C – We woke early and went through our usual routine. Whilst Todd packed away the camping gear inside of the tent, I made coffee, tea and porridge. We got packed away quickly and hit the road, very keen to make it to New Mexico today. We are both pining for the desert and every fibre of my being wants some warm sunshine on my skin!!! We have had some amazing weather more recently, but Colorado has turned on the grey skies and rain for us and it’s been quite chilly.
We ventured 6km back down a rough, corrugated dirt road and followed the GPS instructions. Only 70km to go until we cross the border. We got within 40km, on a lovely gravel County Road which weaved through beautiful ranch land. There were many, many keep out/no trespassing/posted private property signs along the way on the fences. It all ended with a very strong gate with three padlocks blocking the County Road. Say what?!?!? We pulled out the map book, double checked the GPS – the road definitely existed, was definitely a named and numbered county road. A vehicle arrived and the ranch workers explained that the road still does go through, but is now gated and padlocked at each end. The worker told us where the owner lived and said we could go and ask for permission to cross, but he was not at all confident that the rancher would say yes. I am assuming some money changing has occurred with the local county here. This is not the first time we have seen mapped county roads blocked off as private property.
T – It was a strange thing. There were still county road signs at the gate and even speed limit signs a little ways in. A bit of a shame for us really as this was a gorgeous bit of road!
C – After backtracking and then turning east again we ended up in Trinidad. Going at slow speeds through town looking for the library, Rosie had a definite wiggle going on. Like the front tyre was flat, but I could see it wasn’t. She had this same feeling yesterday afternoon at slow speeds, but I thought nothing more of it once Todd had checked the tyre. When we pulled up at the library I said to Todd that something was definitely going on and suggested he take Rosie for a spin. He didn’t need to go far – yep, something is definitely wrong with her.
After a very quick inspection we discovered broken spokes. Seven of them. SEVEN! We only have six spares……
T – Bloody Rosie. She has given me many headaches with her rear wheel. 16 gazillion punctures, two broken spokes previous, a bent rim, and now this little nugget! She better watch her little red ass or she may find it in the sin bin.
C – You may remember I hit a cattle guard rather hard back in Montana and whilst Todd had straightened the rim the best he could, the rim is still not perfect. We figure it must be due to the rim not being true anymore.
After faffing around in the library, we pulled the bikes onto the kerb in the shade and commenced work. We managed to find a repair shop who advertises helping Trans American Trail riders with repairs, so ventured in there. Topar were fantastic, checking the rim and telling us that Todd did a wonderful job, the rim is very close to true and they wouldn’t recommend fiddling with it anymore.
As we need to order spokes, we decided to get them locally so that they would there to meet us in Roswell in a few days. We will need to be careful till then though – no rough tracks till we have some spares!
T – Seeing as we didn’t have enough spokes to suit we ended up having to rob two spokes from our front wheels. One from Rosie and poor old Mabel even gave one up for the cause. Gotta love that Mabel, who by the way has been performing flawlessly over the last 15 thousand km’s. Though I am not surprised that there are some cracks appearing in the bikes armour now. We have pushed them hard. Down crap rough roads and just the other day we did three massive mountain passes in one day. One of those passes topped out at 3899 meters above sea level and the other two at just over 3000 meters each.
We will need to get some spokes now and I am thinking of having the rear rims of both bikes respoked in LA with some nice fat spokes. If anyone can recommend someone let us know!
C – We left town really late, it probably wasn’t our smartest idea. It was 5.40pm and we ventured out towards Branson. We pushed on passed Branson, crossing the New Mexico border. The sky around us was all storm cells, with rain pouring down in all directions. We got nice and wet along the way, but found a lovely camp site in a road side pullout. No ‘no camping’ signs so we decided this was it. There was a shelter there, which looks like it used to house a picnic table, so we set up under the shelter, cooked dinner in the dark and fell into a deep deep sleep!
Onwards towards Roswell tomorrow – the weather forecast is promising me 99 degrees Fahrenheit … fingers crossed!!!