2010/05/23

Location =  To Tijeras and Back  
Distance =  49.27
Time =  4:13:18
Ave. Speed =  11/7
Max. Speed =  41.0
Monthly Dist. =    134.96
Yearly Dist. =  529.73

I decided to ride up to Tijeras and get the mail. If I had known that the only thing in the mailbox were some grocery store flyers then I would have waited another week.

I saw a police officer giving a ticket to bicycle rider on Tramway, near San Bernardino. The bike rider did not look at all happy. The guy probably rode through a redlight, but is this how we want our public safety personnel spending their time?

As soon as I started heading down Tramway, I knew that I was in trouble. There was a strong and steady headwind blowing straight up out of the south. This was rather unusual because most of the time the strongest winds are blowing from the east or the west. Not this time. I fought my way down the trail and made the turn to the east to head into Tijeras Canyon. This is usually where the strongest winds can be found, but today I had a slight reprieve. The headwinds eased off and became a side wind, and as I neared the end of the canyon they even became a slight tailwind.

My respite from the wind was short-lived. As soon as I made the turn south to head up highway 14 to Raven Road, the winds returned with a vengeance. It was a slow struggle to get myself up the mountain, and I just kept pushing down on the pedals. At one point a bunch of dust flew in my face and blinded me. It was obvious why there weren't any other bike riders out. Nobody wanted to do battle with the wind, and if I had any sense at all I wouldn't have been doing it either.

I persevered and eventually made it to the mailboxes. It was cloudy and cool up there, and with the winds blowing hard I put my jacket on for the ride down. The descent was a cinch. All I had to do was let the wind push me along, but it was cold. My fingers were all numb by the time I got to the bottom so I pulled into the ranger station to warm up and get some more water. There was a brand new water fountain there but it wasn't turned on. What's the point of that? I had enough to get home but fresh water would have tasted good.

I made my way back through Tijeras Canyon to Albuquerque, fighting the wind that was more headwind than tailwind, for the ride back. Once I made it to Tramway and turned northward, I was home free. The wind became my friend and together we rolled back up to the house.


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