16 riders lined up in the Coolidge Arizona Walmart parking lot for the 2017 edition of the Gila Monster 300km brevet. Roger Peskett (who provided support at Oracle Junction) and Bob Larsen pre-rode the route the previous week to check out the road conditions be available for SAG support during the day.
|Carlton leads the Rider Meeting|
Its about 12 miles to the right turn onto AZ77, then its a long 'false flat climb' (2000 feet over 32 miles) before a 5 mile descent to Oracle Junction. With such a large group, each person only needed to take 2 or 3 pulls before we had the top of the hill in sight.
With a change up front about a mile from the top, the pace quickened and I dropped off, too early to burn matches! I was able to keep the group in sight on the descent and arrived at the control just a few minutes behind the lead group.
|Carlton and Roger at Oracle Junction|
|Nearing Winkelman AZ|
|Carlton carving portions off a 6-foot submarine sandwich|
|The Ray Mine|
|Wash at the base of the EOW climb|
|Weavers Needle in the distance, at the EOW summit|
Due to construction on US 60, the route heads into town and down Main Street. I stopped at a grocery in Superior looking for some salt and calories. Chips; check, Starbucks Frappaccino; not stocked but I grabbed a Dunkin Dounuts coffee drink instead.
Leaving Superior, the construction zone only extended a mile or two, then we were treated to the new and improved US 60, divided highway with ample shoulders all the way to the turn around/checkpoint in Gold Canyon.
This was an 'open control' meaning a receipt from any business would suffice. I was craving fries and Coke so it was the Jack-In-The-Box restaurant for me! They must have been gourmet fries, because they took nearly 20 minutes to get! No worries, time to reconfigure the layers, check lights and don the reflective gear for the final run back to Florence and Coolidge.
|Fries and a Coke to go!|
|Sunset with 25 miles to go|
I grabbed a sandwich for the road and was happy to have this 300km brevet in the books! Thanks Carlton for the great support and putting this route back into the rotation!
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