We were met at our hotel by Brian Rashap, John Woods, Gavin Flury, and Ira, a recent transplant from Austin. We rolled out a few minutes past 10 am and enjoyed a nice ride through the UNM campus, quaint neighborhoods and some nice trails.
About 200 meters from our first meet-up point at the Four Hills Shopping Center the first hint of problems to come came when Diana (Dedi) announced the dreaded "FLAT" word. Hers was a slow leak so we gave her tire a shot of CO2 and off she went. I looked at my tires and saw not one but two flats. I also tried the CO2 blast and it got me about 100 meters from the meeting point. That was a waste of a good CO2 cartridge. Oh well... So I walked over to the center and was greeted by lots of happy faces. Great turn out!
Waiting for us are Jim Ryan, Diana Fehrenbach, Kenny Black, Scott Noren, Burt Schippers and Susan Rehrig. I think I'm missing at least one more...And most importantly we also were met by Eric Bock driving a second SAG wagon.
After some quick hellos, I quickly went to work on my tires. My front tire had at least 6 goat heads in it and since the tire was close to being ready for replacement, I just ditched it along with the poor tube full of pinholes. The rear tire only had one goat head that I could find so it was put back to use with a new tube.
Gavin hung back with me and the two of us pace lined up the hill to catch up with the rest of the group. He noted though that his tire was slowly leaking but hoped it would make it to the next stopping point.
We reached this area and waited for the rest of the riders. Just as we were ready to leave, Don and John discover their tires are flat. This gives Gavin the chance to also fix his tire. John gets his flat fixed but the tube blows out and he was back to ground zero. So the count is so far, 7 flats.
Finally we are all good to go and the team takes off again. About 3 minutes into the ride, Dedi announces FLAT! Here we go again.
I pull out a latent goat head, replace her tube and once again we are off.
This time no further mechanicals await us. Only cold cross winds and little by little Don and I start feeling the chill and regret having left our leg warmers and jackets in the van. Lesson learned: Watch the locals and emulate them!
We eventually reach Moriarty and as we get within striking distance of our motel (Sunset Motel) our route tells us to hang a left, jump a fence, and ride through some fields which I'm sure are full of more nasty goat heads. We wisely ignore these cues and head back to the main road. A 1/4 mile later Scott spots the hotel, I see the van, and we are all smiles.
The motel is not much to look at but it lives up to its bill of a "Classic Route 66 Motel". Easy access, big rooms, clean, great heater and powerful hot water. Oh yes, and clean towels!
Shortly after we arrived, Eric showed up with a bag of presents for us. It contained about 6 presta valve tubes with removable cores, 2 Stans sealant vials and a large reservoir of Stans sealant. I asked how much we owed him. And he smiled and replied "Nothing. This is just a bit of New Mexico love."
We've learned our lesson! Thank you Eric!
We all then took some more photos, bid farewell to our local riders who piled into to Eric vehicle, and wished Gavin and Scott the best as they rode out back over the hills. Yikes.
Don, Dedi, Dennis and I then snacked on left overs, decided on an early 5pm dinner and I went to work on laundry, hot bath, and uploading video and photos.
Here are some photos taken by Dennis as we all rolled along..
and for those of you with the fortitude to read all the way to the bottom, here's a short video clip, also courtesy of Dennis!
Dinner time is around the corner and lots to do in preparation for tomorrows ride to Santa Rosa.