Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flat tire and the Navajo nation

I rode 320 miles from the grand canyon to Farmington new mexico. 300 of that was through th navajo nation The bike now has 1067 miles it is exactly 200 miles to Taos my next stop. Leaving the grand canyon I saw many impressive landforms. I stopped at a tourist trap called dinosaur footprints. Which was actually pretty impressive. The lady apologized for the mud it had rained there for the first time in three months the night before. I spent the next 6 hours reminded by that fact by the mudslides that inhabited my breakdown lane path. The Arizona section of route 160 was wide and well maintained and the scenery Was nice with interesting colors and many mesa. But the monotony of 150 miles of arrow straight road with only one gas station and no habitations to speak of made for a grating drive I think my top speeds are around 28 mph on the flats I envied the people passing me at 70 to 80. The new Mexico sections of the road see a change in topography a more foothills like approach. Unfortunately the road became poorly maintained with the runoff strip I was riding on gouged by fissures and inhabited by knee high bushes these caused me few problems though as they lacked mass. After nearly 6 hours without a picture I began to stop again and take some as the light changed to sunset. It was somewhere through here that I launched my self off a sand Burm on the runoff strip trying to avoid a car. I landed in deep sand upright and unharmed six feet from the road. First time I had done that At dusk I pulled off to take a picture of sunset and a gothic cathedral like rock I had been sighting but never reaching for a few hours. When I went to pull onto the road i realized my rear tire was flat. My first flat in 1030 miles I had to change the tire in the dark. A lady from a nearby farm offered help but I declined I finished the tire change around 10 30 and road the last 5 miles into sliprock and ate my first meal of the day at a mcdonalds.
It was another forty miles to Farmington where i was going to get a hotel on a four lane. I set off nEarly launching the bike off a pothole in the first half mile. Almost immediately the bike lost power and wouldn't struggle out of first gear. I stopped and topped off my oil tank fearing I'd run the oil injection dry. No after another mile I was still troubled by low speeds I stopped again and realized I had put my brake line n a bind and that the bump had locked my rear brake. I quickly sorted this and hope the heat didn't hurt my wheel bearings. I arrived in Farmington minutes before midnight with 1067 on the odometer .

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