Sunday, August 12, 2012

Roll for the Cure

 Hobbs, New Mexico
August 11, 2012
 Upon arrival at Hobbs, New Mexico, we set out to explore a little. When I parked at Zia Park, Christine lit out as fast as the race horses depicted on the building.
 However, horse racing is featured in the fall. This being summer, the casino was the main attraction. Since Zia Park is not an Indian-owned establishment, the casino method of operation is modified slightly. There are 450 slot machines and a few gaming tables. The gaming tables are computerized with an icon picture of a make-believe dealer. So you can play blackjack and other games against the computer. The operative word is "YOU", not I as I am a very poor gambler.

So, we walked around a bit enjoying the nicely appointed establishment, and then went off to eat before settling down to prepare for the next day's ride.
Roll for the Cure is dedicated to Ted McVay, a cancer victim. All of the proceeds go to Relay for Life.  
 "Pre-ride show" was outstanding with the local high school band playing during registration and packet pick up.
Adding to the festive atmosphere was a rider with a penny-farthing, a bicycle style that dates back to the 1880's. I did not see him on the ride as he was probably too far ahead of me.  
 Riders from San Angelo; Christine Jones, Loyd Evans, and Roy Jones. Loyd and I were going to ride the 100K and Christine opted for the 50K.
 Christine (blue jersey) in the line with the 50K crowd.
 The announcer stated that they set an attendance record this year with 383 registered riders.
 Yes, Christine was going to ride "back" with the 50K'ers. But, as with so many rides, especially new ones, she is fueled with adrenaline for the first 20 or so miles and is hard to keep up with. Soon, she joined the group in the foreground while Loyd and I just maintained our steady pace. (That is my story and I am sticking to it).
 Loyd Evans. Note background. Hobbs has been experiencing a drought along with a lot of the USA. However, as with parts of Texas, even if they had been having good rains, the background would be the same, just greener.
 Around San Angelo, this field would be cotton. This field is chili peppers. They weren't ready for harvesting but were quite healthy as a lot of the farmers irrigate to assist their crops. Unfortunately, the fields that weren't irrigated could be readily identified.
 Rest stop #2. All of the volunteers were friendly and helpful. And, one of the unique things about the Roll for the Cure, was that they had rest stops every 5-7 miles. I don't think we ever had to ride 10 miles for a chance to refuel. If one dehydrated on this ride, it was his own fault.  
 The flat terrain was one of the reasons I wanted to do the ride. I have "been there--done that" on the 8-11% "gently rolling hills." Loyd lived in Hobbs for many years and had assured me that the terrain was flat, with a "few blips."
 And sure enough, the terrain was relatively flat. Back to the support on the ride. Besides the rest stops, there were SAG vehicles everywhere plus volunteers on motorcycles who constantly checked on riders making sure they were OK. And if that wasn't enough, EVERY major intersection had either city police, county sheriffs, or state troopers guiding us across the intersections or making sure that we safely made our scheduled turn. I would have to say that "Roll for the Cure" had the best supported ride--maybe other than HHH. But it is certainly a toss up.
 This was one of our "blips". My Garmin registered one incline as 3%. The rest were blips.
 With one short exception, all of the roads were very good. Just one stretch of road had #3 aggregate or higher (we call it super chunky chip seal) which if nothing else, served to keep one awake on the ride.
 Back down the road we had crossed into Texas so as we approached Hobbs, the State of New Mexico welcomed us back.
 And just as soon as we got close to Hobbs proper, we were shunted off onto a bypass that was a rider's dream. Smooth, flat, and wind slightly to the back.
 Vegetation showing lack of rain. One source stated that it may take 90 acres per cow around this area, one reason the ranches are so large out west. However, on the ride we passed several dairy farms that had a bunch of cows well fed on hay, and some places on irrigated pastures.
 Neat house of the day. With the oil prices as they are today, Hobbs seemed to be a boom town. There were a lot of nice houses such as this one, and everywhere we went were trucks with door signs advertising drilling or servicing oil wells. Oil is a big industry around Hobbs, and Ted McVay, whom the ride honors, had an oil drilling company.   
 Just as one thinks he is finished... Well, if you were riding the 25 or 50K, you were. 100Kers--keep going thank you.
 A loop was added for the 100K riders to stretch out the ride. It turned out to be a pleasant ride.
 The streets were tree lined and we passed a well maintained golf course.
Finish line. One would have to click on the picture and then zoom again. But if one did so, the two ladies with umbrellas beside the vehicle are Christine and Francis Evans, Loyd's wife. They were patiently waiting for their men to finish the ride. A meal was furnished after the ride by the organizers. Christine, as one may recall, did the 50K. She had time to eat, go back to the hotel, take a leisurely soak in the hot bath tub, pack up the car, and return to the staging area at the local junior college, and patiently wait for me to return. Not that I was slow (I would have made it through Hell's Gate at the HHH), but the parking lots on either side were full when I left that morning. (Maybe most of the riders did the 25K or 50K and therefore beat me back, ate, and left before I finished. Well, that is what I want to think, and since it is my story, that is what happened).

They were still serving lunch when I finished, so I ate the great chili mac meal. And, they had showers available, so I was able to get the salt and grime off to prepare to go home. With a full stomach, a little tired, warm afternoon--Christine would drive. And I had a pleasant nap almost all the way home.

An absolutely great ride, great support, friendly people, flat terrain, wind not too bad, temperature didn't get over 100 degrees F. during the ride--what more could one wish for other than a repeat next year!!   

1 comment:

  1. A smooth, flat road? I may have to travel to New Mexico one of these days.