09/09/06

Location =  Red River NM  
Distance =  6.90
Time =  17:42
Ave. Speed =  23.4
Max. Speed =  38.5
Monthly Dist. =    101.65
Yearly Dist. =  2460.56

Don talked me into going on the Enchanted Circle Bicycle Tour. The ride is a road ride on the highway, from Red River, to Taos, to Angel Fire, and then to Red River. It's a 100 mile loop, with 8000 feet of climbing, through spectacular scenery. I was looking forward to it, but sometimes things don't work out as planned.

The day started out nicely, with perfect weather, and no rain. Here's a shot of the people milling around at the start. The crowd took off at 8:00am, and headed downhill toward Questa. I wasn't even warmed up yet, when bad luck struck. I hit a crack in the road at high speed, and instantly flatted my front tire. It was probably a pinch flat, that slime wasn't going to be able to fix, so I stopped and changed it with my spare. As I was finishing up, a guy named Eddie stopped to see if he could help. He helped by pointing out that my rear wheel was low, and now I needed a ride back to the condo, for my spare, spare. I wasn't too worried about it, because the condo was upstairs from a bike shop, if I needed more spares. Wouldn't you know it, they were all gone, being carried by drivers following along with the tour, but none by Eddie. I changed the rear wheel out with the last tube that I had, and Eddie was ready to take me back to where he picked me up, when POP, went the tube. I gave up at that point, and walked around the town. Red River is a nice little town, and I think that I went in every store.

Later examination of the rear tire showed it to have been sliced through by something sharp, and the tube popped when it was inflated, and pushed on the hole. Later that afternoon, I noticed the front wheel had gone flat, and I was doubly glad that I had quit, because I would not have had a spare. That problem turned out to be the presta valve being loose, and the tube was intact.

My day was brief, and disappointing, but what little bit of riding I did, was enjoyable. The major attraction that I saw was a giant molybdenum mine. Two deer ran in front of Eddie's truck, when we were heading back toward town. He said that the prior week, he had seen a bear cub in that same spot.

Oh well, maybe next year. I was a little bit relieved about not having to climb along the highway that had no shoulder. Don said that the cars were very cooperative. Perhaps the fact the there were several hundred bicyclists, helped the situation.



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