Saturday, May 3, 2008

Saturday, criterium day, racing downtown all day...

Jim and I are still at the motel, but soon we'll ride downtown to watch the various classes (and local kids) race around a one-mile course on bumpy city streets. This is the big spectator day at the Tour of the Gila, a major party during and after the bike race.

Tomorrow, the race I'm working starts in a park near downtown at 8AM. It should finish in a tiny town uphill from Silver City called Pinos Altos at about one. That event, called the Gila Monster, may be the most grueling I've witnessed. The climbing is steep and endless, the descents are technical and scary, the flat miles windy and sketchy in the gusts.

It's 105 miles for the Pro men, the only race class that rides to the Cliff Dwellings that are one of the area's major tourist sites. Just finishing a ride of this difficulty is heroic, but racing on that course? It's amazing.

Jim, whose race is shorter, should have finished his work a half hour before our race ends. He and I will roll back into town, fuel up and pack up, and head across a lonely, super twisty road to I-25, an hour or so away. We plan to ride partway to Santa Fe, where on Monday we'll separate: He'll head west for Durango, I'll ride north on 285 for Denver.

If all goes well, I'll be home to Tamar on Monday afternoon. I'll have been away 13 days, plenty long enough. I'm ready to be home with my sweetie on Capitol Hill in Denver Colorado.

I'll try to post another update this evening, but if I don't have the opportunity, I'll be in touch from home. Thanks to those of you who've followed my travels and sent me notes. It's great hearing from your friends when you're far from home.

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