ROAD APPLE RALLY REVIEW:
PETER FLEES THE COUNTRY; SURROUNDED BY NIGHT GUYS
& DÉJA VU WITH DAVE
The reliving of Bob’s youth this season reached its culmination with a weekend in Farmington that included both the Road Apple Rally and his 40 year high school reunion (yes, his 40th). A report:
1. THE STRAWS THAT STIR THE DRINK. Early in the week, Bob emailed Dirk to ask him to take a camera on his trip to California with Sanjay for the Mount Diablo hill climb and come back with a report for the blog. When Dirk wrote back asking for a report on Road Apple too, Bob replied, “I will, but you and Peter are going to be out of town and you guys are two of the three straws that stir the drink. If Chuck doesn’t go, there will be nothing to write about.” When Chuck bailed to work on this cabin, things were looking bleak . . . but as it turned out there is plenty of action to report.
2. THE MYSTERY OF THE SECRET, SPECIAL GUEST. Why did Peter dash out of town all of a sudden? Last week Bob sent out an email announcing that a “secret, special guest” would be appearing at this year’s back yard pursuit races on Saturday, Oct. 8. When details about the identity of mystery guest started leaking out, Peter began frantically burning up the phone lines to book a Caribbean cruise (Yes!! Peter is actually going to completely leave the country on a prolonged Caribbean cruise to avoid facing the mystery guest at the backyard pursuit races!!) So who or what would send Peter running out of the country? It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out.
3. SURROUNDED BY NIGHT GUYS. On Friday night, Bob’s high school reunion started with a meet and greet at the home of a classmate who lives just south of the Kinsey Ridge section of the Road Apple course and then moved to the Farmington High stadium where Gallup’s Miyamura Patriots stunned the previously undefeated Farmington Scorpions with a 4th quarter comeback to win 22-21. At midnight, Bob found himself sitting around a cedar wood fire with a bunch of high school buddies drinking beer and telling wild stories – with the start of a bike race looming just hours away. Needless to say, Bob felt like he was right at home in Gallup - surrounding by, not one, but six Night Guys. Of the many stories told, by far, the most animated was the story of some late game antics when Farmington High played Gallup in football in 1971. One of Bob’s friends was a sub who got in the game late: “We were up about 40 to nothing and I was the deepest player on defense at safety. There was only about a minute left in the game. On a third down, Gallup did a quick kick that went right to me. I caught it and headed for the sidelines and there was no one around me!! I was about to score my first and only touchdown when a Gallup player came off the sidelines and tackled me!! The Gallup refs didn’t call anything!! They let it stand!! I looked across the field toward the Farmington coaches expecting them to be outraged over the fact that my one moment of glory had been stolen from me and instead they were laughing their asses off.”
4. DÉJA VU - WITH A DIFFERENT DAVE. The last time Bob rode in the Road Apple, he drove up to Farmington with Dave Vining and, without any forethought or planning, they leapfrogged each other the entire race and finished within seconds of each other at around 2:30. This year the only Rez Dog, other than Bob, in Farmington was Dave Nordstrom from Colorado Springs who has ridden with us in Moab, Telluride and Dawn til Dusk. Dave, who was two years behind Bob in high school, was in Farmington to wrap up some loose ends on his older brother’s estate. Dave is a super fit rider who prefers non-competitive endurance rides to races, but he decided to jump into the Road Apple this year on his single speed since he was in town. At the midpoint of the race this year, Bob was grinding up the paved road section at the midpoint of the course when Dave burst out of nowhere and pulled up at his side. Bob and Dave traded leads on the way back and finished together at 2:21. Dave took first in 55+ single speed and Bob was third in 55 + Cat 2. Travis Brown from Durango defended his title from last year and won the male overall crown in a blistering time of 1:42.
A CONCLUDING QUESTION. On the way back into Gallup Sunday morning with his wife, Brenda, Bob was lamenting the recent demise of his ancient camelback as they were nearing the flea market. Bob said: “You know I really would like to get one of those 32-compartment-Gallup-Flea-Market-camelbacks like Chuck, but I don’t know if I can handle all the grief I would take if I did.” Should Bob suck it up and get what he wants by copycatting Chuck or take the safe way out and head to REI?