Friday, October 5, SOB Riders headed to Clovis, NM to participate in the Tour de Taco on Saturday. This was the second year SOB riders participated in the event. The entry fee is a low $30; the race packet includes a “higher quality” T-Shirts, a great carry bag, $10 Taco Box gift certificate, a quality water bottle, and other assorted items.  We rendezvoused at the Agora Shopping Center in Eldorado and caravanned to Clovis.There is not much between Santa Fe and Clovis except a lot of open spaces…

In route we past through historic Fort Sumner. Named after former New Mexico Territory military governor Edwin Vose Sumner, U.S. Fort Sumner was a military fort charged with the internment of nearby Navajo and Mescalero Apache populations from 1863 to 1868. The federal government closed the fort in 1868 and sold its buildings to Lucien Maxwell, a prominent New Mexico landowner, in 1870. In the latter 1870s Maxwell’s son Pete befriended legendary outlaw Billy the Kid, and it was in his house that Billy was killed by Pat Garrett. Billy the Kid is buried in the old military cemetery in Fort Sumner, as is Lucien Maxwell. The Billy the Kid Museum is a predominant tourist attraction.

In 1866, the U.S. government was holding thousands of Native Indians at Fort Sumner after they were subdued by Kit Carson. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving saw a business opportunity and decided to sell beef to the United States Government so that the starving captives could be fed. This enterprise led to the establishment of the Goodnight-Loving Trail, located far enough west to avoid any contact with mobs wanting the superior Longhorn cattle.

In the 1920s the Transcontinental Air Transport airline built an airfield in Fort Sumner as part of its coast-to-coast air passenger network, but the site was abandoned when the airline’s ambitious plans collapsed in the Great Depression. The airfield was reopened by the United States Army Air Forces as a training base during World War II. After the war, the base became the Fort Sumner Municipal Airport, and was chosen as a launch site for NASA’s high-altitude balloon program.

Arriving at Cannon AFB, it was tail gate time!! YAHOO! There was plenty of beer for all!! A shout out to Bob and Barb for contributing wine, pretzels and cheese; and to Dave and Kristine for cracker, salami and cheese!! All laid out on a cooler table top.

We then off loaded our bikes and moved our gear to our rooms before heading to dinner. The rooms at Cannon AFB were very nice with lots of amenities!

We elected to eat dinner on base, walking distance from our rooms, rather than driving the 14 mile round trip into Clovis. The Dagger Alley Bar at the Landing Zone was hosting a Halloween Costume and Karaoke Social event.  There was plenty of Oktoberfest Beer was on tap; and a variety of good food. It was time to feast before the Tour de Taco!!

Saturday morning we woke to threatening rain clouds. Undeterred, we headed to the Clovis iHop for breakfast. We enjoyed a great pre-race breakfast and plenty of hot coffee before heading to the start line to pickup our packets.

Decision time… do we attempt the ride on time with an increasing threat of rain; or, wait and hope the weather breaks. SOB riders are tough so we started on time with the rest of the cyclists; no SOB wimps at the Tour de Taco!!  No sooner than we started we faced ominous signs that it was going to be a tough day!! Flats and dropped chains in the first mile were not a good sign. About 6 miles into the ride, with the winds at our back, we encountered ominous black clouds, thunder and lightening, we abandoned the ride and turned for home. When we made the turn we were hit by a wall of water that snuck up behind us!!

Arriving back at the Taco Box, we looked liked drowned rats!! Everything was wet; our cycling shoes were filled with water!! If you’ve never been in a downpour in Clovis… don’t add it to your bucket list!! Some of us went back to Cannon AFB, showered and changed into dry clothes; others grabbed whatever facilities were available and changed. By late morning we were caravanning back to Santa Fe. Dave and Kristine “vacationed” in Fort Sumner visiting the Billy the Kid Museum; the rest of us headed to Santa Rosa for lunch. We settled on the historic Comet II restaurant on historic Route 66. After a wonderful lunch, we continued our trek back to Santa Fe!!

Yes, the ride was abandoned due to rain, thunder and lightening!! However, this was a fun SOB outing that we will look forward to supporting again next year.





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