2010/03/14

Location =  Albuquerque NM  
Distance =  12.22
Time =  1:30:58
Ave. Speed =  8.0
Max. Speed =  37.0
Monthly Dist. =    82.29
Yearly Dist. =  275.09

A few days ago I took the rear wheel from my street bike in for repair, and the guy at the shop actually fixed it for me while I was waiting. He opened it up and cleaned it out and lubed it with some thin lube, and now I was ready to try it out and see how it worked. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

As I left the house the sun was shining on me, but just a few miles away to the west there was a storm going on. I wanted to ride up to the La Luz trailhead and it looked clear over there, and the storm seemed to be happy dumping on the town, so I decided to take my chances. This would be my first time back to the scene of my accident last September, and to tell you the truth, I was a little bit nervous about it.

I made the climb to the trailhead and all the while the sky kept getting darker and darker. I looped around the parking area and then began the fast descent down. I kept my speed down and at the stone gate I turned right to head over to Circle Drive and see how the tire would feel on the dirt road. As soon as I made the turn I could see a blizzard happening right in front of me and it was time to make a decision. Do I wimp out and go home and miss the blizzard, or do I press onward and make the loop around Circle Drive? Of course, I ride straight into the teeth of the blizzard. I figured that even if conditions are the worst they could possibly be I could withstand them for the amount of time it would take me to complete the loop, which is only about 15 minutes, and besides, blizzards can be really pretty. What I forgot was that they can also be very cold.

Very shortly I was in the thick of the blizzard, and in about 5 minutes time I was covered with a half an inch of snow. It was insane. To make matters worse I didn't even have on full-fingered gloves and my hands quickly became frozen. All I could think was, "Get me out of here!" I made my way back to the paved road as quick as I could and started the descent down toward Tramway. I soon out ran the blizzard and I stopped near the bottom to get some feeling back into my fingers. They were so cold it hurt. When I felt that I could safely hold on to the handlebars I got back on the bike and headed back to the house where I warmed my hands in front of an electric heater for 10 minutes, trying to get some feeling back into them. That was brutal.

The end result of this little bit of foolishness is that my wheel worked great.


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