February 19, 2013

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.50
Time =  6:42:50
Ave. Speed =  9.1
Max. Speed =  41.0
Monthly Dist. =    61.50
Yearly Dist. =  135.18

The ski area closed yesterday so I figured that the only thing to do now is to ride my bike. The ski season totally sucked. The bunny chair was the only lift that we managed to get open. Hopefully, we'll get more snow next year.

This day looked to be a good day to try and ride up to the crest. The weather forecast was predicting temps in the 50s with very little wind. The next few days were looking like some storms are headed this way so I took advantage of my window of opportunity. I left the house a little before 8 o'clock in the morning. Temps were cool, in the 20s, but not so cold that I needed my face mask or booties.

Road conditions were pretty good so I was able to take my road bike for this ride. It was a pleasure turning the pedals on my lightweight, skinny-tired, road bike rather the fat tire mountain bike that I've ridden the last two rides up to the crest. That in itself goes a long ways towards reducing my suffering factor. I have started to ride the sationary bike a little bit in my kitchen, to try and reduce my suffering on these rides. I think it helped a little bit.

I rode down 337 and then through Cedar Crest and took a break at my break spot near the Y. It was cool in the shade and I had to jump around a little bit to get my feet warmed up. After a few minutes I headed up the mountain and took another break a Capulin. I ate a PowerBar at Capulin and the headed out to finish the climb. When I finally reached the top I saw something that I had never seen before. Nobody was there! There was not a single car parked in either the upper or the lower parking lots. There was a Century Link truck parked by the gate to the towers but except for him the place was deserted. It was a little bit spooky. I made a lap around the parking lot and headed down without even stopping to put on more clothes. In hindsight, I should have put on my face mask and warm gloves but I just wanted to get down the mountain as fast a I could.

The ride down was cold and lonely. Only two cars were driving up the road in the entire time it took me to ride down. I have never seen the mountain so deserted. Nobody was parked at any of the trailheads and even the ski area parking lot was completely empty. It was weird. I eventually made it down to the gas station where I went in to fill up on water and get warm. Neil, who worked at the ski area as an instructor, was working at the gas station so I talked to him for a while. After a few minutes I warmed up and I headed out the door for home.

The ride back up 337 to Raven Road was a bit of a workout. Temps were in the low 50s which made for a pleasant ride. It was a nice day for a ride with a good mix of sun and clouds.


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