May 29, 2013

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.48
Time =  6:23:51
Ave. Speed =  9.6
Max. Speed =  42.0
Monthly Dist. =    96.85
Yearly Dist. =  432.54

Streak Ride #101 is done. I waited until the last minute to complete this one. May only has a couple of days left. I have been enjoying the feeling of accomplishment I've had since completing my 100th ride to the crest, and I haven't been in a big hurry to do it again. It is something that I need to do and so here I am.

The morning looked absolutely beautiful as I left the house a little after 8:00 a.m. I wasn't 100 feet from the driveway when I stopped to put on my jacket. The sun was warm but the air was about 45 degrees, and when the wind blew, I felt it. The forecast was for there to be lots of wind and I started running into it as I headed down 337. If things stayed this way I might have a tailwind for my ride back up the hill. As I started my ride toward Cedar Crest a car was stopped on a side street and it was Jim Novak. Jim and I work together at the top of the chairlift in the summertime. He said he recognized my backpack. We talked for a few minutes and then I continued onward. He thanked me for the fresh asparagus that I gave him that was from my neighbor. That was good stuff.

I took my break near the Y and then I started up the long climb. Occasionally I would get hit with a strong gust of wind, but it wasn't too bad. If it was a direct headwind it usually didn't last very long before it disappeared or became a tailwind. Clouds began to form as I gained elevation and I was in the warm sun, less and less, and in the cool shade, more and more. I stopped at Capulin to eat a PowerBar and take a short break. Before heading out I put on my leg warmers. This ride was seeming like a cool one, considering that it was the end of May. I should have done this a week ago when Albuquerque was in the 90s.

I continued my climb toward the top, at times being buffeted by the wind. It got worse above 10,000 feet and it made me question why I do this. I must be some kind of twisted addict. Eventually, I pulled into the top and stopped only long enough to put on the rest of my clothes which consisted of my arm warmers, full-fingered gloves, and headband. The snack bar and gift shop were still closed so there wasn't going to be any warming up inside. It was about 40 degrees up top and I was looking forward to descending to lower elevation. A guy stopped me and congratulated me on how fast I made it to the top. He was probably talking about one of the two young kids who flew by me like I was standing still. I just smiled and thanked him.

The descent warmed up quickly as I lost elevation and when I reached the ski area I stopped and took off most of the extra clothes. I kept my windbreaker on until I reached the gas station and then I was done with that. While at the gas station I filled up my water and downed a candy bar (Twix) and then headed for home. The ride back through Cedar Crest is mostly downhill but there were times when that was a struggle. There were several huge gusts of wind that had me closing my eyes and spitting out dirt. When I crossed I40 and began the the climb up 337 the wind was reversed and it was mostly a tailwind. So much wind is blowing from west to east in Tijeras Canyon that it actually splits off and blows north and south at the same time. Pretty cool.

Temps today varied from about 40 to about 80 and the winds varied from nothing to a lot. It's nice having another Streak Ride done. After 100, everything is gravy.


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