6/02/2015 El Paso to Deming

I leave the chocolate river. The battery is down 20 amp hours and I should find a place to recharge before riding to Deming. I plug Deming into Google maps and find a shortcut. Hmm, sounds good.

I find a man watering his lawn and tank up with water. The houses are sparse and suddenly stop. About 10 miles later, the asphalt road becomes dirt. Oh no, what to do?? Should I go back? Google assures me that if I only follow this road long enough it will connect back up to Interstate 10, and in the meantime will be well suited for bicycling. So I take off. The road becomes sand, which is nearly impossible to cycle through. Sand also demands a lot of power- and I didn’t recharge.

This is another circumstance in which I am so thankful to be riding an electric bike. Being able to put power to the back wheel really helps in recovering from the sand wigglies. I simply don’t have enough physical strength to ride a loaded touring bike in soft sand. That ebike saved my a**, as well as pulverised it!

The road keeps on going. Google tells me it is 6 miles to the next turn. It is, onto an even worse road. I bog down and have to walk. Google tells me to follow this road for 18 miles. I am way out in the desert. I have a half gallon of water and the sun is blazing. My battery is OK, but not full. The bike and I take a hugh pounding as we struggle over rocks, through sand and washboard.

SAM 0598

After close to 30 miles of cycle and human beating we arrive at the freeway frontage road. The battery is getting low, need to recharge. THe nearest town in 15 miles up the road. Interstate 10 here is a shallow climb and features a brisk headwind. Somehow I make it. The “town” turns out to be a small gift shop with no electrical outlets.

“The next town is Deming” I am told, “It is 32 miles up the road.”

Thirty two miles into a brisk headwind up a grade and my battery is down 42 amp hours. I drink some water and think about it. What choice do I have? I ride a frontage road at 8 to 10 mph, laying on the handlebars to mitigate the head winds. Dust devils spring up all around me. Thirty two miles takes forever.

I do make Deming, which is a real tribute to the bike and the battery. Sherpa has burned 52 amp hours. Remember, most ebikes have batteries of about 8 to 12 amp hours. Heck, I was two ebike batteries down before I started.

I am headed for a WalMart supercenter to recharge, but find a cheap hotel instead. I really need to rest and rehydrate.

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