2009/11/18

Location =  From Bernalillo to the Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  46.20
Time =  5:35:38
Ave. Speed =  8.2
Max. Speed =  39.0
Monthly Dist. =    142.93
Yearly Dist. =  1083.48

I wanted to take Willy up to the top of the mountain, and we had a perfect day to do it. It was sunny but cool, with no chance of rain. I have a new bike to make this ride on. I asked Willy if he would take the parts off of my old orange Santa Cruz Superlight bike frame and put them on my Cannondale rigid bike frame. He was able to do it in a couple of days and the only parts that I had to buy were a headset and some kind of adapter for the stem. Sweet! For his efforts I donated the Santa Cruz to Willy so that the bike could go to a deserving home. I know that Willy will enjoy the ride and have many happy hours with it out on the trail. I still have my newer Santa Cruz Superlight, and now I have a street ride that's perfect for zipping around town.

We started our ride by driving over to Bernalillo and parking at the train station commuter lot. From there we began climbing up through Placitas. We took our first break at the one lane bridge on the dirt road, and then continued the climb. It didn't take very long for the road to get icy and snow covered. I was just hoping that the snow wouldn't get deep and fluffy and force us to walk. Thankfully, the snow was well packed down and provided decent traction for riding. There were a few places where the ice was so slippery that I had to put a foot down, but at least I didn't fall over. Not a single car passed us as we made the climb up to the crest highway.

Once we reached the highway we took another break to get ready for the last climb up to the gift shop. I zipped up my jacket to prepare for cooler temperatures, but it wasn't that bad. When we finally reached the top the temperature was about 30 degrees. That's about what I had guessed it would be when we left the car.

We checked out the view and then we went inside to warm up for a few minutes. They had a water fountain in there that would look great in our office. I came back on another day with my boss and we bought it.

After a few minutes we were ready for the descent. I warned Willy that just because we didn't see any cars on the dirt road on the way up doesn't mean that we wouldn't see any on the way down. As it turned out there were two cars that we had avoid as we made the drop down toward civilization. By the time we got down to the bottom of the dirt road it had warmed up considerably so we stopped to shed some of our warmer clothes. We cruised back to the train station as the sun was starting to go down, but we made it with time to spare.

Willy was a little bit concerned about how he would be able to ride once we got above 8000, 9000, and 10,000 feet in elevation. He needn't have worried as he was a lot stronger of a rider than I was.



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