What's Cool In Road Cycling

Life In The Gutter: The 5 M’s Of Bisbee

This last weekend at La Vuelta de Bisbee it was the story of what my teammate Gord Fraser has coined “the five M’s of Bisbee”, from mountains to Michelins and from mead to mole, everything with an “M” conquered all. Let me explain.

It began on the long drive to Arizona from San Francisco, when, in the middle of the California desert, just outside a town called Ludlow, I hit a rock in the team Volvo and blew out a tire. Trying to find a low profile 205/50R16 tire in a town with one gas station, three people, two cats and a dog with one eye is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, so we spent the next 130 miles driving at 50 MPH on the Go-Cart-sized spare to Needles, California. In Needles, under what some would call luck but I prefer to call a miracle, we managed to find the last four 205/50R16 tires between L.A. and Phoenix. We ended up replacing all four, (don’t ask, nuff said) and $800 later walked away with our new Michelin tires and the first of the “five M’s of Bisbee”.

La Vuelta de Bisbee is a three day, four stage race that takes place in the town of Bisbee, Arizona, no more than ten miles from the Mexico border. Needless to say there is some incredible Mexican food. Next up in the Bisbee “M’s” was the mole (say “mow-lay”) — a sauce consisting of coco and prunes, among other things, usually over chicken — which just so happened to give two of the four of us that had it Montezuma’s revenge-like diarrhea. Ddespite this little episode we have continued to have mole almost every other day. If you’re ever in Tucson I highly suggest trying the mole, stay away from it in Bisbee. Nevertheless, we managed to have a good race the following day, controlling the front and getting Gord across the line just ahead of Victor Ripinski and Ivan Dominguez of Saturn for his seventh NRC win of the year.

After the Michelins and the mole came the last stage and the mountains. I was in 14th overall, about two minutes out of the lead, so on the last day I attacked with one of my teammates, Alex Koslov to put some pressure on Victor Ripinski and Drew Miller and his Landis team. We got two and a half minutes up the road and got the time bonuses, but were brought back with about 20K to go at the base of the first in a series of climbs to the finish. On the final climb of the day, Miller smacked everyone and took the stage ahead of Mike Sayers and the overall in a much deserved win.

The final “M”, and perhaps the best of all, is that of the mead. Mead is a type of wine made from combining honey, water and yeast and letting it ferment into a brilliant alcoholic concoction. A bottle was given to each stage winner and the top three overall by local Tucson cyclist and mead maker extraordinaire Paul Wolfe ( www.grandcanyonmeadery.com), and with Gord winning a stage and ending up 3rd overall we ended up with two. We had both bottles last night and I must say if you have never had mead, I highly suggest it. Anything that can make your legs go numb like that has got to be good for recovery.

Next up for us is Tour of the Gila in Silver City, New Mexico, so it is time for some altitude, climbing and crazy descents. Until then, thanks for reading.

Rusty Beall
Health Net Cycling Team


Rusty Beall rides for the Div. 3 Team Health Net, based in Oakland CA. Check out their website at www.mosportsgroup.com

Learn more about Rusty in our About Us section.

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