Tomorrow is my big 67 mile ride across a very baron landscape near White Sands (which you can see shimmering in the distance here looking like a sea). I learned from a local here in Alamogordo, NM that there is a laser test facility called Helstf – military installation – which will provide water during my big 67 mile ride tomorrow if I ride up to the guard shack and ask nicely.
From Alamogordo, it’s 25 miles to White Sands visitors center and I can refill my water containers. Then another 10 miles to Helstf laser test facility where I can refill again for the last time that day. Then another 8 miles to base of hill, then a 5 mile climb up through mountain pass, then another 19 miles from the top down. So, thanks to that new info about laser test facility having a spigot outside the guard shack, I’ll only need to go about 32 miles without water (instead of 40).
Today is a rest day. I rode a half mile up the road to a spot where I could look out over my route for tomorrow and analyze visually with map in hand. I’m riding from Alamagordo, NM through White Sands missile base, over a small mountain range and into Las Cruces, NM.
THE DAY WILL LOOK LIKE THIS ON THIS CHALLENGING 67 mile ride: I ride 6 miles out into military base, wait an hour at flashing lights if there are any missiles being fired, then ride about 21 miles or so and stop at visitors center to fill up again with water. Then I’ll ride 40 miles with no water stops. I’ll be in the middle of nowhere during those 40 miles, but fortunately plenty of cars will be passing regularly (so there’s that safety factor if I wear out and can’t make it). About 18 miles before the finish of this 67 mile day, I will need to pedal 12 miles uphill over a mountain pass. Then will ride down into Las Cruces. (That’s where I join up with the established “Southern Tier” bicycle route and head west towards San Diego).
Looks like a 10 – 15 mile an hour headwind most of the way at the beginning tomorrow, but wind could calm down later in the day. Hi temp is supposed to be around 98. The dry heat is definitely way more bearable than back east, but the need to stay hydrated certainly remains. I’ll be carrying lots and lots and lots of water and will be drinking regularly. ☀️🌵🚴🏼♂️
Also planning to leave before sunrise to avoid a bit of the heat. As one seasoned rider put it to me, every minute you leave before sunrise when it’s 80 degrees is a minute you aren’t out in the blazing afternoon sun.
I’m going to play it safe. If I find myself 30 miles out in the heat and feel like I can’t make it, I certainly won’t be too proud to catch a ride.
The White Sands National Monument was stunning to see glistening in the distance as I came down from the mountains into Alamagordo, NM. It looks like a sea.
After a rest day, I’ll be making the 67 mile journey through the White Sands missile range. A commonly traveled road goes through there with regular traffic and they stop cars for an hour or so now and then when they are firing missiles.
There’s one mountain range to cross at the end of that day.
I’m told there are not any water stops the last 40 miles or so of that 67 mile ride so I will be carrying lots of water and will be topping off those bottles at the last water stop before the big “no water” portion. #COASTtoCOASTbicycleride
Alamagordo, New Mexico #COASTtoCOASTbicycleride
I forgot to mention the other day that I rode through an area of New Mexico where the infamous “Billy the Kid” hid out. (The town now consists of a few houses and this sign). Pretty cool.
On a related note, a few weeks ago, I met the grandson of a man who was the sheriff of Peducah, Texas when Bonnie & Clyde rolled through town. #COASTtoCOASTbicycleride
Love this tree in neighborhood on the edge of Alamogordo, New Mexico. #COASTtoCOASTbicycleride
This was on the way down to Alamogordo, New Mexico.
That is White Sands National Monument shimmering in the distance. It looks like the sea.
It got up to 99 degrees today once I was out of the mountains. (It was about 10 degrees cooler earlier when I was 2,000 feet higher above sea level).
Alamogordo, New Mexico near White Sands National Monument
Thanks to the folks at bicycle shops along the way who have helped me keep my bicycle running smoothly.
Heartening! ❤️ 3 people from overseas just shared post about my coast to coast bicycle ride across America for Bell Socialization. Bell has already received at least one overseas donation.
The people who shared the post include a man from Croatia, a fellow from Denmark & a man from the Philippines. I’m grateful that the word is getting out about this fundraiser and hope Bell will receive more donations to help homeless families.
1,300 people from around the world have liked that post about this benefit ride for Bell in the last 48 hours and hopefully some will support this worthy cause. 700 families per year every year are turned away from Bell Shelter due to lack of space.
After info on this bicycle ride fundraiser was posted on a couple of bicycle forums a few days ago, I started to receive encouragement from people in many different countries. All donations to this GoFundMe https://gofund.me/55b78754 are tax deductible and go straight from GoFundMe to Bell Socialization. Bell runs the homeless shelter in my hometown of York, PA.