November 3, 2012
|Leaving Bagdad AZ|
Carlton van Leuven called earlier in the week looking for a carpool partner to share gas and keep each other awake on the drive to Congress AZ. I told him that I planned on riding an easy pace, and if he didn't mind waiting around for me at the finish, I would love to join him.
|Carlton likes it!|
17 Riders signed up for this years brevet and most of us rolled out at 7:00 am. We started 30 minutes before the 60-70 century riders. The basic route is a heart-shaped loop that starts in Congress AZ, joins the US93 Joshua Tree Parkway, and heads north past the Santa Maria River. The route follows SR96 toward Bagdad then heads east to Kirkland and Wilhoit. Finally heading southwest back to Congress via Yarnell.
|Russ Cummings in Bagdad|
|Kurt Smith in Wilhoit AZ|
|Descending from the first Checkpoint in Bagdad|
We rolled in and picked up up some water and drinks, and enjoyed the very comfortable porch benches as Kurt Smith and some other USAC racers rolled into the checkpoint. We left together for the descent back to the course and the last climb to Peoples Valley and finally Yarnell. We shared the work, but once the climbing started again, I dropped off to continue at my own pace.
|Last Checkpoint - Wilhoit General Store|
I caught Kurt Smith on the descent, he was held up by a driver that was being especially cautious on the tight corners. Luckily, we reached a passing lane, made our way around the slower car, and continued our descent. Once the hill flattens out, it is just a few short miles to the finish. We rolled in at 3:00 pm, exactly 8 hours after we finished.
The Bullshifters know how to add an exclamation point to a great event. Cold beer, drinks, and hamburgers hot off the grill are provided to riders and volunteers at the finish. We enjoyed our meal sitting in the shady yard of the Sierra Vista Motel. Russ and a few of the other brevet riders rolled in, we share stories, completed and turned in our brevet cards, and headed back home.
Good friends, fantastic weather, and a great ride!