Last couple of years I had schedule conflicts and then the year before that (2007) I didn't do as well as I had hoped so this year I was determined to head down to Juarez Mexico for the annual Chupacabras 100km, no matter what. Mom's birthday was that Sunday, so I got her a ticket and we went together. It was a nice trip for Mom’s birthday. Since I got married and since Joshua came into our lives, a lot has changed! It used to be that Mom would come with me to many (most) of my races but now she gets a break and Terri and Joshua can come along. This time it was a sort of special trip because it was her birthday and also it was a chance to visit with some of the nicest people you'd ever meet and also attend and participate in such an awesome event that brings all levels from first timer to pro level bike riders come out to race.
We went there wondering what to expect since Juarez has had such a bad time with the crime in recent years. But we went with no fear, felt really safe when we arrived, and we knew what was going on but felt really safe the whole time. We were not worried or scared and were happy to have an opportunity to see first-hand what was going on. It is sad to see that this is happening to such a wonderful people and that it did impact the race because there were less people there, but every person around there was happy, polite, generous, and comfortable. It didn’t feel like anything was happening. That's enough about that, except all I have to say is anything can happen anywhere you go, so just be smart about things not matter where you're at.
There was a nice get together on Friday night at a local club for a rider’s meeting and I was invited with my Mom of course. I got to talk with some locals, the media, and relax with Mom. It was a great meet & greet and a perfect dinner to finish the night.
There a race course for everybody and everyone has their favorite but that desert is one of the hardest for me. I wish I could say that I won the race which I did not, but I am very happy to finish 4th place - that is just part of racing! I tried hard and I felt like I did much better than the past so I’m getting better but still need to improve my result. The course was awesome this time because there was much more and better single track. The hardest part of the race was the beginning were there was about 24 miles of flat alongside the boarder and it took a lot out of me. It was kind of eerie with boarder patrol every about half mile along the entire out and back.
The number one reason I love this event so much is because I love Juarez Mexico but most of all, it is because of the people. They are so very nice. Also, the race is a classic event and even though attendance was down a little this year, it's been growing for the last 14 yr. I plan to return again next year and every yr after that and hope to win some day! I already have the date on my calendar for next year.
Just a quick THANK YOU to Carlos, his family, and all the rest of the race organizers, volunteers, the city, and everyone that came to race and cheer. What a good people and great time! Thank you Juarez!
And the best part of the whole trip was..... the CAKE!
Happy Birthday Mom!