20080316

Location =  Albuquerque to Tijeras and Back  
Distance =  50.16
Time =  3:56:44
Ave. Speed =  12.6
Max. Speed =  46.0
Monthly Dist. =    241.62
Yearly Dist. =  802.36

After the flat tire on my last ride, I put two new tires on the bike when I got back to the house. No more armadillos. I threw the back one away, because it was worn out, but I can use the front one again next winter. The new tires should be lighter and faster, but there was no way of knowing for sure on this ride. The wind was brutal.

I started out heading down Tramway, into a fierce headwind. At old 66 I turned left and headed east into Tijeras Canyon. The headwind became a sidewind, and towards the middle of the canyon, it seemed to become a tailwind. That was short lived. As I neared Tijeras, the wind turned back into a headwind, and it seemed to be enjoying making my progress difficult. I turned south up 337 and headed up to Raven Road to go and pick up the mail, and the wind reached gale force proportions. At times it would gust with so much strength, that it would blast me with dirt that it picked up off of the road, and bring my forward progress to a virtual standstill. About 7 miles up the mountain, I saw an enormous dust devil, and it was coming right at me. It hit me with so much wind speed, that it almost knocked me completely off the road. At least it pushed me away from traffic, instead of into it. Eventually, I made it up to the mailboxes, and I took a short break and ate a power bar. There was a little bit of snow up there in the shadows, but not much.

I headed back down the mountain, and the first few miles were a total rush. The road isn't very steep, and I usually don't hit 40 miles an hour, but this ride was an exception. Check out that maximum speed. 46 mph! That's a new road bike record, and I did without even trying. I thought I would make it all the way to the bottom in just a few minutes, but Nooooooo. That would be too easy. About halfway down, the wind turned back into a headwind, and made things difficult. Once again, enormous gusts of wind threatened to push me over, and I had to hold on to the handlebars with a death grip. I was able to breath a little easier once I finally reached the bottom, and it was warmer down there as well.

I headed back through Tijeras Canyon, and once again the wind was fickle in it's behavior. Sometimes a tailwind, sometimes a headwind, and sometimes a sidewind. At least it is mostly downhill in the western direction. At Tramway I turned north to head for home, and I finally got the help I was longing for. A powerful tailwind pushed me all the back to the house, for the last 9 miles. What a relief.

The day started out cool, with temps in the 40s, but it finished up substantially warmer, in the low 60s. Of course, with the wind blowing like it was, it felt cool, and I kept my jacket and leg warmers on, the whole time.



Return to Cool Dust Main Page