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September 30, 2010 / jslipschultz

Day 18: Taos to Raton, NM (9/29)

Wow.  Starting to sound redundant, but “another beautiful ride.”  Today’s route took us through some beautiful sights.  High bluffs and pine forests and even some lakes (don’t recall seeing much water since the Pacific Ocean).  We even went through Philmont which is a large area owned by the Boy Scouts.

We had a pretty big climb right out of the gates.  Basically 2,050 ft for the first 17.5 miles (hour and 20 minutes).  Karl and I did it together (until the last bit when he left me to pace myself up the 9-10% grade).  It was fun to climb with him, but I think I used up some matches (energy reserves) hitting that one hard.  I never perform well the day after a rest day (same thing in the training).  Oh well, we made it.

We had lunch right on the border of Cimmaron Canyon State Park.  The sign said basically, “end of the Rockies, beginning of the Great Plains.”  It should have said, “here now comes the wind in your face, ha ha.”  Fortunately, we had a long pace line (at time eschelon–a diagonal paceline line opposite the wind direction) consisting of Joseph (who now if pseudo-engaged after his rendovous with Chiyo in Taos–yeah, Joseph!), Austin, Bill, and a somewhat recovered Karl (with a K).  We miss Michael already.

Karl has been a saint when it comes to my bike.  It’s a long story, but it took traveling quite a bit and a bit of luck to track down a new bottom bracket for me in Taos.  And today, it was squeaking a bit (so nice to have your mechanic riding alongside you to hear it).  Karl jumped on it at lunch and, “no worries, mate” as he would say.

Pics: Cresting the big climb (whew), looking back on Eagle’s Nest after a little climb out of town, before lunch we separated on a big descent and had solitude viewing sights like the bluffs, Cimmaron Canyon sign, and Karl on the job.

top of climb  Eagle's Nest  Past Eagle's Nest the-palisades-sill-the-cimmaron-river Cimmaron Canyon

Karl tweaking BB

By the numbers: 92.3 miles, 17.8 mph avg, 5:11:57 riding time, 3,638 ft of climbing; Totals so far: 1,348.4 mi and 56,242 feet.

Helmet-cam: Sometimes you just have to go; Austin and I getting food past Eagle’s Nest; Rolling along where cool pic above was taken; Bill, Karl, and Joseph are fast descenders (not me);

Group video recap:



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  1. The Hoots + Whiskee / Sep 30 2010 10:18 pm

    Did you get my comments after our get together, haven’t figured this out yet . We haven’t stopped thinking of you, Whiskee really liked your lap!!
    Not writing more till Iknow I have reached you.

    • jslipschultz / Oct 1 2010 6:29 am

      Yep, sure did, Margo. Really enjoyed having you and Dick visit me. Thanks so much for driving all the way down from Grand Junction and bringing Whiskee the Dog along (for those who need a little explaination). Hope you’re enjoying the blog.

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