May 16, 2011

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  60.64
Time =  6:46:45
Ave. Speed =  8.9
Max. Speed =  38.0
Monthly Dist. =    60.64
Yearly Dist. =  448.60

I haven't been doing any riding since last month's ride and it showed, big time. Once again I decided that I would take things slow and easy and try not to work up a sweat. The problem was that since I was in such poor physical condition that any exertion I made caused me to sweat. Once I was sweating the breeze made me cold. I could tell that it was going to be a long day.

I left the house a few minutes after 8:00 a.m. and headed down the mountain. It was cool out with temps in the 40s but it was mostly sunny. As I headed down toward Tunnel Canyon three deer walked across the road right in front of me. They gave me the evil eye and then disappeared into the forest. I continued to the bottom and then rode through Cedar Crest and took a short rest at my break spot near the Y. As I started the long climb to the crest the sun did a disappearing act behind the clouds. That seemed to cause the temperature to drop about 10 degrees. That sucked. I climbed up to Capulin where I usually take another break but I couldn't get in there because a lot a construction activity was going on. There was a big hole being dug right at the entrance and other guys were hard at work on what looked like a rebuild of the whole place. I went just past the entrance and took a break in a small meadow. While I was sitting there eating some trail mix a couple of riders went by. One of them was on a 29 inch mountain bike. I was glad that I wasn't riding at the time because it's embarrassing to be riding a road bike and get passed by someone on a mountain bike. After a few minutes I began climbing again until I reached the 10K trailhead where I took another short break and ate some more trail mix. Two more riders went by me as I was stopped and one of them asked if the bike and I were okay. I said we were both fine, just taking a break. I got back on the road and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the sun was coming back out to try and warm me up. That was nice. I finally made it to the top and I went inside for a few minutes to try to dry off and warm up. The temperature up there was 46 degrees.

I closed up all my zippers for the ride down and then I headed out. The wind had increased dramatically and it was a bit of an effort to go downhill. As I was going down I passed four or five other riders that were on their way up. It was pretty busy for a Monday. A little before Doc Long I spotted a pair of pliers on the road. I swung around and picked them up and they were good quality Stanley's. I put them in my backpack. I made it down to the gas station where I filled up on water but I had to skip my usual candy bar because I couldn't find my wallet before I left and I had no money. It was much warmer now that I was at a lower elevation, in the low 70s, and I didn't need my full-fingered gloves anymore. I reached into my pack for my lighter weight gloves and I noticed that both of them were for my left hand. I put one on and then headed for Tijeras.

As soon as I turned out of the gas station the wind came out of nowhere and blasted me. Dirt was getting in my eyes and my progress slowed to a crawl. Luckily, it's mostly downhill through Cedar Crest but it was a battle the whole way. I was hoping that the wind would die down a bit when I got to Tijeras and started the 10 mile climb back up to Raven Road. I was suffering and I needed some help from the wind gods. The wind did seem to lessen a bit as I started heading up 337 but I was seriously fatigued by this point. I needed another break so I climbed over the guard rail and found a little spot out of the wind to eat the rest of my trail mix. As I was getting ready to leave I noticed a little pile of bones next to me and I found this little skull. I think it might have been a bobcat or something because it sure has some wicked looking teeth. I wouldn't want that thing to bite me.

I got back on the road and slowly spun my way up to the house. I've got to do more riding before I do this again next month.

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