West Texas, Day 2

A windy, wonderful day. Took the bike in the car down to the tennis club this morning so mom could play with her friends and I could ride.

There’s a small mountain range here, the Franklin Mountains, that extend from here into New Mexico. The next range starts south of here, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The Rio Grande cuts through here, which is what led to this area being colonized. The name gives a hint – El Paso – means “the pass”. El Paso del Norte (the Northern Pass) was the name of the city now called Ciudad Juarez. What we know as El Paso, Texas, USA was not El Paso del Norte. (I hear that all the time and it’s inaccurate so it bugs me)

At any rate, the tennis club is located on the west side of the mountains and is tucked up next to Scenic Drive, a rim road that goes above the city. Since we’ll be riding some similar roads next week, I decided this would be a good training opportunity today.

I headed out up Scenic Drive and it wasn’t a bad climb. Traffic was very light. My only aggravation was I couldn’t get my platypus to feed water into the tube. Finally, I just decided to rely on the water bottle I had. I got to the look out point and loved the view – but not the wind!


I thought my bike might roll away while I stepped back to take the photo because the wind was so strong out of the west (to the right of this photo). From this vantage point you can see so much of the city and well into Mexico. I think the water tower sticking up in the next photo is the mother ship next to my mom’s house, but I’m not positive.


I was concerned that on the downward side I’d have too much tailwind for the Trek’s rim brakes, but it turned out to be fine. As the road goes down, it tucks back into the mountain side so the ride down was actually quite protected.

At the bottom I took a wrong turn heading back so I had more uphill climbs than I planned but got in more miles than I would have otherwise. The headwind was only brutal once – the uphills were worse. I was missing my Surly’s gearing AND my clips. And note to self: print the darned cue sheet next time.

For Errandonnee #8, I’m claiming this mural I discovered (by way of my wrong turn) for Arts & Entertainment.


One of the funny things about riding out here in the wind is that if you put on sun protection for your lips, sooner or later you feel the grit that has landed there while you ride. I don’t usually have that issue in Northern Virginia!

Got back to the club in time to watch them play a little tennis and to exchange texts with my son so I could figure out the issue with the platypus. He figured it out immediately – smart kid. Watching my mom and her friends play was amazing. They’re all right around 80 but they’re out there playing doubles tennis. The mental game is much more dominant now, but they’re moving well too!

I’m glad I have her genetics!



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