10-01-2008: A Tragic End to the Gila Loop
Well, we are now in Silver City, NM. We're staying at the KOA just east of town, most possibly the nicest KOA that has ever existed. We had planned to ride from Bill Evans Lake to Silver City. However, on the hill leading from the lake to the main Highway Dan hit a cattle guard. In the center of the cattle guard there was a gap just wide enough for a bike tire. Dan's bike tires missed the gap, but the Doggy Ride's tires hit it and got stuck in it bringing Dan's bike to sudden stop, throwing him over the handle bars. Luckily, Dan was fine, he said the only thing that hit the ground hard was his head, good thing he always wears his helmet. The dogs were in the trailer, but they were fine, they are hooked in so they just came to a jolting stop. Dan's bike and the trailer suffered the brunt of the fall. Dan's handle bars were extremely bent and his wheels were all warped as well. The Doggy Ride's spring attachment which is usually about 4 inches long was stretched out to about three feet.
Dan's bike and the Doggy Ride were completely unridable and we were still about 25 miles from Silver City. We debated what to do. I could ride by myself to town and rent a car and come back to pick up Dan or we could see if we could hitch a ride into town. We did a combination of both. A nice couple who had a little room in their truck (not enough for two people, two dogs and two bikes) gave me a ride to town, while Dan the dogs and the bikes stayed at a nice little pull-off off of Bill Evans Lake Road.
The couple was very nice, they were up at Bill Evans Lake fishing and lucky for us they weren't catching anything so they left early and saw us in need of help. They gave Dan and myself a soda and then took me along with them. They dropped me off at the Enterprise car rental, I rented a vehicle and drove back to pick up Dan and all our stuff. We drove to where we left our car, picked it up and then returned the rental. We took Dan's bike to the Gila Hike and Bike where the owner just happened to be making an order for the next day and said he would add handle bars into the order for Dan. We left Dan's bike there so they could fix the wheels and fix the handle bars as soon as they came in. They did have some trailers at their store, but unfortunately none of the parts worked with the Doggy Ride. We ended up calling the Doggy Ride folks and they said they they can probably get the parts to us in a couple of days. So we are planning to spend a couple of nights at this awesome KOA.