March 24, 2012

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.52
Time =  6:18:24
Ave. Speed =  9.7
Max. Speed =  38.5
Monthly Dist. =    67.58
Yearly Dist. =  191.05

I left the house just before 8:00 a.m. and it was still pretty cold out with temps in the 20s. I had on my headband and warm gloves for the ride down 337 but I only had leg warmers on my lower half since it was supposed to get warm today. Once I made my way to the other side of the freeway I took off the gloves and the headband. I made my way through Cedar Crest and then stopped at my break spot near the Y and ate a PowerBar and traded my full fingered gloves for half fingers. It was already starting to warm up.

I began the long climb with lots of energy but by the time I reached the ski area I could feel some fatigue start to set in and I also had some twinges of leg cramps. I realized that I hadn't been drinking enough water so I started to guzzle it down in an effort to ward off the cramps. By the time I reached Capulin I needed a short rest so I stopped for a few minutes. I walked a little ways down to where I thought the Capulin Spring might be but there was too much snow on the road so I turned back.

I continued my climb and the feelings of leg cramps were present so I kept on drinking my water. At 10,000 feet I was getting tired again and I took another short rest and drank up the rest of my water. I hate to do that with two and a half miles still to go to the top but it was better than having to suffer with leg cramps. About a mile and a half from the top there is an awesome view to the east that I have always told myself that I should stop and take a picture. Today I finally did.

I stopped at the top just long enough to check the temperature, which was 45 degrees, and to put on my headband and warm gloves. I contemplated going inside to the snack bar and buying a Gatorade, but I decided I didn't want to pay their outrageous prices. A guy walked over to me and asked if I had ridden up to the top or had I been dropped off? Very funny.

The ride down wasn't bad. There were some spots with ice water melting across the road but not too many. Near the top there was a lady on a pair of those cross country skis with wheels and poles and she was working hard. All she had on was a halter top and a pair of shorts. She looked hot. Lower down there were a couple of guys on bikes that were heading up but there weren't nearly as many as I would have thought for such a nice day. At one point a butterfly hit me in the face while I was going more than 30 miles an hour. That hurt.

I made it down to the gas station where I filled up on water and took off my gloves and headband and my jacket, and then headed for Pinkies for what has become the favorite part of my ride - their red chile brisket burrito. Awesome. After lunch I took of my leg warmers and then headed for home. It felt good to be riding in my shorts and I made decent time climbing back up 337. It was a very beautiful day and the temps were about 70 degrees.

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