Thursday, April 06, 2006

PAC Tour Desert Camp 2006 - 200K Brevet Day

Early day today to get in the miles and beat the heat.
We headed out with ride leader Jim Hvalka to get us through the Fort which has some tricky turns (which Barb and I found out about). Everyone was being way too zippy for it being early in the morning. We stopped at the Fort to show ID (oops where is mine - I thought I had it - got let in not turned back) This place is a big Army Fort and is more like a small town then anything else. We had to stop to wait for PT to finish and the road to open we talked to a 19 year old soldier, she told us that the army believed cycling was not physical enough. She was just yanking our chains of course. Somehow I can't see the Army issuing every one army green Mtn. or road bikes - its much cheaper to issue them Army boots. The zippy group soon sped off after asking directions to the Black Tower. Hey Black Tower that way and I follow Barb down a rough road and steep descent. We get to the bottom and of course we have taken a wrong turn. We weren't supposed to go to the Black Tower just where the road splits off. We turned around and exited the Fort at the West Gate. We spotted a giant jack rabbit at the gate but couldn't get a picture he hopped off way too fast. So added an additonal 5 miles to our ride for the day. A stop at Sonita for some bottled Starbucks (no Doubleshots - bummer). Susan Notarangelo was in Sonita and reminded us that the Lunch Van closed at 2:00 pm we told her no worries and that we would take care of ourselves. Barb and I headed up the road to Patagonia. Patagonia is a very cute town we ran into the rest of the group (today's non brevet ride turned around at Patagonia) - Susan C.'s bike had a mechanical so she was sagging the rest of the day with Lon but she was very happy to have found espresso and also that the place was liberal lots of anti-Bush cartoons. I told Barb that we should stop at the Deli/Espresso stand on the way back. Jim H. was already on his way back and warned us about construction on the way to the Airport. The guy directing traffic at the road closure offered to sign our brevet cards but we said no and headed on. Hey thats a dumb thought but aren't we almost in Mexico? We got our cards signed at the Nogales International Airport and headed back. Back through the construction and we flushed a Red Tail Hawk with a snake in its talons. Luckily Mr. Hawk did not drop his lunch on us. Shortly after the hawk incident - we spotted one of the PAC Tour vans - it was our secret control. We took a short break and talked to Lon and Susan C. they had pulled over at a roadside area that featured a cool shrine that was dedicated to some folks that had a run in with the indians way back when - yes folks this is the wild west. Alas we are not making good time and need to make the next control so no lunch in Patagonia. We got our cards signed in Sonita and went down the street to the Fuel Stop for some fresh Deli Sandwiches. We took a long lunch and discussed if we should chance riding back through the fort since I don't have my ID with me. Barb said yes - we would be able to get though and sure enough she was right. I just kept looking through pockets and the guards got annoyed and let me through. Riding through the Fort was hilly but beautful. We got back to the hotel around 6:00 pm. We finished the Brevet and had a great day on the road. We could have made much better time but Barb had a flat and hey its vacation so need to take time to look at the Cactus and Cows.

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