2018 Luna Lakes II Day 3

Early ice coffee and snacks. We decided to forego a proper breakfast in order to dive into this ride. I’m so looking forward to it. Even after doing this ride, what, five time now, this third day is really special. It’s one long-ass climb out of Reserve, and in print I won’t grind through each mile of it. But Jack and I sure did (grind, that is).  It’s 2,300 feet in 14 miles, with the last 1,500 feet in about 5.5 miles (5% grade). I know, real alpine cyclists would sneeze at that, but for us mortals, on two-thirds loaded

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2018 Luna Lakes II Day 2

Morning breakfast at the Largo Cafe here in Quemado. Just like in July, the lady manger there recognized me again. Says she remembers all faces. Winds today are forecast to pick up in the afternoon mostly from the west, so I’m a little concerned about the end of today’s ride. We shall see. Otherwise, the route today is a low grade 25 mile uphill all the way to the midpoint, then another 25 miles a low grade downhill. The route starts out in open prairie south on NM32. I stopped at the Quemado Cowboy Church to re-create Isam’s award-winning photo,

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2018 Luna Lakes II Day 1

At times it rained pretty hard last night. We’ll see what the day brings. Did I say it’s cold up here? Wow. Morning low 34F, only 4 degrees above the Springerville record. We decided to leave a little later than usual to hopefully let it warm up a little. Breakfast at the ABV trough, then off to Safeway for ride provisions, then a c-store exiting town. As you know, there are exactly no services at all on day 1, just a long stretch of open road. I’m always surprised how much effort it takes to go the first 14 miles

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2018 Luna Lakes II Pre-Ride

Planning took at least 2 last minute turns. The traditional way to do the GABA Luna Lakes route starts in Springerville, then goes to Quemado NM, Reserve NM, and then back to Springerville in a triangle. Unfortunately, our plan overlaps elk hunting season, and the lone motel in Quemado stated no vacancy the day we’d planned it.   I decided to try the route backwards (which worked the timing issue in Quemado). Well, it might be interesting that way, although I was immediately wondering about prevailing winds. Nearing our ride week, however, the day 1 forecast was for heavy rain and

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2018 Luna Lakes II

Another 2018 tour is on the near horizon. Jack and I have decided we really oughta get out there. As a team, we just can’t let the year go by unridden. Both preferring a shorter route this year, we at first planned to cobble together a tour across Georgia, or something akin to that. But my car trip plans did not mesh properly, and neither was I keen on lugging bike and gear around the nation for more than a month. We decided to raincheck this ride. But darn, I still need Georgia for tour credit. Instead, Jack and I

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2018 Luna Lakes I Day 3

All photos courtesy of Isam This is it! The other two days of this tour are splendid in their own right, but today’s route is the best, well, on paper anyway. Still, you never know what you’re going to get on tour. Isam rose at 5:30AM to fix breakfast. Coffee, Spam, onions, red and green peppers. Delicious! How lucky are we? No messing around this morning. Two and a half hours of steady climbing (and OK a few breathers) from 5700’ to nearly 8000’ . The route doesn’t climb one particular mountain, but rather up the eastern side of a

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2018 Luna Lakes I Day 2

All photos courtesy of Isam Today’s route promises an easier day, but that’s not always the case on a bike tour. It started with coffee and breakfast from the Largo Café. The server there said she even remembered me from last year – says she never forgets a face. Quick stop at the Country Store. We had sandwiches and plenty of leftover nibbles from yesterday so only picked up a Gatorade. South down NM32. It was then I discovered I’d been bitten last night, almost certainly by bed bugs. Six or seven bites down the torso, which itched a lot

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2018 Luna Lakes I Day 1

All photos courtesy of Isam Up early. I grabbed some coffee in the lobby and got permission from the motel proprietor to leave my car for a couple days.  When I returned I found Isam had discovered his cycling shoes had somehow not made the trip. Hmmm, what to do. I considered going to get the shoes from home, and sliding the whole trip back one day, but this would be easier accomplished with a phone (mine is in for repairs). A “bike shop” exists in Springerville, but all photos of the store show them to be skiing-specific. The closest

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2018 Luna Lakes I Pre-Ride

Though neither of us is really conditioned for it, Isam and I quickly put this tour together. Since he’s in town, and Phil had generously loaned us his Surly LHT for Isam to use, it seemed like a perfect opportunity. Isam and I drove up the long way out US60 through Superior and Miami. We soon got a strange message on the car GPS that asked us if we wanted to re-route due to traffic conditions. Out here? Hoping for further explanation, we pushed yes. The re-route was a 7 hour detour around Show Low that actually took us up

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Saguaro Lake

So little riding this year means that today’s modest ride gets a blog entry. Ah well. Isam and I took off around 6:30 this morning up Bush Highway. Already 90F – gonna be a hot one. But oh so beautiful overlooking the Salt River coming down King Kong. It was great to see so much regrowth of foliage after the big ‘Cactus’ fire in the salt cedars last year. North through one of my favorite sections, the rollers past Usery Moutain Road. We stopped at the Pebble Beach rec area to splash water on our heads and generally look around,

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