Friday afternoon The Taco 10 (10 SOB Riders) headed East of the Pecos River into the flat plains of Eastern New Mexico for the 60 mile Tour de Taco in Clovis. The event was billed as a Taco Box (Clovis) to Taco Box (Portales) to Taco Box (Clovis) ride!!

We arrived Friday afternoon, and headed for our Visitor Quarters at Cannon AFB (Thanks Larry for setting up lodging). GREAT ROOMS!

The Cannon AFB clubs were closed for the Columbus Day weekend, so the Taco 10 headed to Chili’s in Clovis for a Friday night of Texas BBQ Ribs and beer. Oh No… say it ain’t so!! Chili’s is out of BBQ Ribs on a Friday night!! I guess Mexican food will just have to do!! That’ll cost them on Yelp!

After a good nights sleep, we were up looking for breakfast before our mass start at 8:00 AM. The Starbuck’s and Burger King on Cannon AFB were both closed; but we located breakfast sandwiches and coffee at the Base Mini-Market!!  It was a cool, crisp morning for the start; but not a cloud in the sky and only a light wind. The morning warmed quickly. The mass start at the Taco Box featured about 100 riders. The Taco 10 were the talk of the Tour wearing their SOB colors. The ride to the Portales Taco Box was FLAT; with a slight quartering tail wind. The SOB Riders set a fast initial paceline to the first rest stop; we were impressive!! Those that tried to join us, would soon be dropped!! In Portales, we proceeded down the route for the ENMU Homecoming parade. Riding  a slow pace line, I sure the gathering parade crowd thought we were the lead attraction. At the midway turn-around Taco Box, we sampled refreshments for the return ride to Clovis. Deb, Adrien and Gordon missed the picture… they were in the Taco Box chowing down and taking care of business. Great breakfast burritos! John and Cat couldn’t resist the “old Folks” Chairs at the rest stop!!

The 30 mile ride back to Clovis battled a quartering headwind; but our paceline riding was impressive as we reeled in rider after rider on the return trip. Finally, leaving the last rest stop, with a 10 MPH wind at our back, we put the hammer down for a 27 MPH, 10 mile paceline ride back toward the finish. Overall, it was a 60 mile ride, averaging 17+ MPH, 3:30 ride time with an overall ascent of 574 ft. What! An overall ascent over 60 miles of 574 ft?? NICE…

Back at the finish we lunched at the Taco Box. Overall, the Tour de Taco is not a bad investment… For our $30 entry fee we got a HIGHER QUALITY T-Shirt ($10 value), a classy (non-cycling) water bottle ($10 value); and a $10 Taco Box Gift Card!! Then it was off to Santa Fe! But wait… there’s more! It was time for a little culture with a quick stop at the Blackwater Draw!

Blackwater Draw (ca. 9500–3000 B.C.)  As the Pleistocene, or Ice Age, was ending and the earth was drying out, there was a profound change in the environment across North America. Hunters in North America pursued large animals for food. Skilled at the task, these Americans left evidence of activities throughout much of the continent where many of their living sites and hunt sites are now known. Blackwater Draw in eastern New Mexico, which evidences human activity from about 9500 to 3000 B.C., is one of the most important of the early hunter locations. Large animals were attracted to it for water—water sources being productive places for hunting—and the weapons with which the animals were brought down were principally of stone.

Discovered in the 1930s, Blackwater Draw defined the then newly discovered Clovis culture of North America (ca. 9500 B.C.). The name Clovis is derived from the modern town near Blackwater Draw. Currently documented to be among the earliest inhabitants of the North American continent beginning around 11,500 years ago, the Clovis people probably initially migrated into Alaska from Siberia, crossing the 600-mile-wide corridor along the Bering Strait that was then dry due to water confined in massive glaciers. Their migrations as big-game hunters led the Clovis down from Alaska, through Canada into the North American plains as they followed herds of steppe bison, mammoth, and horse. These animals reached extinction around the same time Clovis hunters were becoming established in North America; whether the animals’ extinction was due to the efficiency and tenacity of Clovis hunters, concurrent climate change, or a combination of both, is debated.

Thanks to Bob and Larry for making this… ANOTHER GREAT SOB RIDE AND ADVENTURE!

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