The finish is in sight

Some more good ground covered by the racers in the past couple of days, and the first reports – from Matthew Lee, Erik Lobeck and Aidan Harding – about the re-route. ‘Hilly and difficult to get a rhythm,’ says Matthew; ‘scary drivers’ says Erik; ‘10 miles of headwind but gas stations for resupplies’ says Aidan. Sufficient ground has been covered, in fact, that Matthew could be finished today, depending on how hard he wants to push for this last bit. In fact, as I write – nearly midday UK time – he appears to have started moving already; at least, his SPOT is ‘on’. He’s got (I think) until 9.37am New Mexico time tomorrow morning to register the fastest ever TD finish, which seems likely (in spite of the punishing next few hours through the Gila south of Beaverhead) though whether it will be classed as a record or not I don’t know, due to the re-route. A fine performance nonetheless, made all the more impressive by the fact he had his bike stolen in Grants, only for Matthew to phone home and have someone locate it via his SPOT (which was on his bike) so he could retrieve it. Who needs Columbo? Our experience last year of Grants being about the only place on the route to have a bad vibe to it – we encountered a guy scamming bank details outside the Wal-Mart last year – seems to be justified. Blaine and Erik have stopped together to enjoy the unique charm of Pie Town and are also on for very fast finishes. Aidan continues to eat up the miles, though says he has given up on hopes of the singlespeed record set last year by Chris Plesko. He won’t be far off, however. Eric Nelson and Forest Baker have also made it into New Mexico, while everyone else is now in Colorado, which suggests the pace of the whole race is greater this year compared to 2009. Patrick Tsai should benefit from the hospitality of Brush Mountain Lodge soon (if he hasn’t already). Cricket Butler seems to have put her mechanical concerns behind her and had rejoined the big group in and around Silverthorne (from where Dave Preston adds the ‘Mountain Sports Outlet’ to the list of admirable bike shops en route). Grant Crosby, with Derek Richert, Jacon Johnsrud, Shawn Sheppard (and possibly Tom Moriarty), is now in Alferd Packer territory and seemed glad he’d no room on his bike to carry anything when passing through ‘the outlet capital of the world’, by which I assume he meant Breckenridge. Maybe that’s why Shawn said he’d ditched his rucsac and his jersey pockets were busting at the seams. Finally, the emotional demands of the race continue to become apparent, as revealed by Kent Peterson’s moving last call-in, and David Goldberg’s description of the event as no longer a race but a memorial ride. As they both said, keep pedalling. Paul Howard Two Wheels on My Wagon


The outlet malls are in

The outlet malls are in Silverthorne, Breckenridge is the tourist trap.


Yep...being a New Mexican, I can vouch that Grants is a weird and creepy place. I used to live/work 35 miles NW of there and always avoided going there, preferring instead to use Gallup or Albuquerque for resupply, etc.

Looking for Matthew to roll through Silver City today. Probably Eric and Blaine as well. They'll be getting Gila Proven today!


Grants is like everywhere else

Hey Mimbres Man give Grants a break! There are some very good people there too. There is a lot of incidents that happen all along the route that never make the news. Some are good and some are bad.

When I saw where Matthew's bike showed up on the SPOT tracker I thought that something was weird. I know Grants well enough to know he did not belong there (literally on the other side of the tracks). When it returned to the McDonald's on the next signal I thought it was a glitch. Then when I saw how long he spent at McDonald's I thought something was not right. Subway (slightly off route) is at the other end of town and Lota Burger (on route) has much better meat. He also did not stop at Wal-Mart, which is strange given that he has almost 200 miles of no services ahead.

In any case, I have had pieces of half eaten chicken thrown at me while biking in Silver City, and a lady in a minivan tailgated me at 40 mph down a hill while I was towing a BOB trailer there too. I still like Silver City.

There are plenty of tiny locks and cables that would deter an opportunistic thieve. As far as I know no one flashed any steel, so its all good.


In Grants defense they used to have the best breakfast burritos in the state at the Uranium Cafe but I understand it is now closed. Too bad!

Say What?


We're all delighted and thrilled that you elected to push on with the whole commentary thing. There's a long tradition in the world of journalists of continuing to tell the story regardless of circumstances and we're well pleased that you've chosen to do the right thing.

There's an equally long tradition of sniffing out the story and I think today at least your sense of smell may have trotted down to the pub. The leader's bike was stolen? He tracked it down through cyberspace? And, recovered it? We can get around to the marvelous vistas, bleak terrain, and delicious pies anytime, but that's your lead.

It's enough that we of Topanga have to pretend that we're going mop this race up in a few short days on our imaginary bikes, but do we have be the crusty editor with a stogie forever in our mouths as well?

C'mon! What happened in Grants?

Love ya

Matthew Lee

Hey this is about Matthew Lee!

Matthew made it to Silver City, wolfed down a burrito at the Grinder Mill and took off! I have pics!

Brief story about his bike in Grants according to him...he called his wife, they tracked it down to the McDonald's on the west side of town. He said it wasn't in the other guy's possession very long so no worries.


Erik and Blaine might be dealing with a infamous Gila mud on the North Star Rd. Big storm cell over the Gila and Silver City. Matthew is nearly to Separ as of this posting, but according, he's still dealing with rain. It is right now raining in Silver City.

MM (again)

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