“I can’t smell anything through the blood and dust.” George said, as he readied his equipment for another long day of Gila coverage. Our room at the Copper Manner was beginning to take on an unpleasant odor, and I had mentioned it. Four straight days of bad eating, hot sun, chaotic schedules, questionable hygiene, and limited wardrobes were having an adverse effect on our living space…and on us. Our skin was burnt and cracked, our legs fatigued, and the insides of our noses were so dry and crusty that it hurt. And we were exhausted from a general lack of sleep – apparently Silver City was attempting to set some sort of nighttime siren record during the race week, and the paper-thin walls of the Copper Manor were no match for the noise. We were on the verge of cracking…
Wohlberg is a multi-time Canadian national time trial champion, 3-time Olympian, and winner of the 2000 edition of the Tour of the Gila. He’s also poetic in a sort-of-nuts way. So here is what we got:
Gila TT - A tough ride, always won by tough customers.
Usually it is windy, often headwind out to the U turn.
Largely uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back, so the strategy is kinda easy:
1) Make animal noises as you leave the start line
2) Disregard the Wuss-A-Tron readings, as you have to go pretty much full gas to the U turn.
3) After the U turn, float the downhill, recover, and then be ready to absolutely empty the tank back up Mule Pass. Remembering that we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.
4) Aero tuck/chicken pedal the descent back to the line, while trying to keep your bike between the ditches due to the cross wind.
5) Make animal noises as you cross the finish line