Hooboy, last day of the Gila. Things started out pretty slow, as predicted. Hanging out in the hotel room before the early start out of Silver City, I hatched a plan to attack. Stupid, I know, but it is more exciting to lose trying than not trying. So, I gave a little feint at mile 15 to see if I could lure anyone out. No luck. Everyone just sat there.
My real attack came at mile 19 before the last steep part of Acklin hill before descending down into San Lorenzo where I hoped the three successive turns would hide me from the pack and put me out of mind. Didn't really work. I gained a bunch of ground right away but the pack descended much faster than I could with my old man's compact gearing. I was still in sight of the pack by San Lorenzo and eased up, recovering and letting them reel me back in. As soon as they reeled me in, they neutralized for a pee break. Big bummer. Oh well: six or seven quixotic miles but I was glad I tried.
Things were pretty uneventful until the Gila Monsterino climb which starts about 18 miles from the finish. The pack was together until Sapillo Creek when everything goes to nuts. I felt super good on the climb and hit the top with the select group of maybe 15 riders. Then I crashed. Overcooked one of the fast corners at the beginning of the 8 mile descent, locked up my rear wheel, did a 180, and got nailed by the poor guy on the Gilmore bike behind me. I got up and pulled his bike up from around his neck and held it for him while he got back on. Sorry Gilmore bike guy, my bad. My bike was definately worse for wear: front brake caliper completely detached and rear tire sidewall shreded. The Stan's sealant somehow plugged up the sidewall with about 20 psi in the tire and I wrapped the brake around my handlebars, setting off for the long descent down to Pinos Altos.
All told, I lost about 10 minutes to the group I was with as I horrified to even be riding my bike without brakes and a bad tire on that descent. Ugg. At least I wasn't hurt, eh?
Overall, an interesting experience at the Gila this year. I hoped to do better than I did, but thems the breaks I suppose. Currently, I am little sketched about road racing. I feel kind of old. A bit unnerved, I guess. I am still psyched to just get on my bike and cruise the roads around Dolores and Cortez and still excited about Iron Horse, too. We will see. Thanks for reading!