I was excited to head back to Ruidoso, NM for my second showing at Zia Rides’ 12 Hours in the Wild West. Business travel to Chicago and UT directly before the event left me wondering how good my fitness would be, but I had such a fun time last year, I was simply hell bent on riding hard and enjoying the good vibes set by Zia Rides.
I landed in PHX from UT trip Thursday night and turned around and hit the road the next morning after shuttling the kids to school. 8 hrs later, I was all setup at the race venue.
I was up at 5:30 for the 7am start, which was chilly at around 42 degrees. After a really fast start, the first 3 laps were at a pace I wasn’t sure I could sustain. I was 30 seconds behind 1st place rider Dan Lucero (Albuquerque BikeWorks) after 3 laps.
Despite my doubts about maintaining the pace that was set by Dan, I decided to try and build a gap. I had my fastest lap of the day on lap 4 and the strategy was starting to pay off. I had created a lead of about 6 minutes after 5 laps.
Trouble was, I was starting to struggle. I was falling off the pace. I got a little too careless towards the back section on lap 6 and went over the bars and crashed hard. Luckily, body and bike were fine, so I dusted off and pressed on.
I was holding on for dear life during lap 7, just trying to maintain my current gap. I wasn’t exactly sure how close Dan was and could only assume he would be able to reel me in if I slowed too much.
I let the anxiety of being out in front get the best of me and crashed hard at high speed, again on the back section. I was pretty banged up, but nothing serious. My headset was loose and the bars were all twisted. A quick tightening and a few deep breathes later, I came through the timing tent about 18 minutes ahead of Dan, ecstatic to take the win!
Final Results: 1st place Solo Male Singlespeed, 116 miles, 11,089 ft. total climbing