Sorry if I made you check back here a dozen times trying to see if I updated my Gila report.  I was waiting on a card reader so I could download pics from my phone to my laptop.  My phone’s pics are pretty low quality, but I’m not too disappointed in the way they turned out.

I loaded up the mutt into the 25 year old Benzo….no A/C, no stereo, no cruise…and tried to keep it between 75 and 80 – preferably in the draft of a semi.  I got to Silver City in about 2 1/2 hours.  Not bad.  Jen had the rig parked at some doctors house where her friends were crashing for the week.  It was a nice place for sure.

Here’s a little llama farm near the doc’s house.

Jen had called me the night before day 1 to let me know she was blowing ass with a seriouso case of the runs.  Nothing I could do for her.  She avoided the major crashes to finish with the pack way down in 34th.  She was kind of pissed.  First off because she’s always done well on Mogollon and second off because her teammate Kathy Sherwin broke her thumb in one of the crashes.  Kathy took off to Phoenix to have a doctor set her thumb in a cast.

Jen’s second day was pretty good at building her confidence since she got in the main break that got away on the descent.  They got swallowed up later, but no major happenings.  Day 3 brought the TT and Jen threw on a 54t, aero bars, and a disc wheel to finish 18th.  That moved her up to 24th overall.  She was stoked.

I arrived the evening after the TT and she was pretty excited.  She didn’t race until 2 on Saturday, so that left me to some ride time on the Continental Divide.  Afer breakfast and reconverting her bike back to a real road bike, I took off towards the mountains.  No map….just a good sense of direction and about 5 hours to play.

I hooked up with the CDT off of Gomez Peak and headed north towards Signal Peak.  I’ve heard stories about the difficulty of the Gila and I’ve ridden the portion of CDT north of Signal Peak, so I wasn’t suprised to find a bunch of crappy trail that hadn’t been used much.  When I got to the pavement of the little road that goes from Pinos Altos to the Gila Cliff dwellings, I decided take the pave to the road that goes to the top of Signal Peak.  On the way I got passed by two of the Tecos boys but was able to use their draft for about 15 minutes.  That kind of smoked me, but it saved me some time. 

I climbed the road to just below signal peak and hopped back on the CDT to ride a pretty sick descent back to the pave in Pinos Altos.  The first 3.5 miles were off camber with about 3 inches of new pine needles on top.  Luckily I was rolling the Stout up front so I didn’t slide around much.  The last 3.5 miles sucked as it was rock garden after rock garden.  My arms were starting to feel hot and I remembered that I hadn’t put on any sunscreen.   Whoops.

I ended up making it into town about 2 laps into Jen’s crit.  I scored me a fat burrito from some hippie grocery store and put myself in spectator mode.  I ended up getting a couple of good pics.

Jen finished with the pack and on the final day finished 11th to move up to 15th overall in GC.  I think she was the most improved over the week and was able to walk home with 4 times as much money as she did when she finished 9th five years ago.  I was able to do another ride on the CDT (Pinos Altos to Gomez Peak and back into town to fetch the Benzo) and make it back right after Jen finished.  It was definitely a good weekend.

Enjoy the pics from my mediocre camera phone.  I’m hoping for a real digi-cam for my birthday!

Here’s a view from the CDT looking northwest.

Here’s the stamp of approval.

Why does my beater bike always want to take breaks against trees?

The beater bike taking a break next to a tree.

Gord Frasier and Henk Vogels before the final stage.  Henk says he has to sleep on his back.  He’s a true hardman!

There’s Jen hanging at the back.

Those are some nice rear ends!

 

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