Showed up at the start of Stage 2 of the Tour of the Gila and my luck would have it, I was walking past the Mellow Johnny's (Team Radio Shack) RV just as Levi, Lance, and Jason came out to check their bikes.
Johan Bruyneel, Lance Armstrong's long time team manager. Actually I didn't know who this guy was until my sister, who is a huge Lance fan, told me.
Details of Lance's bike. A long-time friend, a guy who I grew up with, had the responsibility of signing the UPS delivery tag for Lance's three bikes. Two were insured at over $10,000, and the third bike (the TT bike?) was insured at over $30,000.
Lance came out of the RV to tweek the seat of his bike and this is when I said, "Hey Lance...You and I rode together in one of your first races as a pro...down in Lajitas, TX" His reply, "...That is the place where they have a goat as the mayor." That was about all I could get out him, but I guess that's pretty good for a non-reporter.
I rode with my friend Lonnie in Support 2 where we followed the lead break-away in the Cat 2 race giving them wheels if needed. Lonnie and I used to be THE big dog mountain bikers in town. We had a real friendly rivalry for several years. Now both middle-aged, we enjoyed watching the race from the inside of a Toyota as we talked about the good old days of mountain biking, and the time we did the Tour of the Gila as Cat 4s twenty years ago, like a couple of geezers...
Most of my pics from Supp 2 are the rear ends of the cyclists...not very appealing. I did manage one decent shot that I was able to crop and get something I liked. This is the break-away group heading down the Mimbres River valley with a dust obscured Cooke's Peak in the background.
The race finished where it began 79 miles later. I saw many friends including Amber and little mellow Kyra waiting for Amber's husband and Kyra's dad, Nathan, racing in the Cat 3 race. I mentored Nathan when he was 13 years old in mountain biking.
It was an extremely windy stage, but it was great to be back in Silver City and watch it happen.