20080802

Location =  To the Crest, to Raven Rd., to Home  
Distance =  103.18
Time =  9:37:41
Ave. Speed =  10.7
Max. Speed =  37.0
Monthly Dist. =    103.18
Yearly Dist. =  2539.51

This was my warmup for next week's race in Leadville. I left the house a little after 7:00am, and headed down Tramway, toward the casino, passing a coyote along the way. I took the road to Bernalillo, and then headed up through Placitas. I climbed up the dirt road for a couple of miles, and then took a power bar break next to the creek. I took this pretty cool picture of a spider at the creek. I continued up to the crest highway, and then headed into the ski lodge to fill up on water. I climbed up King of the Mountain, never once feeling any cramps, and I didn't miss any turns. That's better than my last couple of tries.

I took a break at the top, although I didn't eat a power bar, because I was out of water. A person should always have something to wash a power bar down with, or else the bar will suck moisture out of your body, and into your stomach. That is not good. I took a break long enough to take this picture and this picture. I rode down Golden Eagle to the Lodge, and somewhere near the bottom, I ran over a snake. As far as I know, that's the first animal fatality that I have caused in my riding career. I stopped at the Lodge to refill my water, and then I ate a power bar. It was delicious. I love cookies and cream.

I was feeling good as I headed out of the parking lot, until I noticed that I couldn't shift into my lowest gears. I veered over to a shady spot along the side of the parking lot to check it out, and I heard someone say my name. It was Doug from the Thursday Night Group Ride. It's a small world. He was doing the dirt road climb two times, to get ready for Leadville. I hope we're both ready. Anyway, we determined that the derailleur or the drop out was bent in some way, and I decided that I didn't need those low gears, and I wasn't about to stop because of them. We said our good-byes, and Doug headed toward Placitas, and I rode to Cedar Crest.

As soon as I got down to Highway 14, the heat of the day could really be felt. I left early, and rode up to high elevations, so up to this point, I'd enjoyed perfect temperatures of 70s and 80s. Now, it was suddenly mid 90s, and my body could feel it. I wanted to ride up to the other house to get the mail, but if I wasn't feeling good, then I knew that I would have to bail out on that side trip. I started sucking down lots of water, and when I got to Tijeras, I decided to give the climb a try. The gearing limitation of not being able to get into my three or four lowest gears, didn't seem to be an issue, and I made the grind up to Raven Rd., and picked up the mail. There were a couple of letters for the renters, so I went over to their house and dropped them off. The short steep little climb just before the driveway was too much for my broken gears, so I had to walk that section. I wish that I was living up there, instead of just dropping off some mail.

I headed back down the mountain, and once again I was out of water. I stopped at the Ranger Station to fill up my camelback for the fourth time. That must be some kind of a record. I ate my third power bar, which is not a record, and then I headed back to Albuquerque through Tijeras Canyon. The trip up the trail along Tramway was unusual, because I made every traffic light. That never happens. It must be my lucky day, except for that little thing with the derailleur. At least I made it back in one piece, and feeling good.



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