I have been riding a bicycle throughout New Mexico and the US for over 30 years. Drawn into advocacy for safer cycling after my long time cycling friend Paula Higgins was killed by a driver in 2006, my efforts have grown and expanded since that time.
Join me in working towards safer streets and highways for all New Mexico road users.
How did the Record Challenge Time Trial come to be named in remembrance of Paula Higgins?
Paula was many things to the cycling community. She was active in NMBRA in its earliest days, together with her husband Jerry Kiuttu. Paula was my Landis teammate, along with Carolyn Donnelly. We rode many AZ and NM races together, sporting the green and white of team White Mountain. She won the NMBRA New Mexico Road Series championship in her division 6 times.
Paula was a time trialist too. She got the gold medal at the 1997 National Championship in the Women’s Tandem Time Trial event with Carolyn Donnelly. Carolyn and Paula still hold the National Tandem TT record that they set in 1995.
You can see the wealth of TT records that have been set at our very own Moriarity course here.
Paula and Jerry were the force behind the Moriarity course being surveyed, which was essential for it to become the record setting course that it is. Jerry officiated at many runnings of the Record Challenge and they were both heavily involved in organizing and promoting the event.
Paula’s death was the impetus for placing one of the first ghost bikes in Albuquerque and the start of Duke City Wheelmen. There were some early attempts and finally we placed her ghost bike in February, 2010. It is located at Pennsylvania and Comanche NE on the southeast corner.
Ghost bikes in Albuquerque and indeed throughout New Mexico, have had an impact on some, although I know that it is not universally positive. Just as important is the fact that when cyclists improve their capacity to interact with motorists and create more space for themselves on our streets and highways, we can cycle more safely. As a vulnerable road user, we bear more burden, thinking, both for ourselves and for motorists. It is true that they don’t see us, but that is not a fixed condition. We can be seen, but it requires more of us.
Joe Gamez and Eric Bailey were cycling at this location, Unser Blvd. & Kimmick Drive NW, on Saturday, July 9th when they were hit by a drunk driver. Joe Gamez succumbed to his traumatic brain injuries on July 21, 2022.
Eric Bailey, the Gamez family and numerous friends and extended family gathered on August 20, 2022 at 10:00 am at the site of the crash for the placement of a ghost bike, a bicycle painted white that meant to honor a fallen cyclist, to honor this place and Joe’s life.
This ghost bike will serve to memorialize Joe, to help his grieving family and friends, and to bring increased awareness to the issues of drunk driving and the need for increased awareness of cyclists on our streets and highways.
The ghost bike was placed by Duke City Wheelmen, a safe cycling non-profit in Albuquerque, NM.
Why: Because there is Cycling Stuff y’all need & Stuff people want to sell!
WHY: To raise money for Ukraine relief efforts
In addition to individual sellers who will purchase a table for $20.00 dollars, Duke City Wheelmen has many new-in-the-box items for sale. These are donated items, NEW, that we are selling to raise money for ghost bikes and safe cycling education here in New Mexico (50%) and will split the rest between two groups providing aid to Ukraine. These groups are:
Ukraine Crisis aid through Global Empowerment Mission
Razom for Ukraine
Razom translates from Ukrainian to English as “Together”. Together for Ukraine
First, I’m a survivor. Today, August 24, 2021 is over seven years since I received the diagnosis. In the 2,800 days since the biopsy report, there have been a lot of ups and downs in my case. But the really important part of the experience began much earlier than 2013.
I was a cyclist long before I received the breast cancer diagnosis. Long, like 30 years! So, one strength that I had from riding, racing, touring, mountain biking, etc. was understanding something about tackling difficult things. I had an extra bit of confidence that I could work through this new challenge because of the things I had accomplished as a cyclist. And I’m not talking a bunch of 1st places or gold medals, but a whole lot of just finishing, seeing incremental improvement with training, and a few top placings in competitive events.
I had also been hurt a few times in bicycle crashes, and knew a thing or two about recovery. I knew that recovery came easier the more fitness you had, so there was another plus that being a cyclist gave me in this new situation: I had some fitness! This did pay off for me as I was able to return to work and get back to other aspects of daily life more quickly.
The most important thing that I had from my cycling background was that I had something to look forward to after the surgery. I knew that being back on the bike would be good for my soul and help me heal physically and emotionally. And it was(!), and still is(!), as it reminds me of all the good things my body lets me do every day. I felt betrayed by my body at first, but as time went on I could see the breast cancer differently. It was a temporary condition, thanks to the access I had to a mammogram. So, the cancer does not define me. Rather, I am a woman who happens to have had breast cancer. I’m very grateful that the tumor was found when small and that my post diagnosis life has allowed me to continue my active lifestyle, including Le Tour de Komen.
Today I’m able to think about Le Tour de Komen as a breast cancer survivor. I’m able to tell my story. Above all else I hope my story will encourage women to be diligent about self-exams, annual appointments with their doctor and going for their recommended mammogram screenings. Neither I nor my doctor detected my tumor by palpation. The mammogram was essential for my early diagnosis, and it was only the second one I had ever had.
Long loop GPS track – Please note this track was made using some computer software, combined with track data from the previous course. There could be small errors. I’ll drive the course to set flag markers on Friday and upload that trace Friday evening. If riders use this track, plus watch for the flags, they will be fine on the 80 mile loop. The 60 mile GPS track is from an actual ride!
Because I don’t know your exposure or vaccination status, to mitigate the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the following steps will be taken:
Riders will not have numbers and course time will not be taken by event organizers;
To have your time put into the results, you can email email@example.com after the event. Times will be collected and put into finish order;
Riders will start on their own, or in a “bubble” they arrange;
The only in person registration activity will be at the Route 66 Junkyard Brewery between 6 and 6:30 AM and be conducted with masks on and adequate ventilation;
Masks will be required for riders at all of the three aid stations as well as at the start/finish;
Riders should not join with other groups or individuals on the road. Only ride with people you know or alone;
Masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the aid stations and the start/finish. Please bring your own mask though, as there will not be enough for every rider at every point on the course where you must have one.
An open air post race no-host food and beer will be available at the Route 66 Junkyard Brewery. Masks will be required unless you are eating or drinking. We’ll have tables with 6′ distancing.
Please be considerate of others and wear your mask when not riding and you are around others!!
Use the contact form if you have questions or to coordinate travel to Santa Fe. Also, check out the Saturday RailRunnerSchedule
Also a big shout-out to those who have donated to DCW in order to help Nathan Alexander, who is from Princes Town in Trinidad & Tobago. Between the donations and Roger Ferrell’s investment, this bike was shipped out to Nathan this week! We’ll track his progress this season and post updates!