..



1. Liz - May 16, 2007

You rock, man! I am so excited about your trip, and EVEN more excited that I get to read about it on this blog. Ride safe, have fun, and call when you can.
Lots of love,
Your Big Sister

2. ben g. - May 16, 2007

Good Luck, Bro!

3. Idetrorce - December 15, 2007

very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

4. new mexico security blog - May 8, 2008

This is a great resource to find out about security in New Mexico. It features information about felons carrying guns as security guards, corruption and other problems.


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