Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Friday, March 8, 2013

TIM TOWER: First Warmshowers Guest of 2013

You're off to Great Places!  Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting, so...get on your way!" ~ Dr. Seuss

This quote seems apropos for Tim.  Yesterday, he was headed to Hillsboro, NM, over Emory Pass.  Now, Emory Pass is at 8228' elevation.  Silver City is at about 6000' elevation.  Do the math.  It's a "climb", y'know?  The Pass was probably the highest climb Tim has done so far on the Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route.  It's 40 miles from our house to Emory Pass, with rollers and smaller climbs along the way until the real climb starts near San Lorenzo, NM.  From Emory Pass, it's about 19 miles to Hillsboro, NM.  Fortunately, from Emory Pass, it's downhill for about 8 miles and pretty flat from Kingston, NM, to Hillsboro, NM.  A nice treat after a strenuous climb up a big mountain.

Tim first contacted me when he was in Safford, AZ, where he was staying with a Warmshowers.org host.  I always appreciate being contacted by email first from people looking to stay at our house.  Gives me a chance to speak to Eileen, since it's her room that we put the cyclist/s in and it gives me time to check the person out on Warmshowers.org.  Eileen can check her calendar to see if she has any fiddle students or if something else is on the calendar that I've forgotten about or don't know about.  We enjoy meeting the people who bicycle through the area.  Having done this for a while now, we've met people from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland, Australia, and, now, Tim, who was born in Myanmar and raised in South Africa, but presently lives in Seattle, WA, with his wife.  Tim, who is 63yrs old,  is new to bicycle touring.  He's been at it for just a few years and is still somewhat apprehensive but very enthusiastic about it at the same time.  Sort of elfish, in a way.  Great to see that his apprehensions don't get in the way of his mountains.  He has all the latest electronics, so he's not going to get lost.  Between his GPS and his Adventure Cycling Association maps, the ride is dialed in.  What isn't dialed in, however, is the ride, the road, the weather, and the things/people encountered in an endeavor such as this.  That's the adventure.  Now, I still prefer AAA maps and my bike computer.  Gives me a bit more of an adventure.  When I rode from Alaska to Maine in 1988, I had AAA maps, travelers checks, a credit card, and a phone card (remember them?).  So, our journeys were different in those respects but the riding, the things/people along the way, the weather, etc., are the same.  Warmshowers.org definitely adds a real plus to the trek.

Coming from Seattle, Tim loved the weather he's encountered in Arizona and New Mexico.  Probably has seen the sun more in those two states than he has in the last decade in Seattle!  Too wet up there for me.  He's trying to retire, but is still doing some work for his employer.  One thing I truly thought was great about Tim's touring gear is that he's not carrying his whole house with him.  He's actually touring with minimal gear, which is unusual for a beginner.  Usually, they bring a LOT of stuff, but Tim just has two rear Ortlieb panniers and his tent, sleeping pad strapped to the top of his rear rack.

A few photos:
Ortlieb Rear Pannier
Roswheel Frame Pannier...small, hangs over the top tube and very convenient.

Tim preparing to depart to meet his mountain.

Slathering on the sunscreen....a necessary item here.

Tim diligently working on his blog and checking the day's route.
Now, a few videos:
Tim got a late start leaving our house...around 10:30am.  He had to pick up some food prior to leaving Silver City because there wouldn't be much after getting over Emory Pass until he gets to Hatch, NM.  Got an email from him saying he didn't get out of town until 12:30pm!!  And I thought that I was a lollygagger!!!  Hats off to Tim...he's the champ!!  Eileen and I enjoyed meeting Tim and hosting him.  He thought my food was great.  I told him that he'd been on the road too long.  Sort of like eating packaged dehydrated food backpacking, then eating some real food.  Fakes you out temporarily.  LOL...  After taking a shower, having a beer, fine conversation, some good dinner, tackling his blog, and researching his route out of Silver City, Tim got a good night's sleep and was ready to hit the road, refreshed.  I like helping touring cyclists.  Generally, they're great company with lots of good tales.  Tim was no exception. 

Alright, time to go make dinner.  Here's a tune to go with...Miles Davis doing, "Around The Midnight".  Enjoy.  Jazz at its finest...