Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday morning at the Javelina Cafe, Silver City

I'm back in Silver City, NM, after a few days in Bisbee, Arizona. I worked the two road races in the Vuelta de Bisbee stage race. Because the roads are wide and not technical, I drove a huge American pickup, a king cab model, instead of riding my motorcycle. All went well. There were very few flat tires and no mechanical problems among the 75 or 80 riders in our race.

There was one bad crash, maybe four riders. We stayed on the scene until the EMTs arrived and chased back up to the breakaway - took several minutes at 95mph to catch the break - amazing how much ground the cyclists cover in what seems like no-time.

Tamar's and my friends Zach and Stephanie were in Bisbee. My Denver friend Brian went with us as we looked at homes there; we're talking about going halvsies on a house. I'd escape Denver winter; they'd escape Tucson summers at higher-altitude, cooler Bisbee. We saw several interesting places. If you've been to Bisbee you can imagine the range of homes - from conventional single family dwellings to hippie shacks. Educational.

I knew virtually none of the racers at the Vuelta de Bisbee. One guy did stand out in a field dominated by riders from Mexico and Central America. Big dude Karl Bordine (Team 5 Star) stuck with the tiny Latin racers until the front group shrunk to about six.

At one point he came off the back of the group on a climb about five miles from the end - into a headwind. He was maybe 50 feet off the back with another guy. He accelerated, just perceptibly, and dropped his companion, then rode up to the lead group and...rode right past them!

It had taken him maybe half a mile to reconnect. You'd expect him to sit on the back of the group and rest, but he did NOT. He made them catch HIM. He was reabsorbed and rode with the group - for a while. Then he attacked again, and again! He jumped away maybe four times, making the tired group catch him each time.

No exaggeration - the other riders with him on that interminable climb were 30 or more pounds lighter than Carl. I heard him say after the race that he loved headwind climbs.... He's from San Diego, I believe.

As I work fewer and fewer bike race events on the motorcycle, I know fewer and fewer of the riders, I'm sorry to say. The only racer I knew at Bisbee was the evergreen Lindsay Crawford, who beat me again and again in northern Cal in the '70s and is still looking and going great. What a hero...

I'll try to post something now and then while I'm in Silver City. The road races, the only events I work, are Weds, Thurs and Sunday. The Sunday event, the Gila Monster stage, is brutally difficult. All the stages here are hard, but Sunday...

Thanks for reading and thanks, Robert, for the note of caution... I'll be in touch...

1 comment:

Richmond Roadie said...

How long have they been doing the Bisbee race now?

I wish I could put the hurt to guys 30 lbs lighter than me:)