A gloomy morning met the 8400 cyclists, an unknown quantity of whom abandoned the steady rain, temps in the upper 40's and 30mph winds. As already reported, the Tylers fled to Florida but stalwart Marty was still in town.
Beth and I drove to a point west of the first wash crossing through Sabino Creek on Snyder Road, approximately mile 35 of the 109 route. We had no umbrella or poncho so I asked the woman in blue to signal me when the first cyclists approached, while I sat in the car, and she did.....
.....just as the lead 4 approached (looks like 3 but there were 4 in there. Miserable conditions. Marty Sedluk was very close, like only 10 yards away but that was while he sat in the confines of an SUV, staying warm with Eleanor and watching the action.
Over the top of the hill there is a gas station and one of the front four abandoned. He was shivering uncontrollably as he waited for the team van to appear. From Hermosillo, Sonora and a member of Team P&S, these guys took 4 of the top 5 spots at the finish with Juan Magallanes winning at 4:14. Magallanes rode with the Mexican national team in Tuscany earlier this year where apparently the conditions were similar to today.
The real fun was at the Sabino Creek wash. Here, the cyclists march towards the wash in soppy conditions. Note the guy carrying two bikes.
A fun and wild scene at the first crossing. This is not the main crossing but I could not get across to the main and second crossing. Note the guy in the wet suit with the inflatable around his waist. Also note the while plastic bag around the ankles of the cyclist. That was not enough as the river rose in depth and intensity, overwhelming efforts like this. Considering everyone's feet were already soaked, most just trudged through the water.
Hundreds marched through the crossing but soon, officials closed it, leaving 600+ unable to make it across and given an alternative and quite a bit longer option to get around the water. Of the 8400 who signed up, I have no idea how many started but several thousand did and rode during a day where the rain never relented. After 2 days of rain, this November is already the 7th wettest ever. Two days of rain out of 30 (no rain forecast the rest of the month) and it's the 7th wettest. Several cases of hypothermia reported too, go figure.