Posts Tagged ‘Santa Fe Century’

Full Lycra Jacket

May 20, 2019

Souvenirs of the 2019 Santa Fe Century. I should’ve gotten 666 for a bib number, but the organization has apparently forgotten about me.

The dozens of balloons dotting the western sky looked like fat exclamation points, the kind that uses for traffic alerts, as I swooped down Tramway toward Interstate 25 and the Santa Fe Century.

It was too bloody early, the weather was screwy, and I had no idea what I’d need in the way of kit to do a rolling 50-miler south of the City Different. So I brought everything, and in some cases two of everything.

And as usual, I chose unwisely.

In my defense, the menu was extensive. Short-sleeve and long-sleeve jerseys. Bib shorts and bib knickers. Tights. Leg warmers (two pair). Arm warmers (likewise). Knee warmers. Low-rise and high-rise socks. Full-finger and short-finger gloves. Bandana and tuque. Even a light jacket, the need for which often causes me to leave the jacket hanging in the closet and the bike in the garage while I skulk about the house, muttering to myself around mouthfuls of this and that.

Decisions, decisions.

In the end, when I linked up with Khal, Pat and Andy at the start-finish, they were all wearing jackets. Uh oh. It being far too late for me to stay indoors and eat everything, I likewise pulled on a jacket, along with bib shorts, leg warmers, high-rise socks, long-sleeve under-jersey, and short-sleeve Mad Dog Media jersey, dragging a pair of arm warmers over the under-jersey’s sleeves because (a) they give you that two long-sleeve-jerseys’ worth of warmth, and (2) they are a lot easier to pull off and stuff in a pocket than an actual long-sleeve jersey.

I started with the tuque and full-finger gloves because I hate cold ears and hands the way Darth Cheeto hates anyone who doesn’t have his butt on their breath, but carried the bandana and short-finger gloves just in case it warmed up.

Which it did. And in short order I filled up my jersey pockets with jacket, arm warmers and full-finger gloves. I’d have stuffed the tuque and leg warmers in there too, but the trunk was full. So nobody got to see my black Evil socks, white calves, and commie-red bandana. Shoulda done knickers, short sleeves, arm warmers and headrag. But as you know, I will never be smart.

One Mad Dog deserves another. Photo: Khal S.

The ride itself, you ask? I’d call it an unqualified success. The wind wasn’t really a bother until the very end. The roads were in much better condition than I recall from my glory days pounding out the kilometers with the Sangre de Cristo Cycling Club. And, unlike some of our fellow cyclists, we suffered no punctures, mechanicals or painful get-offs.

For my money, when all was said and done, Andy and Pat took the top two steps on the podium. Andy and his wife, Liz, flew from the flats of Florida to southern Arizona to meet up with Pat and his wife, Sandy, and then the four of them drove the 500 miles from Sierra Vista to Santa Fe — the day before the lads were to tackle a 50-miler at altitude with 2,485 feet of elevation gain.


Khal gets the bronze for eating the lion’s share of the wind out there, along with a few kilos of PB&J. He scored bonus points for getting a post-ride blog post up most ricky-tick, and for snapping a photo of me when I yelled, “Hey!”, pulled off the road just before Lamy Hill, and pointed to the Maddog Drive sign.

And a note for anyone planning to race the Iron Horse on Saturday? I’d bring the jacket. Just sayin’.

Dialing it back

May 18, 2019

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.

Dogging it at the Santa Fe Century

March 7, 2019

This photo was taken three days before my 36th birthday. I was single, I had a job, and yes, that is a ponytail you see peeking out of the back of my helmet. Photo by Larry Beckner | The New Mexican

Oh, Lord, it’s been a long ol’ time since Your Humble Narrator rode the Santa Fe Century.

That’s him, third from the left, in case you’re having trouble reconciling these youthful images with the stove-up wrinklepuss we’ve all grown to know and love.

Well, Señor Wrinklepuss is going to have another go at it this year. Not the full century, mind you, but the half. I last did the full rooster back in 1991, the year I got married and we traded Fanta Se for Bibleburg, so, yeah, it’s been a while.

Pat O’B is interested, and so is Khal, so I’m throwing it out there. Anyone else up for a 50-miler in May? Early registration ends April 30, so if you want to save a couple bucks now’s the time to make your mark.

Give us a shout-out in comments.