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WTB just sent me and Jen a small quiver of tires which should hold us through most of the race season as long as we don’t cut any sidewalls. 

 wtb quiver

For training they hooked us up with some Stouts.  Ooof.  Those bad boys weigh in at almost a full kilo.  They are just over 900 g.  The knobs are big and fat.  I’m interested to see how they’ll do in our rocky terrain.

 stouts

They also sent a couple pair of Prowlers.  At first I was skeptical from what I had seen on their website.  They just have drawings on the website this year and the Prowler looked really knobby.  But they aren’t.  The knobs are siped and pretty low profile.  They weigh in just over 700. 

prowlers

The other tires they sent were the Vulpines.  I’m a huge fan of the Nanoraptor, so I wasn’t too sure about the Vulpines headed my way.  These babies are light at just under 600 g.  The knob pattern will be a fast one for sure, but since they are so low profile I’m going to save them for the marathon at Nova….then I’ll post a report.

vulpines

I haven’t mounted any tires yet as I still have decent rubber on my training tires right now.  My next race isn’t until March and I’ll be riding the Weir Wolves on the SS on the same course as the Puzzler.  Maybe I’ll throw on a pair of the Prowlers.  They look killer.  Aramid beads and “race” logos on the side.  The sidewalls are thin and light and the rubber is sticky.  Thanks WTB for the help.

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Ooof.  Despite the perfectly fitting new bike (it’s just like the old one for size….something I was worried about), plenty of naps, and a good carbo-load, I almost released a mushroom cloud in Terlingua.  It would have been the perfect place for it, but I decided I really wanted to finish the race.  After Plan C, Jen passed me. 

 It’s the second time in our racing careers that she has beaten me.  I guess I need to start training now.

 Here’s the new bikes.  Sick!

Racer-X’s

 Here’s me chillin’ with the 80 lb. lap dog after the race at the party!

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The party was ok but all the 100k riders I knew took off.  There was free Fat Tire and vodka.  We called it quits pretty early ourselves.

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The winner of Jen’s race picked up a really strange prize.  Gotta link this.

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The weather was beautiful.  So why would some guy be doing this when there were really sweet trails all around?  I think this guy might have beaten me….I should keep my mouth shut.

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Holding out for what you really want sometimes pays off.  Last year I was offered some great teaching jobs, but the commute would have been ridiculous and a cycling commute would have been extremely time consuming and possibly deadly. 

So I started student teaching a couple of weeks ago at a school that is 11 minutes away…downhill.  The uphill commute is about 25 minutes.  Not the best for staying in shape, but it prevents me from having to drive on my rest days.  It turns out that one of the teachers couldn’t pass her certification tests…which I’ve passed….and she quit last week.  I got interviewed the day she quit and the school hired me.  I’m now a science teacher at Irvin H.S.  It’s known as one of the ghetto schools, but it reminds me a lot of the HS I graduated from.  The classes are small and the students are pretty well behaved.  I have 5 freshmen chemistry classes and 1 college prep course that has no curriculum.  I have some killer ideas for that class.

So lots of new things happening in the land of Big Dave.  Jen and I got new bikes (pics to come soon) and I got a new job.

 Terlingua this weekend.  It might rain!

Despite some grumbling from some late risers, the Puzzler took off just a bit after 9 am with 29 starters.  The pack spread out quickly as is usually the case in technical and long cross country races.  The course was incredibly well marked since we had to resort to using ground paint in the Heinrich Park area due to a sour puss trying to sabotage our course arrows.  Nobody got lost!  That was my number one desire for this event.

The weather was incredible with a light breeze, lots of sunshine, and temps in the mid 60’s!!!  Arm warmers and knee warmers were almost too much, but they came in handy for crossing over Mundy’s Gap.

Just under four and half hours after starting, the first finisher rolled in for an award winning bowl of chili and some energy drinks.  About a half hour later, I rolled in with Jennifer hot on my tail.  The last finishers made it in safely at 5:30 pm.  Every finisher scored a t-shirt, bottles, and some killer swag and gift certificates.  Only 17 riders finished the entire event.  Some were a bit disappointed.  Others were amazed at how long it took to ride the first 36 miles opting to eat chili instead of completing the entire 45 miles.

Big thanks to our sponsors:  Revolution Cyclery, Vinci Bike, Bicycle Co., Richard’s Cycle Sport, Hunt Family Foundation, Rudolph Honda, Sun Harvest, Costco, Planet Bike, WTB, DT Swiss, Salt Stick, Hammer Nutrition, Diamond Back/Avenir, and Raleigh

For some great race pics, check out this link:  http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=379431

Thanks again to everyone who supported this event and came out to give it a go.  It is an amazingly difficult loop and next year promises to be even tougher.

Three of the top five finishers were riding 29er Single Speeds!

Here’s a list of the finishers:

Name                                                               Time                            Category

Bret Bernard, Las Cruces, NM                       4:25                             Geared Male

David Wilson, El Paso, TX                             4:58                             SS Male

Jennifer Tribe-Wilson  , El Paso                      5:01                             SS Female

Mark Challoner, Sierra Vista, AZ                   5:23                             SS Male

Chris Hereford, Albuquerque, NM                 5:32                             Geared Male

Brent Sanders, El Paso                                   5:38                             Geared Male

Pablo Lopez, Las Cruces                               5:39                             SS Male

Ryan Cody, El Paso                                       5:50                             Geared Male

Susan Rasmusen, El Paso                               6:01                             Geared Female

Brian Long, Cloudcroft, NM                          6:15                             Geared Male

“Smokin” Raymundo, Las Cruces                  6:55                             Geared Male

Tyler McLaughlin, Las Cruces                        6:55                             SS Male

Chris Larabel, El Paso                                    7:33                             Geared Male

Don Futch, Las Cruces                                  7:40                             Geared Male  

Erich Anderson, Dallas, TX                            8:20                             Geared Male

Henry Ramirez, El Paso                                  8:30                             Geared Male

Adrian Martinez, El Paso                                8:30                             Geared Male