20080113

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  69.05
Time =  6:30:29
Ave. Speed =  10.6
Max. Speed =  34.0
Monthly Dist. =    144.37
Yearly Dist. =  144.37

This ride was very cold. I left the house at about 8:30am, and the temps were in the 20s. I rode down Tramway, and then through Tijeras Canyon, and up N14 passed Cedar Crest. The temps had fallen into the teens, and the end of the tube on my camel back had frozen solid. I had to keep it in my mouth for about 15 minutes to get it to thaw, so I could drink some water. I was so cold that I went into the gas station at the "Y" to warm up, before I could even begin the climb up to the crest.

After about 20 minutes I was ready to go, and I started up the mountain. There was an icy patch near Doc Long, and I was tempted to quit, and come back another day with my mountain bike, but I decided to take my chances, and persevere with the road bike. It hasn't snowed in a couple of weeks, and I was hoping that there wouldn't be too much ice near the top. I was mostly correct.

As I made the climb, I tried to keep a fairly steady pace, without exerting myself too much. Once I passed the ski area, the cloud cover seemed to thin out, and there was more sunshine than there had been earlier. To top off my good fortune, there was NO WIND! Wonderful! I stopped briefly at 10,000 feet, to catch my breath and suck down some water. There were quite a few people up there playing in the snow. Some were snow-shoeing, skiing, tubing, and just having a good time. I was the only person on a bicycle. What a surprise... I was within striking distance of the top, about two and a half miles away, so I needed to press onward, and not cool down too much.

As I pulled into the parking lot at the crest, some guy stopped and asked me, "Is it hard to ride your bike up this mountain?" I said "Ya, it's real hard," and then went inside the gift shop to warm up. That's when I discovered how cold it really was. It felt almost warm because of the sun and no wind, but the thermometer said it was 12 degrees. My feet could tell it was that cold. I stayed inside for about 20 minutes, and then began the descent. Almost immediately, I started shivering uncontrollably. I was so cold that my kidneys hurt. I was desperate to get down the mountain, but I had to slow down for the spots that were icy and wet. I went back into the gas station at the bottom, for a gatorade, more water, and to return my body temperature to somewhere near normal.

Once I warmed up, the trip back to the house was a piece of cake. The temps in Albuquerque were probably in the 40s, and I was enjoying every minute of it.



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