Day 3 (Monday, July 26): Lordsburg to Deming, New Mexico: Dry Heat???

South Bend Weather

Dry heat in the Southwest? Certainly!! However, neither one of those two words describes our day today. We had a cold day with lots of rain and wind in the afternoon. I think we brought a little bit of South Bend weather along with us to Arizona and New Mexico. Ever since the first day, it has been cold and raining during our rides. In fact, I did not bring a warm enough waterproof coat with me (will have to buy one if this weather keeps up).

Highest Point of the Climb

Today was a good day, even with the cold temperatures (65F in the mountains). A total of 102 miles, about 50 miles of climbing (>4700 feet climbing with a maximum elevation at the continental divide of 6355 feet); both the climb and the altitude were a challenge. There was really no way to train for the altitude in Indiana, so we are doing it here—getting stronger every day and thus preparing ourselves for our biggest climb in a few days. Running stairs in the Notre Dame stadium certainly helped; thanks Dan! We were thinking of you today.

Climbing Renate

Climbing Greg

After stopping for a quick lunch after the climb at Silver City in the mountains, we began to descend. It was supposed to be a relaxing descent; however, for more than 40 miles it poured rain to the point that it hurt and the wind resistance was such that FR > mg sin? (or, in English, we were hindered by the head winds more than helped by the downhill).

The roads were good; however, we struggled with flat tires—our team had eight of them (Patrick and Peter kept us moving, changing flats very quickly and efficiently). We are actually running out of tubes and are considering setting up an exchange of Desert to Dome t-shirts for Presta tubes. We have plenty of the first and too few of the second in the van at the moment.

All in all it was a good day. The heavy rains challenge us, but we are getting stronger in our climbs, and the scenery is just spectacular. We are looking forward to meeting some Notre Dame alumni in Las Cruces tomorrow, and hopefully, a little better weather!

Before we began biking three days ago, the trip down to Tucson was great family time with our two daughters in the back seat for fun and a few friendly tussles. They both appreciate how important this ride is for Notre Dame and for the kids and families affected by Niemann-Pick Type C disease. I think they can especially identify with how important it is to overcome a disease that affects kids their own age. They loved the club events in Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, Omaha, Denver, Phoenix and Tucson. Our oldest daughter is a big Notre Dame football fan, and she really enjoyed talking football with the alumni. She’s very optimistic about this season with the new coach and all of the new recruits, and she’d probably be glad to give Coach Kelly some advice. Both girls started collecting college-logo t-shirts at the schools we passed on the drive down. They’re still not keen on biking; their first love is soccer, which they’ll play this fall, and their favorite Notre Dame teams are women’s soccer and, of course, football. They do not miss a home game of either and are already “negotiating” with us to go to the Army game in New York City. Maybe someday they’ll share our passion for pedaling. We are so glad they had the opportunity to experience a part of this trip on the way down to Tucson. We thank all of the people we met along the way, especially the alumni, who welcomed them so warmly. They were our media team with the older one as videographer and the younger one as photographer. Since they were completely in charge of the cameras we had to learn quickly how to use them once we left Tucson and parted from our girls.

4 Comments so far

  1.    Gary and Donna Lamberti on July 27th, 2010

    Greg and Renate – We admire your tenacity! Gary just got back from fieldwork in Alaska, where it is supposed to be cold and rainy (and it was). We hope the weather turns for you soon, and the tailwinds kick in. Safe pedaling…Gary and Donna

  2.    Julie on July 27th, 2010

    Great photos! You guys are amazing. Hope it warms up — but not too much — for you soon!

  3.    Daniel on July 27th, 2010

    I think its amazing what you two are doing. im also from south bend and when i first arrived here in january i was told it was really hot. It’s been cool and rainy weather since then haha. i was blamed for it but it was well needed in this area.

  4.    Bill & Lynda Ford on July 27th, 2010

    We really look forward to your daily blog and sharing in such a small way your journey. You’re giving so much of yourselves for others, we’d like to share something with you.

    Hugs and kisses morning and night,
    See you later pray that we might,
    This gift of love so small each day,
    Strength and comfort the most meaningful way,
    Troubles forgotten burdens are shared,
    Leaving but knowing your loved so care……