11/23/06

Location =  Cibola National Forest  
Distance =  26.46
Time =  3:26:39
Ave. Speed =  7.7
Max. Speed =  28.0
Monthly Dist. =    120.81
Yearly Dist. =  3138.62

I had a plan for a very ambitious Thanksgiving Day ride. I wanted to ride down the east side trails, then head over to Chamisoso, and find my way back up to Oak Flat, on the west side.

I still had my racing tires on the bike, from the Moab fiasco, so I decided to take off the rear tire, and save it for some future race. It's a 1.8 Panaracer, and it was quickly being destroyed by the rocks. There was a small group of cactus quills, stuck in the sidewall, but they didn't appear to have penetrated through the rubber, and the tire wasn't flat. Hindsight would later tell me, that I should have replaced the front one as well.

I headed out to Mars Court, and went on most of my favorite singletrack, all the way down to Tunnel Canyon. I rode down to Chamisoso, and then entered the National Forest on Coyote Trail. I went in about three miles, and wouldn't you know it, my front tire goes flat. This was going to make me question my plans for an ambitious ride, because even though I had a vague idea of where I was, I had almost no idea of where I was going, and I would be a fool to go there, without another spare tube. I found and removed the thorn that flatted my tire, and struggled to get enough air in the tire to ride on, and just as I finished, a guy came along, and stopped and asked if I needed anything. I asked him where the trail went, and if it was possible to exit to pavement somewhere, so that I could ride back on the road, and head up the mountain. He suggested that if I needed to bail out, it was better that I go back the way I came, and I took his advice.

I made it back to the highway, and I was climbing up towards home, and wouldn't you know, before I get to Juan Tomas, my rear tire goes flat. My Thanksgiving already sucked, for reasons that I won't go into here, but now total gloom descended upon me, as I was faced with a six and a half mile walk, back to the house, in shoes meant for pedalling, not walking. I began my lonely trek, and was debating about whether I should try and hitchhike, when I heard a car slow down behind me. Two guys stopped and asked if I needed some help, and I was saved! Steve and Walt, gave me a ride all the way to the house, and I invited them in for a beer and a V8. It turns out that they do many things, and everywhere they looked, they saw something that I could hire them for. Tree thinning, carpeting, tile, decks, rain gutters, and they even said that they were bounty hunters. Talk about jacks of all trades. They left me their number, because you never know. They saw a camelback bladder on my kitchen counter, and asked me about it, and I told them that I had started to take that one, but that it leaked from it's gasket. Steve asked if he could have it, so now it has a new home, and it will never leak on me again.

The day started out beautifully, with sunny skies, and nice temps in the 60s, but some high clouds moved in, and the wind picked up, and it cooled off a bit. I will return to find my passage from Chamisoso to Juan Tomas, and Oak Flat, because there are a lot of trails to explore, and I am determined to ride on all of them. It may take me a couple of years, but I've got nothing but time.



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