2009/04/19

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  70.49
Time =  7:27:32
Ave. Speed =  9.4
Max. Speed =  38.0
Monthly Dist. =    70.49
Yearly Dist. =  304.28

I've been dreading this ride. I haven't been on a single ride since last month, although I did get on the stationary trainer for about 45 minutes last week. Amazingly enough, I think it actually helped.

I wanted to make this ride a couple of days ago, but there was a big snowstorm so I decided to hold off for a few days and let the road dry out a little bit. The weather forecast was looking good for this weekend, so off I went.

I left the house at about 8:00 a.m. and headed down Tramway. Temps were cool in the 40s, but not cold. I saw a roadrunner somewhere between Menaul and Rover. He almost let me run him over before he scooted out of the way. I turned east into Tijeras Canyon, and immediately I was riding straight into a strong wind. I was forced to drop an entire chain ring. If I used to be able to ride it in the big ring, I was now in the middle. If I used to ride it in the middle ring, I was now in the small. This was going to add some time to my trip.

I eventually made it through the canyon, and I turned north to head through Cedar Crest. The headwind became a side wind, which was much easier to deal with. I stopped for a break at the bottom of the crest highway, and got myself ready for the big climb. I started the slow grind up the mountain, and I noticed that the wind had disappeared. Thanks for small favors. I was plodding along at my snail's pace, and letting the racehorses pass me by. I didn't care how long it was going to take me to get there, I just had to get there. As I neared the ski area the temperature started to fall, and clouds came out to hide the sun. I had to stop and tuck in my shirt and zip up my jacket, but I was not going to be deterred. As 10,000 feet approached, I could feel my energy stores fall to zero. I had to stop and eat a PowerBar which gave me the strength to go on. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally pulled in to the top. I checked the thermometer on the gift shop door, and it said that it was 30 degrees. There was more than a foot of snow on the ground and they didn't bother to plow the parking lot. Cars were all over the place.

I only stopped for a couple of minutes and then I began the descent. There wasn't a lot of water on the road, but what there was, was freezing cold. I tried to slow down when I went through it so that it wouldn't spray me too much. When I reached the bottom I stopped at the gas station to suck down a Gatorade and fill up on water. As I headed back to town the wind came back to annoy me, but it wasn't nearly as bad as on the way out. It was 70 degrees back in town, which made for a 40 degree spread when compared to the top. I'm looking forward to the next four months. I consider May, June, July, and August, to be the warm season. Bring it on!



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