Pueblo River RideJanine Hageman
Bill Gast, the leader of the ride, gave a quick overview of the route and the general timeline for the ride. As a no-drop social ride, the riders would take their time and regroup periodically. There would be a lunch stop at the Coyote Café at the Pueblo Nature Center. With that, the riders departed.
It was soon discovered that the city maintenance crews had done a fine job of mowing along the trails. One problem became very evident, however; the rains this summer had produced a bumper crop of Tribulus terrestris (also known as goathead weed or puncturevine), and the mowing operations had spewed the spiny seeds from this noxious weed all over the trail surface. Several flats occurred on the way to the Nature Center.
Everyone did make it to the restaurant. Most people ordered food, and after the long wait, were rewarded with an excellent lunch. Some folks brought a picnic lunch and enjoyed it under sunny skies out on the patio overlooking the river. A few people ventured further up the trail to the Lake Pueblo Dam. The main group waited for these folks to return and then set off for the return with a side trip to the Riverwalk in Pueblo. Here, things took a turn for the worse.
While getting onto to the Riverwalk, one rider crashed. He was not moving fast, but crashed hard enough to crack his helmet, and he was not responsive when the other riders attempted to help him. An ambulance was called, and he was taken to Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo. He remained there overnight for observation with a concussion.
After some confusion on what to do with the fallen rider’s bike and getting the other riders back to the start, Bill made decisions and phone calls and took care of the situation. The ride back was fraught with still more flat tires (and there were a few slow leak flats reported the next week from unseen goatheads that were picked up) but the riders all made it back to the start.
All in all, the riders mostly enjoyed the trip. A few serious lessons were learned, however. Number one
: if you have a Road ID bracelet WEAR IT on out of town rides, or any ride for that matter. Be sure to let the ride leader know who to contact in the event of an emergency. It is your responsibility to note emergency contact information (NOT 911!) on the ride sign-in sheet; please be considerate and don’t leave other people scrambling to figure out how to deal with your emergency.
: If the summer was rainy - bring plenty of extra tubes!