November 8, 2012

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.10
Time =  6:09:22
Ave. Speed =  9.9
Max. Speed =  38.5
Monthly Dist. =    72.89
Yearly Dist. =  1299.13

It has been unseasonably warm this fall but the weather forecast says that that is about to change, so I decided that this was the day to make the ride to the top of the mountain. I left the house a little before 8:00 and headed down the mountain. It was a little bit cool out so I had my jacket on and my headband and full-fingered gloves. Once I made it to the sidewalk on the other side of the freeway I took off the jacket and head band, but the gloves stayed on the whole day.

I rode through Cedar Crest and then took a break at my spot near the Y. After a few minutes I was ready to make the climb. It was a very quiet day on the Crest Highway, with very little automobile traffic. That made for a pleasant ride. I stopped at Capulin for another break and I stayed there for about 15 minutes, just enjoying the day. The sky was mostly overcast which was nice for a change. It kept the ride cool while still having it feel good when the sun did come out, every once in a while.

After finishing off a PowerBar I got back on the bike and headed for the top. I put my headband back on for the last few miles of climbing. When I did finally reach the top it was 47 degrees up there. Not bad, but it felt cool without the sun. A couple guys were asking me questions at the top like, "How can you breathe up here? I can't hardly walk," and "Aren't your legs tired?" It is hard to breathe and, no, my legs aren't tired.

I tucked my shirt in and put my jacket on and headed down the mountain. There was no traffic on the way to the bottom and I do mean, none. Not a single car passed me all the way down to the Y. I think that may have happened only once before. It makes for a very peaceful ride to the bottom, which takes about thirty minutes. I glance over my shoulder periodically to make sure no one is sneaking up on me, and no one ever did.

I didn't stop until I was at Pinkies where I would get another sensational burrito. When I walked in, Pinkie was sitting in one of the chairs and lying down on the one next to her, sleeping. She woke up a little embarrassed and confused. She did make an awesome burrito. After that it was back out on the road headed for home. I didn't need my jacket anymore so I put that away.

I always walk the last one third of a mile back to the house because it's a dirt road and a steep hill. I always enjoy this last little stretch because I know that another successful ride is behind me. This time two little dogs came out to harass me. One was a chihuahua and the other was some kind of little spaniel with an ugly, growling, little face. I told them "No!" and shook my bike at them and they ran away. The ride is never over until you are back inside the house.

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