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?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NAKED WOMEN!! And the 2014 Tour of the Gila Stage Race!

"The edge.  There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who know where it is are the ones who have gone over." ~ Hunter S. Thompson

"Set yourself on fire.  Seek those who fan your flames." ~ Rumi

No, there aren't any naked women in this post.  Just want to see if using those words in the post heading increases the number of hits this post gets.  Sorry if I disappointed anyone!

Since we, unfortunately, weren't in Ireland again this year, we hosted a couple of CAT 4 bike racers from Austin, TX, this year.  Having riders that are taking part in this 5 day stage race in Silver City makes it more interesting and we like getting to meet the riders up close and personal.  Don Bergman, Bryce Billing, and Carey Jung (forgot to ask him if he was related to that JUNG!).  They all came over to Silver City in Carey's RV, which Carey stayed in while in Silver City while Don and Bryce stayed at our house.
Carey warming up for the Tyrone Time Trials.

Bryce and Don getting ready for the Inner Loop Stage from Pinos Altos, NM.  Brrrrrrr!
Bicyclists, in my opinion, are a rare breed in so many ways and racing cyclists are a sect all their own. Training schedules, food, warm ups, slang, language, parts, bikes, gear, clothing, cool downs, things they do to ease the pains so they can ride as well as they can the next day, and more, are what these riders are involved with daily.  Seems like a lot to me, but I do a lot to get ready for a tour, so I understand.  Beer is my preferred post-ride pain reliever and re-hydrating.  Helps me face the next day of riding.  My regular riding around here doesn't require me to go to the same extremes as these racers go to.  I'm not racing anyone except myself.

Don managed to place 6th in his category, woohooo, which was great for him since it was his first time here in a stage race.  I think he won $35.  Enough to buy something for the bike, er, his wife, Jillian, I'm sure. Bryce and Carey, while they didn't place, had fun.  Fun?  Well, I use that term loosely.  Not sure they'd have used that term at the end of the last race day, Sunday, but maybe now with a few days rest under their belts? They all got acquainted with "elevation" around here and probably won't forget what that means for a while.

Bryce managed, in just a few minutes, to give me the best, most concise description of how to adjust a rear derailleur that I've ever had in my lifetime of cycling.  I actually think I know how to do it now, so a big thanks to Bryce from a derailleur dummy!  And Carey was familiar with Michael Mosley and The Fast Diet that I did a recent post on.  We had a good chat about fasting while he was waitin' on his turn at the Time Trials down in Tyrone, NM.  Oh, and Don's wife, Jillian, is giving it a try to help her drop some post-pregnancy weight gain.  Best wishes to Jillian from a fellow struggler!!!

Most days of the race, the weather was really pretty good with minimal winds.  It was cold on Thursday at 7am-ish when I drove Don and Bryce to the start line up in Pinos Altos, NM, for their Inner Loop stage.  A brisk morning and a descent right from the start made it even colder for them initially.  Plus a headwind for about 60% of their race that day.  Welcome to the mountains of New Mexico...

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the weather was really excellent.  Couldn't ask for better considering this is Springtime in New Mexico and wind is the operative word every day.  Lots of people downtown for the Saturday Crit race.  Food, sun, beer jail (in New Mexico, people are required to stay in an enclosed area to drink any alcoholic beverages that are sold outside and we fondly refer to it as the "beer jail"), people watching, music, and fun.  A great package all on one main street.  Come to Silver City for the Criterion race some year and check it out for yourself.
Eileen having too much fun in the Beer Jail...
On Friday night, Eileen, me, Don, and Bryce headed off to 1zero6 for dinner.  Jake, the chef, always cooks up a good meal.  Should you be in Silver City, NM, for any reason, make sure it's a weekend and call Jake ahead of time to make reservations for dinner.  You'll be glad you did.
Bryce, Don, and Eileen watched over by the 1zero6 Devil outfit!!

Bryce drinking up the best post-ride pain reliever known to mankind...
After the last race on Sunday, Bryce, Don, and Carey headed out in the RV back to Austin.  Now, they're back home and those painful moments are beginning to transition into those fuzzy memories that the brain converts into "good" so that, by this time next year, they'll be convincing themselves that it wasn't TOO bad and let's "DO IT AGAIN!!" will be dancing around in their heads and and they'll say, "Why not?"...and they'll be back.  The first climb will remind them of the pain and have them asking themselves, "Why in hell am I doing this AGAIN???".  Too funny but too true.  Usually it takes two times at the Tour of the Gila for those who aren't professionals to say, "Whoa!  What am I doing?" and reconsider.  Now, their friend, Frank, also from Austin, has done the Tour 14 times!  A sick puppy, no doubt.  Who in their right mind would do this thing 14 times in a row?  Damn, Frank must be on meds.  Anyways, to my new Texas friends, ride on and keep havin' fun.

Alright, now, despite the promise of NAKED WOMEN, I'm closing this post out with a couple of good tunes from Texas, for the riders from Austin...  First, Guy Clark doing, "L.A. Freeway", one of my favs, followed by "London Homesick Blues" by Gary P. Nunn, accompanied by Jerry Jeff Walker, another fav.