The 2008 brevet season got off to a good start on January 12 in Casa Grande Arizona. Some 34 riders signed up to ride this 200 km event which rides to the prehistoric ruins at Casa Grande National Monument. It was good to see my riding friends from past years, many of whom came to pay their respects to Clair Jensen. For some it was kind of a Clair Jensen memorial ride and even though he was not with us in person we felt that his spirit accompanied us throughout the day. It was also a bit of a reunion for local PBP riders as many of our friends who went to Paris were here as well.

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The first 50 miles took us on a loop out to the ruins through the agricultural areas around Coolidge before returning to Casa Grande. The day started a little on the cold side and we were all dressed for that, but as the day warmed up we found ourselves overdressed. We shed some clothes before setting out on the next leg, a 75 mile out and back through the Tohono O’odham reservation in the Sonoran Desert. John Mazzola had waited for me here and along with Larry Augenstein we set out to the south. We all enjoyed the ride out chatting along the way but Larry and I got the better end of the deal as John pulled us the whole stretch! Susan had her usual and wonderful treats for us at the turnaround point and we enjoyed her hospitality very much again. She even laughs at our lame jokes that she had heard so many times before.

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It had warmed up very nicely by now and with little or no wind we were having a good day as we set off for home. John took the lead again and we kept up a good pace. Soon we caught up to Gerry Goode and he joined in our little group. John then realized that with Gerry we had one rider each from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. That made us the 4 Corners Club! Who thinks about that kind of stuff anyway? It was a nice ride back in and we stayed together for the whole trip home.
We all have our excuses and this early in the season not many of us have been on the bike much. My last real ride was back in October at the Las Vegas Century but there has not been much time to ride since then. I have also been fighting a back problem since September that just does not seem to get any better. I can not say just how much I appreciated John towing me along all day. It made for a good day on the bike and I think that is what I needed very much.
You can find complete results for the ride at www.azbrevet.com

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