Here are some pictures from my day in the van:

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I’m going to have to keep this post and the next pretty short because due to everything that has happened in the past two days, I’m treading a fine line between getting enough sleep and being able to write quality blogs.

My van day was with Kirk and Taylor. Taylor hurt her elbow about a week ago (I think) and it really started bothering her recently, so she joined Kirk and I. This is what we think of van days:

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We all had a great time listening to music and chalking the route, but I don’t think anyone enjoys being in the van. We all would rather be riding! It’s actually easier and a lot less stressful.

Allison carried my GPS watch yesterday and did a great job pressing the start button when she left Las Vegas and the stop button when she arrived in Santa Fe. Here’s the data and GPS route she collected: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/543215063.

At the first water stop, the riders informed us that the hills were pretty big and the headwind was killer. Eric snapped a shift cable, so his rear gears weren’t able to shift. Since this wasn’t a repair that could be done on the road, Taylor let him ride her bike, and although it was a little too small for him, he made it through the day! At the second water stop, nothing much had changed, there were still hills and headwinds, but the food van had brought us breakfast corn dogs! I thought they were pretty good. It was a breakfast sausage fried in pancake batter on a stick! We also had yogurt and orange juice! We also encountered our third 4k dog!

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While we were chalking the route to the third water stop, we met a local who was biking on the road and he informed us that our route would run into dirt roads for 25 miles. So we quickly rerouted to a slightly shorter route! At the third water stop, there were only 15 miles left, so we sent the riders onto the host!

When we arrived at the host, we learned that no one there knew who we were and they weren’t able to accommodate us. After panicking for a quick second, we made some phone calls and learned we had the wrong address. When all of the riders arrived, it was a little difficult to tell them that they now had an extra 4 miles to ride. But they took it in stride, and we met them at the correct host. We are staying at Genoveva Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe, NM. It is a really nice facility with an ice rink, an awesome pool, basketball courts, and an indoor track. Yesterday was Jeremy’s birthday! So we got him a birthday donut:

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I’m not sure if he finished it all… We unpacked the vans and then I went on a run. Allison ran with me for the first mile or so and then I just ran around town until I felt like I was done. The altitude made me more winded than normal, but my legs felt great! They could power up any hill I encountered and didn’t want to quit as quickly as my lungs did.

After a quick dip in the pool and a shower, we went out to explore downtown Santa Fe. On our way out I snapped this picture of the sky:

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Santa Fe has awesome thunderstorms pretty regularly in the evenings. We saw a ton of lightning in the distance while we were walking around town. The Plaza in downtown Santa Fe has live music almost every night and it was a really awesome place to be! I even saw a motorcycle with a V8 engine (pictured above)! Those of us who were old enough went to a bar to get a few beers and I found what is probably my new favorite, Route 66 American Lager. It’s brewed in Oklahoma by Mustang Brewing company. We then returned to our host and promptly fell asleep because we had plans to go hiking early in the morning.

It’s about 12:30am right now and I need to wake up at 5am for an 87 mile day with over 6000 feet of total climbing tomorrow, so I think I’m going to hold off on the blog post about our rest day in Santa Fe. I’m hoping I’ll have enough time and energy to write two posts tomorrow when we’re in Taos, NM. I know that we’re staying with awesome hosts who have a great feast planned for us! I can’t wait to finally meet the Emanuelson’s! I apologize that I’m getting behind on my posts, but I promise to be up to date as soon as I can! Remember to comment!

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