20080405

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  74.49
Time =  6:08:32
Ave. Speed =  12.1
Max. Speed =  39.0
Monthly Dist. =    98.98
Yearly Dist. =  1031.34

Streak Ride #40 is now complete, and with it I have reached the 1000 mile mark for the year. It took me until June 26 before I hit 1000 miles last year, and this is only the first week of April. This is shaping up to be a very good year.

I left the house about 9:30am, and it was fairly warm out. I began the ride wearing my shorts, but by the time I made it to Cedar Crest, on the other side of the mountain, it was substantially colder. I stopped at the bottom of the climb to the crest, and put on my leg warmers. While I was stopped, a couple of riders passed me by.

I climbed back on the bike, and began the long climb upwards, and I could see that one of the riders who had passed me was a women, and she was a couple hundred yards ahead of me. She stopped a couple of times to check something out on her bike, and it gave me a chance to catch her and pass her. She must not have liked that, because it didn't take her long to pass me again. Each time we passed we both complained about the strong wind which had suddenly come up out of nowhere.

I followed her for a few miles, and it was kind of nice, because it felt like I had companionship for a change, even though there was quite a bit of distance between us. Every now and then, the other rider would loop back around to check on her progress. He was obviously a very fast rider. As we neared Tree Spring Trail, I could tell that she was becoming fatigued, and I managed pass her again. I caught up to the other rider, and we had a nice conversation for the next mile or so, before they turned back at the ski area, and I continued on toward the top.

As I neared the top, I could feel the temperature dropping, and the wind speed increasing. As I came around a curve just before the trailhead at 10,000 feet, a powerful gust of wind grabbed me, and pushed me right off the road, and into the ditch. I had to dismount the bike, and walk back to the pavement. That was a little bit freaky. Eventually, I pulled into the parking lot at the top, and went inside the Gift Shop to warm up. It was 31 degrees up there. In Albuquerque it was in the mid 70s, which left a differential of more than 40 degrees. Definitely, two different climate zones.

I warmed up inside for about 20 minutes, ate a power bar, and then headed back out. I had forgotten to bring warmer gloves, so I just had to tough it out with the half fingered ones that I had on. The ride down was exciting, because the wind had become ferocious. I'm riding downhill at nearly 40 miles an hour, and I'm having to do battle with winds that are 40 miles an hour. There were a few places where I was hanging on to the handlebars with a death grip. Once I reached lower elevations, it was much warmer, and I could be more relaxed. I rode over to my buddy Leverett's house, and took a long break there. I had a movie called "Wristcutters", which was really good, and we watched it for the next hour and a half. There's a little bit of me in that movie.

After the flick, I got back on the bike, and headed for home. About a mile from Leverett's, and before I had reached highway 14, some jerk in a pick-up truck was leaning out of the passenger window, and yelled at me to, "Get the fuck off the road, asshole." I didn't get mad, I didn't flip him off, I could only think about which one of us was being the asshole, and I was pretty sure that it wasn't me. To all those people who would harass bicycle riders who are minding their own business, there is a special place in Hell for you, and I hope it is a squirrel cage, that takes you nowhere.

The ride back through Cedar Crest and Tijeras Canyon, was a constant battle against fierce winds. What should have been one of the easiest parts of the whole ride, turned out to be one of the toughest. On old 66, I passed a guy who was stopped at the side of the road. I asked him if he needed some help, but he said that someone was coming to get him. I don't know if he was broken down, or just tired from fighting the wind. I had to yell at him as I passed, just to be heard over the wind. Once I reached Tramway, the force of the wind lessened, and I was able to make it back up to the house, without too much problem.

It was almost 6:00pm when I finally made it in the front door, making it a long and tiring day, but fun. Now the Streak is taken care of for April, so I don't have to worry about it for another month, and by then it should be much warmer.



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