Adoption Exchange: A Day at the Races

Today I raced the Adoption Exchange.  It was my first bicycle race since finishing the Everest Challenge last September.  The Adoption Exchange consists of three events over the weekend, a road race, time trial and a criterium.  The road race was Saturday over a 75 miles course including the Turquoise Trail, Heartbreak Hill, Frost Road, and Gutierrez Canyon on the other side of the Sandia mountains from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Sunday we have a 20 kilometer time trial in the morning, and a one hour criterium at Balloon Fiesta Park in the afternoon.  The race information is here.  This weekend’s events help raise support for the Adoption Exchange, an organization “dedicated to helping waiting children in New Mexico find safe, loving, and permanent homes.”

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My heart beat harder than it has all year as we cruised challenging terrain including two trips up the ridiculously steep Heartbreak Hill.  The course wound through a sinewy gem called Gutierrez Canyon.  We passed touring cyclists on the highway 14 heading towards Santa Fe.  Even after you crested a hill the Spring winds made it hard pretty much all the time.  In spite of their efforts some people managed to pedal smoothly and keep looking cool.

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I love a challenge and enjoy competing.  Being with the racers brings out something new every time.  I am alive and present.  It is inspiring to see what people can do when they push themselves on their bicycles.  Bicycling expands the human spirit.

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There are racers from Nevada, Colorado, Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico.  There are women racers, men racers, masters, elites, up and coming stars, semi-pros, juniors, collegians.  Everyone is working to fulfill their potential.  It is amazing to witness the passion and commitment people express for their health and wellness through bicycling while also being champions at home, in their communities, and at their professions and studies.  Bicycling functions as an amplifying factor giving you more positive energy for everything else in your life.  I love racing for the camaraderie, the energy, and the commitment and dedication that people exhibit.  We need more bicycling here, everywhere, all around the globe.

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Thanks to Sansai Studios for sharing these copyrighted photos.  A gallery of race photos will be available for purchase through Sansai Studio’s website . These pictures give a great view into the diverse audience this event attracts set in the stunning landscape of the Turquoise Trail in the scintillating high desert light.  If you are in Albuquerque Sunday April 12 and want to see good racing, the time trial goes off between 7:30-11 tomorrow on the I-40 frontage road heading west from Atrisco Vista Blvd.  The time trial discipline is called the “race of truth” because each rider goes alone and the rider with the quickest time wins.  It is just you, your bike, and the power you produce pushing against aerodynamic limits.  Then in the afternoon at Balloon Fiesta Park the criteriums will be in full swing until 4:30pm.  The “crit” is a short loop course, usually in urban terrain, that provides intense action as riders zoom around the course going after lap prizes and playing tactics trying to win the crit.  But another layer of complexity is added by the quest to earn points to place well in the overall scoring for the full weekend.  Races within races.  Hope to see you at the time trial and criterium tomorrow.  Thank you Sports Systems Mountain Top Cycling for putting on this exceptional event for a most important cause.

Adoption Exchange, New Mexico website

Adoption Exchange race information:

Sansai Studios Photography

New Mexico bicycling event calendar:

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