Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

SRAM 25th Annual Tour of the Gila



This year, I helped out with the Tour of the Gila.  Sponsored by SRAM, it is one of the hardest and best stage races in the United States.  The Tour of California follows on the heels of this stage race and prepares the riders for that race.  Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, and the U25 Trek Livestrong team have been at this race.  Tyler Phinney of the U25 Team won the Criterium in 2010.

Got to work with the media people and the drivers (cars and motorcycles) and helped coordinate getting media people into the cars and onto the motorcycles.  I met some great folks who work in the cycling media as journalists and photographers including some local folks, Silas Fallstich of fullframefotos.com, CariSue Flores of the Silver City Daily Press, and Mitch/Kathleen Clinton of clintonphoto.com.   Also got to meet some cyclists from Albuquerque, NM, who stayed with us in Silver City....Mark DePree and Tony Baca.  Along with them, I met Randy Corcoran of Albuquerque who has legs that look like they should be registered as weapons with the police in any town he shows up in.  They were in town with Lisa, Stacy and Sarah, who are from Albuquerque, as well.  They ride/race together and against each other there.  Incredible riders all not to mention very nice people, too. 

For those who are unfamiliar with the area surrounding Silver City, there is NO flat.  Only mountains.  And more mountains.  Now, before I go on, I want to clarify that I'm also aware of the mountains aka "hills" of Pennsylvania, too.  We also have the elevation that adds to the climbing difficulty here, but I have much respect for the "hills" of Pennsylvania.

While the crowds this year were smaller than the past two years due to the absence of Lance and the Livestrong crowd...Levi, Chris, etc., there were exciting moments in this year's 25th Annual that were worth watching.  The Downtown Crit is always amazing, especially the Mens Pro 1 finish.  Always a balls to the walls ending with an incredible sprint down Bullard Street to the finish line.  Regardless whether you know the name of the cyclists or not, it's choice and, damn, they go fast..!

While it's over for this year, I do hope that SRAM will continue with their financial support of this incredible stage race.  With just a little push, it could join the UCI ranks and we'd have the pros from all over the world here in  Silver City.  Now, that would be great...!

For me, it's time to get on the bike/s and start putting some miles on my butt.  Time for some short tours with my touring bike and some day rides on my road bike.  Soon, I'll have the new front panniers that I want.  They're the Arkel GT-18 panniers.  Love them.  Recently got the rear panniers, the GT-45s.  No more top loading panniers.  With the gear ready, it'll be time for me to mosey along those highways to who knows where...oh, and to some brew pubs thanks to pubquest.com  It's a website with google maps that displays little icons indicating where the microbreweries are in any given location...if they have them there.  My new tool for routing myself around the country.

Time to go...here's a song to leave you with: Hold On, Partner by Roy Rogers and Clint Black...two of my favs.  http://www.artistdirect.com/video/hold-on-partner/48910