Tuesday, May 27, 2014


By Bob
In 2004, Gallup put on New Mexico’s first endurance mountain bike race when we held the inaugural Dawn til Dusk race to break in the High Desert Trail.  This year, an assorted pack of Rez Dogs turned out for the ten year anniversary race.  A report: 
1.     STIRRING THE POT AT PETER’S PASTA FEED.  For the past several years, the heated Gallup Cup battles between duo teams (notably Chuck - Andy versus Peter – Hadji) and Chuck’s relentless pot stirring has dominated our attention at DtD.  This year the talk at Peter’s pre-race pasta feed focused initially on Andy and Holly’s new baby Felix, Chad’s move into Gallup and Chuck’s systematic effort to poach every Strava KOM on the 24 Hour course.  With Chuck on medical (or psychosomatic?) leave this year, Bob tried to fill the pot stirring void.  In front of Peter, Chuck, Chad and Andy, Bob put his cell phone on speaker and called Dirk to ask, “So what is your strategy this year to beat Peter?”  The plan quickly backfired when the sharp eared Dirk spotted Peter’s laughter in the background and unleashed a tirade on Bob. 
2.     AN “UNDER THE RADAR” REZ DOG.  On race morning, David McDonnell who works at the Fort Defiance Hospital and who has lived in Gallup for over 14 years was filming the event by a remote controlled, aerial, Go Pro camera.  David has been posted 10 videos on You Tube and some of them are really cool including one of mountain biking on the Hogback near his home in Indian Hills.   David shows signs of joining Rez Dog Greg Cavanaugh as a You Tube star.  His camera work, editing and music selection are fantastic; he is perfecting the art of aerial video.  Keep an eye out on You Tube for when David posts his video of this year’s DtD, I’m predicting that it’s going to be great.   
3.     RIDING WITH THE BULLS.  Only in Gallup.  The inaugural Gunslinger two months ago featured a horse stampede that crossed the road in front of the B group riders and then ran parallel to them on the descent of the White Cliffs hill.  The start of this year’s DtD featured a cattle stampede that crossed the road just behind the lead racers (including Andy, Dirk and Peter) and just in front of Bob and Luke who then had to compete with the herd to get through the turnoff gate. 
4.     SOLO STRONG MEN.  All eyes were on the solo battle between Dirk and Peter (an epic Clash of the Titans), with Dirk – who put in eight laps last year while placing 2nd in the 40+ category – being the decided favorite. Peter, however, has a history of solo success that predates his recent focus on the Gallup Cup.  Early on, both Peter and Dirk set a torrid pace as they rode neck and neck for the first three laps.  Dirk started to fade as the day got hot and bailed after putting in four blisteringly fast laps and one tough one in just over six hours.  Peter dug deep for eight laps in 9:38.45 and 1rst place in Masters Solo.  Sage Stewart (David Vining’s 16 year old grandson) turned in five solo laps in spite of three flats.  David McDonnell put in a lap after it got too windy to fly his aerial Go Pro camera and Brian Culligan was out on the course churning laps although his name didn’t turn up on the results list. 
5.     FOUR MAN HEROS.  Andy, Chad, Kevin and Greg placed a respectable forth in the always tough four man team category with eleven laps.  Andy put in the fastest times.   He followed his opening lap 45.04 on the short course with a 59.51 and a 1:00.13 on the full course.  Luke Pikaart lead the Future Dawgz which included Dane Henry, Glenn Ratmeyer and Ben Stewart to eight laps with an opening sub 52 lap which he later followed up with a 1:11:11 lap on the full course. 
6.     2014 GALLUP CUP WINNERS!  The two oldest racers in the event, Dave (65) and Bob (60) cranked out nine laps to place third in the masters duo category.  They were the only duo racers from Gallup this year.  After the awards ceremony, a light bulb went off in Peter’s head.  He approached Bob as he was about to drive off and said, “By the way, you guys won the Gallup Cup this year.”  Since the race promoters didn’t have a Gallup Cup on hand at the awards ceremony this year, it only seems fair that Chuck and Andy, who have three, need to give one up until Dave and Bob’s comes in.  Don’t you think?  
A CONCLUDING QUESTION.  So what accounted for Dirk’s drop off in performance from 2013 to 2014?  We all know the guy is still super strong and will “tear your legs off” any time you ride out with him.  Some speculated that the heat got to Dirk this year.  Others thought he missed Greg’s early lap pace making from last year.  Others thought he was preoccupied with school politics.  All of these reasons sound plausible but the editorial opinion staff here at the blog has conclusively determined that Dirk’s fade was actually attributable to the energy he expended during his pre-race cell phone tirade (“You pot stirring dirt bag.”) against Bob. Case closed.