Septermber 13, 2011

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  60.83
Time =  5:50:49
Ave. Speed =  10.4
Max. Speed =  39.0
Monthly Dist. =    60.83
Yearly Dist. =  733.12

I left the house a little before 8 o'clock in the morning. It was cool out so I had on my jacket and leg warmers and full fingered gloves, because I had to deal with the first 10 miles being downhill. The construction crews who are repaving the road were just getting set up. They had the road down to one lane which left the rest of the highway all for me.

I cruised down to the freeway and then made the turn toward Cedar Crest. I was feeling pretty good on this ride. I have been riding the stationary bike in the kitchen fairly regularly, and even doing some sets of intervals. I think that it is helping as this was my fastest time of the year. It's nice to make a little bit of progress every once in a while.

I rode to the Y and then stopped for a short break at my break spot. The sky was partly cloudy as I began the long climb, which helped to keep the temperatures cool. I needed to keep my jacket on but I wasn't in danger of overheating, though I did work up a good sweat. About three miles into the climb some turkeys walked across the road in front of me. A little further up the road, above the ski area, I passed a deer that was at the side of the road. He walked to the edge of the trees as I rode by and stared at me from there. I thought about taking a break at Capulin but it is still busy with a lot of construction activity. There was about a five minute period where the sun started beating down and I thought about taking off my jacket. That feeling left as quickly as the next cloud drifted by. A big, dark cloud was hanging around the top of the mountain just to the south but it didn't do anything.

I eventually rolled into the parking lot at the top and I realized that I did not take a break on the way up. I think that's the first time that has happened this year. I stopped for a few minutes at the top to let some of my sweat evaporate and, hopefully, I wouldn't be too cold on the ride down. The temperature at the crest was 45 degrees which explains why there was hardly anybody up there. After a few minutes of drying out I began the long descent.

As I dropped in elevation the temperature steadily rose. By the time I was at the ski area it was very comfortable. By the time I reached the bottom it was in the 70s. Very nice. I decided not to stop at the gas station and instead I would go to Pinky's and get a burrito. They make a really good red chile brisket. Yummy. They filled up my camelback for me, I put away my jacket and leg warmers, and I was ready to go.

After I left Pinky's I rode the rest of the way through Cedar Crest and then started the climb back up to the house. The paving crew was hard at work in the middle of the road and the one lane of traffic was on the west side. I decided that I would go up on the east side of the road and stay out of everybody's way. Nobody seemed to mind my presence and I was glad when I was finally past all of that mess. I made it back to the house feeling pretty good. The ride time was less than 6 hours so I have to be happy about that.

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