I wish I could take credit for the title of this post, but I’m just repeating the words of another of the six Malpais 300k riders last Saturday. I’m infrequently that original, and would in any case, add “wet” to cold and windy, since that has as often as not, been my experience.
It was a perfect day in New Mexico; sunny and dry, with few clouds in the sky and a high of 63 degrees. A perfect day that is, if you watched from your window and never stepped outside. The NOAA three day, hourly history for Saturday between 6am-8pm, reports that winds in the area averaged 20-29mph, with gusts from 26-40mph. Mercifully, if anything can be merciful about fighting the wind for 12 hours, it was blowing from one direction. (In fact, I’m starting to wonder if I live in one of the few places in the world where the wind commonly blasts your right side, only to blast your left the next second.)
As usual, with the exception of the uncontrollable weather, it’s difficult to fault an NM Brevet. It is probably getting boring to read how fabulous the ride coordinators and volunteers are, but they are. Exceptional!! As is the Malpais Route! About 193 miles of the 195 miles were on rural roads. There were many stretches where fewer than one vehicle per mile passed. I would rank it among the most beautiful rides I’ve done. If one is fond of the desert southwest it’s worth a trip to do this ride.
Regardless of the wind, I wasn’t having a superb day on the bike, but I managed to make my way to the finish before dark. I was certainly glad for the short ride to my hotel room (there are several hotels within 1/4 mile of the start/finish), a warm shower and bed.