2010/01/10

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  71.31
Time =  8:32:39
Ave. Speed =  8.3
Max. Speed =  34.5
Monthly Dist. =    120.44
Yearly Dist. =  120.44

It wasn't easy, but I did it.

I left the house just after 7:00 in the morning, and riding conditions were most excellent when compared to the other day. Temps started out in the teens but they warmed up into the 40s by the end of the day. I was more prepared for the cold this time. I think that I learned a lesson from a few days ago. I dug some waterproof, windproof overmitts from my winter glove box, and wore them over my ski gloves. They really did the trick, and my fingers were toasty.

I headed down the Tramway Trail, and I made sure that I didn't have any issues with frozen water by drinking regularly. I have some insulation for the water tube but my son borrowed it and he hasn't given it back. I need to get that from him. At Central Avenue the sun started to come up over the edge of the mountain and I knew that wouldn't have any problems with frozen water. I made it through Tijeras Canyon without having to fight ferocious winds and I started up through Cedar Crest. Things had warmed up enough that I didn't need my overmitts, so I stopped and stashed them in my backback.

I saw a dead bird on the sidewalk along North 14. Usually that's no big deal, but this bird was different. It was an owl. It's tail feathers had coloring similar to a red-tailed hawk but it had the short stocky body of an owl and the big round head. This was a day for dead things as I saw a squished squirrel on the Crest Highway, and later I saw a dead sparrow on Old 66.

I rode to my break spot at the bottom of the mountain and ate a PowerBar to get ready for the big climb. It had warmed up enough that I traded my ski gloves for my full-fingered fall gloves, and I even took off my headband. This was more like it. I headed up the mountain and several people shouted words of encouragement to me along the way. I took my time and tried to keep a steady pace. My conditioning still sucks so I took several short breaks on the way to the top. I was feeling especially weak when I got up above 10,000 feet. When I pedaled into the parking lot at the top I was very relieved and in need of a break. It was 28 degrees up there which is practically a heat wave for this time of year. Excellent!

I warmed up in the giftshop for about 20 minutes, scarfed down a PowerBar and then suited up for the descent. The ski gloves went back on as well as the overmitts, and also my hat and facemask. I was ready and off I went. As usual, the downhill was bitter cold, but it begins to warm up once I get down to the ski area. From there to the gas station is the easy part. I ate a Twix Bar at the gas station and filled up on water, and headed back out for the ride home. The sky had become cloudy but it was still a nice day. At least temps were well above freezing.

Streak ride #61 is now complete, but it didn't come easily. I am going to make a promise to work out more so that these monthly adventures are a little bit easier.



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