2014-07 GDRx2

The Great Divide Route (x2)

Motorcycling Adventure #14

28 days, 6,323 miles, July 2014

Ray Jardine

page 2 of 5

Antelope Wells, New Mexico to Banff, Alberta Canada - and return.

The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route:

Adventure Cycling Association

Tour Divide (Racing)

Five hours of I-10 slab from my home in Arizona to the curio shop at Separ, New Mexico. No gas here. I then rode the gravel I-10 Frontage Road East to the paved 146, then South to Hachita.

The landscape is pretty bland south of I-10, and this persists all the way to the border.

I'm carrying a new rear tire, because I didn't want to wear the knobs off while riding the slab. The front doesn't get nearly as much wear, so I had replaced the front before leaving home.

No gas or food at Hachita.

Church at Hachita.

At the Mexican border - Antelope Wells, the Southern Terminus of the Great Divide Route. (no town here, it's just the name of the border crossing.)

Side note: Personally I think the route should start at the border just south of Columbus (just north of Palomas Mexico). That would lengthen the route by only 1.5 miles, (if via Hachita) and would add the amenities of Columbus, with its gas station, stores, restaurants, motel and State Park campground. There is even a Family Dollar store next to the border. Columbus is a nice little town, and easy to reach from Deming, 58 miles to the north. And Deming is serviced by Greyhound bus from Tucson and Las Cruces. For those riding motorcycles, the gas at Columbus is a big plus; otherwise one might carry extra from Lordsburg. (Separ to Antelope Wells and return = 145 m.) (Separ to Silver City = 50 m) (Separ to Lordsburg = 22 m.) (Lordsburg, Separ, Antelope Wells, Silver City = 217 m.)

The bike can easily travel 217 miles on a tank of gas, but at the time I was unsure of the distances. Now I have it figured out for next time.

Back at Hachita. Reaching I-10, I needed gas so backtracked to Lordsburg.

Changing the rear tire. The late afternoon was still blazing hot, so the motel manager gave me a few rags to do the job inside. I was careful to make no marks on the carpet. (Note: this is the tire from last years GDRx2 ride with about 6,000 miles on it.)

All was going well until the valve stem tool snapped off inside the tire stem. The broken bits prevented me from extracting the valve stem, so I couldn't let enough air out of the tube to remove the tire. In the end I had to puncture the tube with a knife. I always install a new tube with a tire change anyway. So with the air out of the old tube, it came right out - and I soon finished the job.

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