Last saturday was the Valles Caldera Double Cross 200k Brevet. My buddy Ryan came up to Los Alamos the night before and stayed at the house. We discussed the torrential rain and hail over beers. Ryan talked to the race organizer who prerode the course with his wife on a tandem and had to bail out half way through due to snow covering the roads in the Jemez. The forecast was for clear and cold turning into clear and warm, so I made some sammiches for the ride, got my bag ready, and then went to sleep to the sounds of rain thunder and hail.
The next morning I woke at 5am, made some coffee and eggs. Then Ryan and I packed up his car by cramming bikes in and drove the 20 minutes down to the start in whiterock.
It was not quite as cold as predicted, but still was chilly for the 6:30 am start. The field was about 15 strong, mostly NM racers looking for a good long climbing intensive training day. My pal Clay showed up as did MTB pro Damien Calvert, between the two, I think that is 5 billion race victories on the road and dirt . Anyhow, it was a great turnout for a NM brevet according to Ryan.
Anyhow, we soon rolled out in a roadie looking peleton. Ryan and I had "suitcase bikes" (overheard at the start line). Everyone else was on their road machines.
About 3 miles into the ride I flatted.
I slowly changed the tube and Ryan came back and lent me a boot. Turned out it was a sidewall tear on the Pasealas. Bah. Might have been brakes rubbing. One of the organizers rolled up in the support van and lent me a floor pump. I sent ryan on his way, finished fixing the flat and rolled on. Only to flat again less than a mile later.
Turns out the tube split at the seam. I think it was defective. I changed the flat, got rolling again, looked at my watch and realized it was 8am. I think we rolled out a 6:40. So I lost an hour and twenty minutes to flats? Seems unlikely. But the clock does not lie.
Since I was hours behind at this point I just rolled around the loop and headed home for a 22 mile day. The wrist still hurt a bit, especially after the tire changes, but it was a good early day.
I took a nap when I got home, while the riders rode up and over the snow covered passes into the caldera and back. The local fast guy Mike Englehart finished in 7:52 , the other fast fellers finished around 8hours and 30 minutes of riding, Ryan was the last finisher at after 10hours and 13 minutes, but he did eat enchiladas and have beer midride, so he is the real winner. I hope to do this ride without flats next year.
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