Dialing it back

This is not a century, though it often took as long. This is the fabled 115 ride from Bibleburg to Penrose and back, circa 1995.

I can’t remember the last time I rode an organized century.

Back when I was a man, instead of whatever it is that I am now, I rode ’em alla damn time. I rode them sonsabitches the way Beelzebozo tells lies, which is to say regularly and rapidly, with no thought of the morrow.

The Hardscrabble Century out of Florence, Colorado, was my favorite. That one I’ve done as a 100-mile road ride and as a 100km mountain bike loop.

But I’ve also ridden the Front Range Century, the Tour of the Rio Grande Valley, and of course the Santa Fe Century.

In 1990, I rode the Hardscrabble with my burro-racing buddy Hal Walter. It took around five hours — Hal could and can do pretty much anything off the couch, but 100 miles is a long way for an occasional cyclist, no matter how fit.

I had a ton of racing miles under my bibs and thought I could have done it a half hour quicker — I finished in 4:49 in 1988 — but I just dialed it back and enjoyed the ride.

Three decades later, enjoying the ride is what I hope to do tomorrow at the Santa Fe Century. I’m only doing the half, with Friends of the Blog Khal S. and Pat O’B., plus Pat’s nephew, who is visiting from Florida.

And I’m not expecting to post a time for the ages.

I rode the full century in under five hours in 1989 and ’91, but that was long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, when the Force was strong in this one. The Farce has since taken charge, and it’s not at all the same thing.

But I am delighted to be doing the half, which veers off the 100-mile route well short of Madrid, which is hosting a two-day drunkathon this weekend.

Back when I was a man, instead of whatever it is I am now, I might have chosen the beer over the bike.

But like I said, long time ago, etc. et al., and so on and so forth. Now it’s the legs that hurt afterward, not the head.


12 Responses to “Dialing it back”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    I did my under five hour Century long ago and far away in Honolulu, circa 1990. I expect tomorrow with be a Time for the Aged.

    It was cold as hell this morning at 0800. I think the low tonight will be about forty, so be ready for a cold start.


  2. Michael Porter Says:

    Wow, classic photo! The Mad Dog Team is well represented. This has to be somewhere around 1994 – 1996 based on the faces and uniforms. Chippers, MDM and many more. Thanks for the throwback

    Hope you and the Mrs are well

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, Mike … yep, all the usual suspects are represented. The 115 ride was one for manly men and womenly women, que no? The trick was to avoid Bill Baughman’s wheel because the tequila fumes would give you a contact drunk. If you clipped a pedal in a corner a spark could blow up half the peloton.

      That’s Steve “Wind-in-Face” Linhart at the back, I think. That’s the wheel you wanted. Drafting him was like climbing into the team vehicle.

      Herself just got back from visiting her mom and eldest sis in Florida, and she’s just ducky. I’m still evil and ugly and a blight on the Republic.

      How’s tricks in the Northwest?

      • NotJusuk Says:

        I see many in the peloton. Simmons and Steve in the back. The Geek about mid way up. I’ve goy my mouth open and yapping as usual. Those were some fun rides.

      • Michael Porter Says:

        All is Well IN the PNW.

        Our oldest, Molly (sophomore at TCU) has been in Sevilla, Spain all semester. We will see her on Sunday next when Miche and I fly for a two week visit to Spain, Portugal & Amsterdam before we all board a plane back to PDX. Olivia (Jr in HS) unfortunately won’t be with us for this one as she will be head first in exams).

        Other than that we’re both still trying to keep the rubber side down and at least trying to pedal our weight on a weekly basis

        I think that might be Steve Stockwell in the Chippers togs

        “Hello” to Shannon


  3. Libby Says:

    Have a great ride and get together!

  4. Rob Says:

    I’ll bet the Big Cheeto is gettin’ an earful, with all those mighty sore bums out on the road today.

    Hope it was a goodun’

  5. Pat O’Brien Says:

    It was a great ride thanks to Patrick and Khal shepherding myself and my nephew along. Iffy weather at the start and strong crosswinds at the finish, but we got ‘er done

  6. khal spencer Says:

    If anyone wants a few pics for the ages, or shall I say pics of the aged, I posted a few here: http://labikes.blogspot.com/2019/05/do-epic-shit.html

  7. JD Dallager Says:

    Well done, mi amigos!!
    Snow here in Bibleburg area!! 🙂

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