There is simply too much to relate here... my brain is still decompressing after almost 1,000 miles of pavement covered, the blur of towns and hotels and gas stations, and every conceivable gravel pull-out between the Pacific Ocean and Wolf Creek Pass. The only things I can say -- the team was brilliant. For a group of non-cyclists and an Ironman triathlete, led by someone (me) that had never really led a team before, I think we did a fantastic job, and I am immensely proud of having gotten him to the mountain. Nine solo riders dropped out before Alex's fall, for non-accident reasons. We rallied to make the time cut-off at Durango - one of the most intense and stressful (yet, rewarding) moments of the ride. We climbed nearly all the race's climbing - Wolf Creek Pass represented the last mountain before reaching Alex's preferred flatlands of eastern Colorado and Kansas, and we had made up 6 placings on the way to the top. The plan was working... but, as I said... accidents happen. I'm glad Alex survived largely unscathed -- yeah, it's a broken hip, but surgery went great, he has a rod in place, and is already up and walking around back in Kansas City... and we're forming plans and lessons-learned for next time. It may be next year... it may be 2014, or 15... but it is certain:
This is unfinished business.
Out of over 1,000 photos, I tried to find one that typified the event --- but it was not easy.
This one, I like -- but doesn't scratch the surface.
Arizona, the desert... and while many focus on the Rockies as the "real climbing", trust me.... Arizona has more, and it is worse.
The only reward for the climbs is delivered as long, endless, torturous sections of pan-flat desert road, triple digit temperature, and wind.
This was the beginning of another such section. This would mentally level some people... but Alex never complained.
He is a giant... and he will be back.