Team Garmin Runs for the Border… Day Three
Hello. Daren here checking in from Chama, NM. Patty, Kris and David are back at the school getting a massage while I am standing at a free internet access computer at the Chama Visitor’s Center! Yes, standing. One, because the computer stand is tall and there is no chair. And the other because I’ve had enough sitting in the past three days — all on a tiny bicycle seat!
Day Two was a tough, long, ride. According to my Edge, it was 88 miles and 5 hours and 24 minutes of riding in 91 degree heat (I’d swear it was hotter than that, but that’s what MotionBased says. The day started with a tough climb, followed by a fun downhill that gradually began climbing back up before dropping us into Pagosa Springs, CO. The natural Hot Springs in Pagosa were a welcome respite for many riders — despite the heat from the day. .
Others, including myself, found respite at the Bear Creek Tavern while waiting for my teammates to arrive. Patty was second in, but skipped the tavern and headed straight to the showers to get cleaned up before dinner.
David and Kris are another story. I should let them tell it, but since they are back getting a massage, let me just say that their ride appears to have included a little assistance from the SAG (Support and Gear) wagon. Just check David’s MotionBased track — a high speed of 63.6 — uphill? Seems a little fishy to me!
In all fairness, David has been suffering from a groin pull sustained on Day One. Staying healthy and injury free is a huge part of finishing RTR and all I can say is that training is critical. You have to put in a lot of miles before tackling a six-day ride that averages 70 miles per day. Endurance is key. And even people in relatively good shape — as David is — can succomb to injury.
And that’s the big news from Day Two. Seems we’ve lost one-fourth of Team Garmin for the remainder of the ride. David was able to complete 15.37 miles on Tuesday before the pain — especially during the tough climbs — become too much to bear.
Other than that, it was an awesome day. Perfect weather and some of the most beautiful scenery I have enjoyed during a ride. The high desert mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico make a stunning backdrop for the ride. So, we all took our time and enjoyed the views, as well as the relatively low mileage day (50.5 miles according to my Edge. The ride featured several steep but short climbs. Nothing too brutal. It was a good chance to save our legs for the two long mileage days to come. More on that tomorrow!
p.s. A quick plug… the small village of Chama (pop. 1200 — which more than doubled with the arrival of 2,000 cyclists!) has rolled out the red carpet for RTR. It’s the first time the ride has left Colorado and I think they want us to come back! Among other things, they have scheduled a special ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad just for RTR riders.
p.p.s (from your friendly editor) How ’bout a shout out to David, folks?!? The guy busted his hump against the trials of daily life that we all face to make it as far as he did… post a comment and give him some props!!
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