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Transplant Athlete
Saturday, July 30, 2011
  Chama To Santa Fe

Second to last day. The weather is good, should be a good day to ride. We backtrack to 84 south. Lon's running the first rest stop. Some people are talking about how many flats they are having and I think to myself, I've been lucky. I had one flat the first day. I had one flat out of Lake Village, although the patch failed and I put in a spare tube, that flatted, I patched it, and that failed. That was the last major tire drama I had on the tour. I was thinking it was all due to my Continental 3000 GP tires.
Two miles past the rest stop, boom. My rear tire went flat. As I rolled to a stop, I could hear air escaping from the front tire. I pulled them both off and fixed the front first. I inflated the tire with a CO2 cartridge and noticed that a small pebble was jammed between the tire and rim, I had to deflate the tire, pull the pebbles out and re-inflate it. I fixed the rear tire, and while I was re-inflating it, the tube failed at the valve stem. I stood up to put the wheels on and noticed the front wheel no longer had air in it. I fixed it again. I was last on the road, so no riders passed me while I was fixing my tires and Lon hadn't passed yet with the SAG van.
Once I got back on the road, I felt like I could make up some time. Lon passed me and I should have flagged him down for new tubes and a floor pump to get my tires up to full pressure, but I didn't react quickly enough.
We were generally losing altitude, so I was able to go pretty fast, but around mile 40, My front tire flatted. It was a snake bite flat. I fixed it and soldiered on, although it was getting really difficult to fix the flat and move on, it was just killing my momentum. I was almost at mile 44 when my rear tire went flat. I pulled over to fix it. I pulled the tube out and realized the patch had failed. I was just thinking about what to do when I saw the PACTour SAG van pull up. Bill had come to rescue me.
I asked for two tubes, and he offered to bring me uph to lunch so I'd have time to fix the tires. he said I wasn't far behind the other riders, but we passed his stop and Lon's next stop without seeing any other riders, that means I was at least an hour and a half behind everybody else.
I ate lunch and then fixed my flats (so my food would have time to digest) and then stopped at a gas station to use the rest room. As I exited the station, Ron, the Brits, and Anne pulled up. I drafted them as long as I could. They pulled off for a bathroom break and I continued on. They caught me and passed me. I made it to the last rest stop, which was something like 12 miles from our hotel. It was getting really hot out.
Andrew encouraged me to jump on his wheel as he passed, but I just didn't have the power. We hads some climbing to do to get into town and we were on an interstate. Rain clouds rolled in and it took some of the edge off the heat. Mercifully, a few rain drops dropped out of the sky. It was enough to cool my skin, but not enough to merit a rain jacket. Near exit #168 I got a snake bite flat. I patched it, but the patch didn't last long. I replaced the tube and limped in to Santa Fe. I saw Drew in town and he was a little lost. I went slowly so he could follow me, but he didn't catch up. He had gotten a flat in town and that's why it took him so long.
I went to dinner with Lon, Susan, and John Lake. We had wanted to eat on a balcony overlooking the town square but it really started raining. I had a spicy beef enchilada and the red sauce was so hot, my lips were burning. Afterwards we went for ice cream which is the popular choice on PACTours. The rain stopped and a concert had started in the town square. John went in search of a pharmacy, while Lon, Susan and I walked up to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. We heard the band sing "Big River" Lon and Susan went looking for a little shop and I went back to the square to listen to the band. They did some of their own songs and then did "Jackson"
It was a nice night.
 

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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