Day 8 Springerville AZ to Socorro NM

The Longest Day

Some days on the PAC Tour are tough because there is a lot of climbing. Today was tough because of the distance, 156 miles.

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This was an easy to navigate, just get on Rt. 60 and ride, ride, ride. We left the tiny town of Springerville and its all too rustic hotel, and crossed into NM 14 miles later, staying on Rt. 60 all day.

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We saw elk, crickets, and lovely rolling high desert hills.

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After the second rest stop my right leg was giving me problems. My shoes which normally fit just fine were squeezing my foot something terrible and my knee felt swollen. We were 10 miles from the water stop in Pie Town AZ and I kept looking for a support van to give me a lift. 5 miles. 2 miles. Finally we rode into the water stop and I told the rest of my group to go on without me.

I was able to make some adjustments to the shoes, and the support van gave me a lift 10 miles forward, to the top of the ride, just after the Continental Divide.

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Note how it is all downhill from there. I had now leapfrogged my team and ended up riding solo the rest of the day. By loosening my shoes, everything was better.

We rode past the Very Large Array, a set of 27 radio telescopes, spread many square miles of high plains. If you zoom in the picture below you might be able to see some white dots in the background.

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The winds kept shifting from side to side, front to back, so in a mile I might be slowed down to 10mph or whisked along over 25mph. The final descent into Socorro was a real blast and made up for my problems earlier in the day. Everyone at the finish was exhausted including the crew. Luckily I was able to get a leg massage that revitalized by leg, as the next day was going to be tough.

Please support my ride to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Chris Spear

P.S. Check out Jim’s blog