Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Steve Hansen

Recent events the way to healthy living


October 11, 2017

Community groups united in a big way to make the Sept. 30 Wheels on Fire 100 bicycle race succeed, but the activity centered around one guy.

That was Brandon Goldston, a first-rate cyclist in his own right, who is also a heck of an organizer.

I know he won’t want me to brag on his behalf, but I’m going to anyway.

He got some help from David Brenner, another dedicated cyclist, and me, but the day belonged to Goldston.

He arranged and directed volunteer participation and police assistance. He also ordered the prizes and other promotional materials. He arranged placement of directional signs and made sure port-a-potties were available at key locations, among many other things.

Volunteers from churches, youth groups and civic organizations manned rest stops and provided snacks and liquids.

Quay County Sheriff’s Department deputies and New Mexico State Police units patrolled the route to help keep riders safe.

State police even escorted many riders for their last two miles through Tucumcari.

The riders received a send-off involving a helicopter, the Tucumcari High School Band, students from Tucumcari Middle School and a lot of American flags.

Goldston brought it all together, but I also credit Quay County sponsors with knowing a good thing when they see it.

The ride was a roaring success by several measures.

First, it attracted 86 cyclists from New Mexico, west Texas and Colorado, double last year’s participation. Facebook entries show riders loved the route through San Jon, Grady and Ragland, as well as the welcome they got.

Second, it drew top-echelon performers. The seven top finishers completed the 100-mile ride in less than five hours, last year’s winning time. This year’s winner, Jim Warsa of Santa Fe, burned up the course in 4 hours, 29 minutes. Warsa was part of a team that included last year’s winner John Frey, a former Tucumcari resident, whose time this year was 4 hours, 49 minutes.

A third measure of success was local participation. Seven Quay County residents finished the 100-mile ride, and quite a few local riders made good showings at shorter distances.

While I congratulate Goldston, Quay Countians have also united around two other healthy events since the bike ride.

The Quay County Health Council’s annual Fun Run (3.1 miles of either walking or running), which was held Saturday, has become a tradition involving well over 100 participants.

The Six Shooter Siding Shootout scheduled Saturday and Sunday will introduce Quay County to disc golf (golf using flying discs) with a professional tourney at Tucumcari’s new disc golf course at Five-Mile Park. The shootout is sanctioned by the state’s Professional Disc Golf Association.

Quay County recently has made poor showings in health statistics, but events like the Wheels on Fire 100, the Fun Run and shootout are pointing the way for the county to become an exemplar of healthy living.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:




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