2009/12/05

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  71.23
Time =  8:13:06
Ave. Speed =  8.6
Max. Speed =  35.0
Monthly Dist. =    71.23
Yearly Dist. =  1154.71

I headed out for the ride at about 8:00 a.m. I took my new street ride rather than my road bike because it had stormed recently and I was concerned that there would be a lot of snow and ice that I would have to deal with on the way to the top. As it turned out I probably could have taken the road bike. There was a little bit of snow and ice in a few places but mostly there was just a lot of dirt in the road.

It was very cold when I left the house with temps in the low teens. I had my booties on and my winter gloves, and everything was tucked in and zipped up. It was so cold when I left that the water tube of my camelback was frozen before I reached Montgomery which was only about ten minutes down the road. I got it thawed out only to have it freeze again by the time I reached Lomas. At that point the sun was starting to get up over the edge of the mountain and it didn't freeze again after that.

I made my way through Tijeras Canyon and then turned to head through Cedar Crest. I started out riding on the sidewalk like usual, but it wasn't long before I had to ride in the street. Snowplows had covered the sidewalk in frozen chunks of snow that were not melted in the places where the sun didn't shine. I got back on the sidewalk a couple of times but mostly it was too difficult to try and ride through. I hate being on the street because the cars scare me, but there was nothing I could do. I made the return trip entirely in the street but that's not so bad because it's almost all downhill so it takes a lot less time to get back, than on the way out.

I stopped at my break spot to eat a PowerBar and get ready for the climb. I didn't stop for long because I wasn't making very good time. The street bike has smaller, fatter tires than the road bike and my progress was slower than usual and I left the house later than I normally do. I didn't want to have to ride the final stretch back to the house in the dark.

I began the slow climb to the top just listening to my music and keeping the pedals turning. I don't think that I could have finished this ride if I didn't have my music. I was feeling quite fatigued as I made the climb and I stopped often to eat a few bites of PowerBar to try and energize myself. It would work for a little while and then as I could feel myself running out of gas I'd stop again and take a few more bites. Eventually, I made it to the top, and I went inside to warm up. It was 18 degrees up there. Brrrrr!

I put on my face mask for the descent and then headed down the mountain. I was warm for the most part, except my fingers were frozen. I think that maybe my gloves have lost some of their ability to insulate me from the cold. I was very glad when I reached the gas station at the bottom so that I could warm up inside and get some more water.

The trip home was relatively easy. I made it back with at least an hour to spare before it got dark. The afternoon had warmed up quite nicely, making it into the low 40s. The day started out sunny but it ended up cloudy. When I was about halfway up to the crest the clouds took over the sky and the sun was never seen again. The bright side is that it was never windy at any time during the day. That was a treat.



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