Location =  Albuquerque to Tijeras and Back  
Distance =  49.54
Time =  3:54:40
Ave. Speed =  12.7
Max. Speed =  37.5
Monthly Dist. =    131.83
Yearly Dist. =  324.63

I've been doing a lot of studying and it's been making me stir crazy. I decided that I needed a bike ride to clear my head so I rode up to the house in Tijeras to get the mail. I couldn't remember when the last time was that I did that, so I looked through the archives and it was in November of 2008. I really need to get out more often.

I started the ride by heading down Tramway and before I had gotten down to San Rafael I was smelling smoke. There was a small grass fire that had burned a patch of brush about 50 feet long by 10 feet wide. There were a couple of firemen there poking around in the dirt to make sure there weren't any embers still burning. It was such a small fire that they didn't even bring a firetruck, just a pickup. The fire was probably started by some jerk throwing a cigarette butt out of his car window. It's not much of a problem at this time of the year but in a few months it could become a huge danger. Come on people -- use your ashtray.

I continued down Tramway and then made the turn into Tijeras Canyon. It was a little bit breezy, but not too bad. At South 14 I made the turn to head up the highway to Raven Road. As I passed the Otero Canyon trailhead there started to be snow on the ground. The higher I got in elevation the more snow there was. It was mostly melted from the sunny areas but it was still pretty deep in the shady spots. I took it easy on the climb and cruised in to the mailboxes on Skyland.

I stuffed the mail in my backpack, put on my headband and full-fingered gloves, zipped up my jacket and headed downhill. It wasn't too cold with temps probably in the 50s. It could have been worse. I pulled in to the ranger station at the bottom of the hill and took a short PowerBar break. It was substantially warmer down at the bottom and I was able to ditch the headband, gloves and the jacket. Nice!

It was a lovely afternoon for a ride. I really need to to this more often.

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