Day 7, Ride Across America – Gallup to Albuquerque

Riding to raise money to provide counseling and support for grieving children.

Today was remarkable and memorable in many ways. Gallup was very cold this am – low 30s when we loaded bikes at 6 am. We were required to get a van lift past construction to the site on the road of the Continental Divide – see photo. After photos, we biked to the local gas station and gift shop for a bathroom. I heard Navajo language being spoken by one of the clerks talking on the phone – a very soft and pretty sounding language and a reminder of the Code Breakers of WWII.

Much of the ride was on old Route 66. Along the way, a few towns still exist and hundreds of scattered homes are lived in. However, most buildings, businesses, homes, churches and municipal buildings had been abandoned and were in decay. In the background, Interstate 40 hummed with semi trucks and motor homes – greatly outnumbering cars. On the other side of us,, trains past every 45 to 90 minutes, each with 4 – 6 locomotives and hundreds of cars. See photos of some scenes along I 40.

Interstate I 40 also runs through the northern side of the El Malpais lava flow south of the town of Grant. (see the picture of cactus growing from lava in Relive video.)

Lunch finished by 11:45 and we started biking again. At noon, I passed Marco standing a few feet off the road. At dinner, he explained that in the Netherlands on May 4th at 8 pm, the people observe 2 moments of silence to remember the Dutch victims of WWII. Tonight, he also included all peacekeepers who have died in service since then. Our noon time is 8 pm in the Netherlands.

Biking downhill at 2:25 pm, about 25 miles outside of Albuquerque, I saw one our bikers laying face down on the shoulder just in front of a sign that spanned the width of the shoulder. Francois had fallen hitting his nose, left side of head, left shoulder, hip and knee. Fellow bikers immediately controlled the scene by directing traffic, another called 911 and Mike our leader. I cared for him until the ambulance arrived and I went with him to the University of New Mexico Hospital. Francois had sustained a concussion, fractured his left collarbone and had bilateral pneumothorax. At 6 pm, he finally remembered trying to ride around the sign, but he caught the edge, lost his balance and fell. It is expected he’ll get out of the hospital tomorrow and he’ll be able to go home. The ABB staff will ship his bike for him. We are all concerned about his welfare and saddened that he will not continue with us.

Below is the abbreviated ride due to the van ride to the start and ending the ride at the accident. The speed of 72 mph occurred during a van ride for a few miles to get passed construction.


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