Day Forty-Five

Socorro, NM

After a day like yesterday, the best thing to do today was  rest. In the morning, I plotted out the remainder of my days in New Mexico. I had been considering 60-mile days, but I scaled back for two reasons. Most obviously, I didn't want to put myself through another day like yesterday if it could be avoided. The other big factor in my decision was how much I enjoyed the short day from Capitan to Carrizozo. Consequently, unless I get a great tailwind, I'm going to ride 25-45 mile days through the mountains.

Sometimes, purely by coincidence, junk e-mail really hits home. Today I received messages with the subjects " I heard you're tired" (for a work-at-home career) and " Tired of being tired?" (for vitamin B-12 pills).

One thing I like about rest days is that I get a break from packing up all of my stuff. I was annoyed that my room at the Motel 6 had been reserved for someone else for  the next night, so I had to move. Not only did I have to pack up my stuff, but I also had to settle for a second-floor smoking room. There was a big science fair at New Mexico Tech, and a bunch of kids were taking over much of the Motel 6 and other motels in town. I guess I should have been glad the whole town wasn't booked.

After I switched rooms, I walked around Socorro for awhile and took pictures. I had lunch at the Socorro Springs Brewing Company. The tomato ravioli soup was fantastic, but I was a little disappointed by the " bandido pizza," a combination of pepperoni, sausage and prosciutto. The crust was good but the meats lacked flavor. It was a hot day, and I drank about five glasses of lemonade with my meal. I love free refills.

I saw the San Miguel Mission and went to a bookstore. Then I bought a shotglass for my collection (I buy at least one shotglass on every vacation) at Harold's Trading Post. While I was shopping there, I looked at some New Mexico travel magazines.

" Those are free, you know," said the clerk. " So you can just take as much as you want to haul out of here." I laughed and explained that actually, I was on a bicycle so I didn't want to take anything unless I really wanted it.

Since there wasn't much to say about today, here's a list I've been building of pet peeves about the hospitality industry:

  1. Early housekeeping service. If check-out time is 11 AM, why is somebody banging on my door before 9:00? Sometimes they do this in spite of the " do not disturb" sign hanging on the doorknob, and other times they try to unlock the door after I have yelled that I'm not ready. Then they come back 20 minutes later and do it all over again.
  2. Continental breakfasts with nothing worth eating. The thing I hate most is when they have only plain glazed donuts. Many times I don't even bother looking to see what they have, opting for a full breakfast elsewhere.
  3. Charging for local calls. Most don't, but those that do are annoying. It couldn't possibly cost the motel 25 cents for a local call, but that's what they charge. The worst place was the Super 8 in Columbus that charged $1.00 just to activate the phone.
  4. Bad water. At least half of the  motels I've stayed in have really lousy water with a strong chemical taste. This is especially bad for a cyclist--not only does it discourage me from rehydrating fully at the end of the day, but in the morning I'm going to have to spend a couple extra bucks to buy water to fill up my bottles.

By the way, price or chain doesn't seem to make any difference with the above. I've stayed in $25 rooms with none of these problems and I've stayed in $50 rooms with all of them.

No riding today.

Click here to see Socorro photos.

Copyright 2002-2013 David Johnsen. All rights reserved.