What did we do today?

The Mogollon, a 90-something-mile road race with a finishing climb.

What was it like?

Stage 1 follows the story arc of any memorable 3-month relationship. Initially, it’s all bathing, ice cream, long walks, and candlelight dinners. The third month comes around, and suddenly adopting a dog and signing a lease together may, in hindsight, have been a touch optimistic.

How did I do?

Not bad for Dad Day! I made it over the first climb just slightly behind the front group (a new record!) and then completely exploded the second we reached the actual climb.

Quotes of the day

“Do you get special powers in New Mexico, Matti?”
~Henry, typically completely dismissive of my ability to even clip in, pays me a rare compliment.

“Felllllllahhhh.” ~Sam, witnessing me eat eight slices of bread with Laughing Cow cream cheese slices the night before the first stage.

“We fixed your disc brakes, they work, but they howl whenever you squeeze them. Do you want to roll with that, or should we replace the pads?” ~The mechanic at Gila Hike and Bike bike shop. Why ever go to a travel stage race with a working bike?

“Are you interested in a MTB, also?” ~The mechanic at the bike shop noticed me eyeing a Santa Cruz High Tower on sale in the corner of the shop. I wasn’t THAT far away from buying the bike on a whim and MTBing all week instead.

What I hated about today

I have done the Mogollon stage 7 times and have yet to see the town of Mogollon. When will I learn to smell the flowers?

Mediocre power reveal/inner race commentary

Only the feels today – my Garmin pooped out before the Mog!

What I loved about today?

We passed an elementary school where every kid was outside, screaming their faces off. One rider threw a water bottle toward the kids, and one of them with a mullet ducked under his teacher and sprinted for the bottle before being cuffed by who must have been the principal.

Within the first 15 miles of the race, some poor bastard hit a pothole, lost his saddle, and rode a solid 5-10 miles without sitting down.

I dropped back into the caravan through the loops to piss and refeed. As I worked back up, I noticed Project Echelon’s car had a Wisconsin license plate. I hollered through the window with a heavy Wisconsin accent as I overtook the car.
“Hey, der! Got any Millers left in der?”
Without missing a beat, their DS said, “Hey, guy! Yep, got a few left. I’ll keep em’ cold for ya until after the race.”

In the Food Basket, Silver City’s premium grocer, I rounded an Aisle and saw Carson Christen, who I raced on a team with ten years ago in my first Gila in the CAT 3s. He’s now the DS for the Above and Beyond Cycling Team; I still haven’t given up.

Outside the Food Basket, Silver City’s premium grocer, I saw a man shadowboxing himself.

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