I have talked about the “extraction” before. Those times where you get in over your head and you have to call in the sag wagon and take the drive of shame home. My friends and I are pretty good about this. I know, without a doubt, that they have my back and they know I have theirs. So when my buddy Dan said he might need a ride when he finished the Tour Divide, I was all over it. It’s 5 hours away in New Mexico, but it’s not like I haven’t driven 10 hours in one day before. I’ll be there.
Dan and I go back a few years. I first met him on a random trip to Nashville where we instantly bonded over cheap beer and our love of Sturmey Archer coaster brakes. We have since kept in touch and become pretty good friends over the years. He is single handedly responsible for my involvement in Ride for Reading for which I can’t thank him enough. Dan has also written a fine whiskey review for us and he is also the guy riding with me, a few months back, when I imploded during the Arizona Trail Race. There is no way I wasn’t going to pick him up after he pedaled 2,735 miles in 21 days, on a singlespeed.
I had been stalking his blue dot on TrackLeaders.com for three weeks now and I checked it one last time, before I lost service, as I turned off the I-10 and headed towards the border. I was 70 miles from Mexico and he was about 15. We should hit the finish at about the same time. Perfect. I drove through a couple wind and rain storms as I flew down the country roads, breaking all speed limits by at least 30 mph. It figures, after all the shit weather Dan has encountered the last 3 weeks, the one place it’s supposed to be dry and warm is exactly the opposite.
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The road to Antelope Wells, NM is long, straight and boring as hell. As I got within 12 miles of the border I could see a black speck on the side of the road. As I got closer I realized it was Dan. I came up on him right around mile marker 10, beeping the horn and yelling out the window. He just turned around and looked like he wanted to fight me.
I slowed down and he rode up alongside the car as I creeped at 10mph. The first thing I noticed was that his chain was ridiculously loose. I mentioned it to him and he said “I don’t fix it until it falls off twice. It’s only fallen off once today”. Fair enough
He said he wasn’t stopping until he got there and I told him there will be a cooler full of beer waiting for him at the border. I drove off to let him have his last 10 miles alone.
As I put his bike into the bed of my truck, the chain fell off. We both laugh and Dan says: “Thats the second time it’s come off today and I ain’t fixing it. Let’s get out of here”. Just like that, it was all over and we were on the road headed to Tempe, AZ five hours away.
Congratulations to Dan and this monster ride. He started putting some words up on his personal blog, you can check it out HERE.
Keep it dirty…