After consulting with Carol, we decided to take a bump out to the 20 mile mark so we would have a great 60 mile day instead of a mediocre or struggling 80 mile day. We were having the BEST ride. Cool, sunshiny, minimal breezes. We were getting better and better at the rollers on a road with mostly good shoulders. We were having so. much. fun.
Then Nancy had a bad fall and broke her upper humerus. I put on my nursey hat and we spent the rest of the afternoon in the ER. Xrays showed a fracture across the humeral head but no other fractures and no other obvious injuries. Her wife, Emily, is coming to get her and take her back to Boston, where she will probably need some pins to fix it.
So many people were so good and so helpful. A couple in a car coming the other way saw the accident and helped get her (and her bike, she was very concerned about that) off the road and out of harms way. An AZ DOT employee named Thomas pulled up, put Nancy in his truck and took her up to our SAG stop. Then he came back and got me and the bikes. I'm pretty sure none of that is in his job description.
She is doing much better today and will be home by the end of the week. I will miss her. We were building an excellent riding partnership.
Today I started out with some trepidation. It took about 25 miles for me to get my head straight. Not only was I somewhat anxious just about getting back on the bike, but now I needed to find new folks to ride with, new relationships to develop, new routines to establish. It had been so smooth with Nancy and now I was kind of adrift. On long rides, the group can be spread out over miles of highway, and there may be little or nothing available in the way of support or help except the SAG, which typically stops at about 20 mile intervals. Riding with/near/in sight of other riders is just the safest way to go.
It was a great ride. Mostly good shoulder, mostly smooth surface, little wind, somewhat overcast and quite cool when we started out. By mid-morning Evelyn and I were riding together. After some looooong sloooow climbs and what Evelyn described as "A lovely bit of descent" (you'll have to imagine the British accent)we stopped at Ol' Jo's Cafe for some lunch in Duncan, AZ. It might even be on the map. Stopping in these small towns is one of the best part of the ride.
After lunch we climbed a little bit more, then hit the mother lode, smooth pavement and TAIL WINDS!!!! We breezed down the road at 15-18mph, some of it on brand spanking new pavement! We wound up going in the SAG van the last 12 miles because of the time change when we crossed into NM. We didn't want to miss dinner or the Margarita Party.
I'll post more pictures in the next couple of days.