August 12, 2011

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.23
Time =  6:04:06
Ave. Speed =  10.1
Max. Speed =  42.0
Monthly Dist. =    83.53
Yearly Dist. =  672.29

Streak Ride #80 is in the books. I love it when I get to turn over a new first digit. It brings me closer to my goal of reaching 100.

I left the house a little bit after 8:00 a.m. and headed down the mountain. I had some tightness in my left leg and lower back so I took it easy as I headed out. The tightness stayed with me until I was halfway up the big climb. I was surprised to see my ride time at just over 6 hours for the entire ride because I really felt like I was slower than normal when I was actually going faster than normal. I guess that some of the extra workouts I've had in the last few weeks have been paying off. If I can keep this up next month I might be able to come in under 6 hours.

I cruised through Cedar Crest and made the turn at the Y to start the long climb. I skipped my usual break at the bottom and headed up to Capulin to take my first break. They are still constructing the picnic area so I went a little bit further and stopped in the trees to eat some trail mix. After a few minutes I headed up toward the top.

At the 10K trailhead I stopped to do a little bit of stretching and when I looked up I saw a mountain biker there about to ride down the trail. I went over and asked him where he was headed because I thought everything was off limits except for the ski area. He told me that only the wilderness area was off limits and that didn't include the 10K trail or Tree Spring and a couple of others. I'm going to have to get a good map and check things out a liitle further.

I continued up to the top and only stopped long enough to catch my breath and check out the thermometer. It was 60 degrees up there. Not bad. A guy came over to me and asked some questions about my ride. People usually want to know how long it takes to get down to the bottom. 30 minutes is the answer to that question.

I began the descent and the air warmed up rapidly as I dropped in elevation. As I was coming around a curve just above the base of the ski area I got a glimpse of a bear as he was running across the road. He raised up a big cloud of dust as he disappeared down the embankment. I continued down to the bottom where it was about 90 degrees and for the first time ever I didn't stop at the gas station. I decided that today was the day that I would stop at the Burger Boy restaurant and check out one of their green chili cheeseburgers. People have told me that it's a good place to eat so I wanted to see for myself. The guy behind the counter filled my camelback up with water for me and I waited at an outside table for my burger. The burger was good and I enjoyed the longer than usual break. Maybe that's what helped me with a faster than normal time. Once I finished the burger I continued my journey back towards Tijeras.

I began the climb up 337 towards Raven Road and I could see some dark clouds forming right where I was headed and off to the east a little bit. I was hoping that they would stay to the east but that was not going to be the case. As I passed Otero Canyon the wind began to pick up and it started to rain lightly. Luckily, the rain wasn't heavy and between it and the wind I was able to stay cool. It rained for about a mile and then it quit for about a mile and then it started up again. It rained most of the way back to the house but never hard enough to make me wet and cold or want to stop and put on my raincoat. I was very glad about that.

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