November 29, 2013

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  63.28
Time =  7:32:48
Ave. Speed =  8.3
Max. Speed =  37.0
Monthly Dist. =    101.12
Yearly Dist. =  1080.66

As I was getting ready to leave the house I noticed that my rear tire was low on air. That was not good since I had filled it up the night before. I didn't want to take the time to change the tube because that would delay my departure, so I put more air in the tire and I hoped that the slime would seal up the leak. I don't think that slime works very well at 25 degrees, which is what it was when I left the house.

When I did finally leave it was a little bit after 8:00 a.m. I walked down to the pavement because our dirt roads are all covered with snow, and I stopped there and put on my booties and then I began the ride. I didn't get far. Before I made it to the mailboxes I realized the I didn't have a spare inner tube with me and I forgot to put on my padded shorts. Leaving the house without the inner tube would be a big mistake since I already knew that I had a slow leak in one of my tires. I looped back around to the house and walked up the hill to get my stuff. I started out for the second time and now it was getting close to 9:00.

I was better prepared for the cold this time than I was for the last ride. I had two layers on my legs and I also wore my arm warmers and my booties. Much more better. There was no chance of rain so I didn't have to worry about getting wet, except the spray off of the road.

I headed down the hill toward the freeway, and as I got toward the bottom I could tell that my rear wheel was feeling funny, and that it was losing air. When I got to the bottom I went into the Tijeras Post Office and changed out the tube. To fill the new tube I used a CO2 cartridge rather than try and pump 100 pounds of pressure with my tiny hand pump. The CO2 worked great and I was ready to go in a few minute.

I headed through Cedar Crest and there were only a few spots where snow was on the sidewalk. I made it to my break spot near the Y and took a few minutes rest to get ready for the climb. As I started upward it became clear that it was going to be long, slow climb. I was wearing lots of clothes, my backpack was heavy with more clothes, and the road was snow-covered on all of the shaded curves. Riding through the snow with skinny tires was a challenge. I tried to find pavement for traction whenever I could in order to help me stay on the bike and not have to walk. Sometimes that meant that I was hogging the road and I forced cars out of their lane to go around me, and a couple of times I made cars wait until I could get farther over to the right.

It was a very tiring ride climbing up to the crest and I was suffering from the effort. I had to stop and pee about a dozen times on the way to the top, which wasn't all bad. At least I got to rest a little bit each time. There was quite a lot of traffic on the crest highway. Many people were looking for a place to go sledding or just spend some time in the snow. There was at least a foot of snow at the higher elevations. The ski area looked great, better than it did at any time last year. After the snowstorm that we recently had I think they got out there and groomed it, and packed it all down.

I did eventually make it to the top and I went inside just long enough to put on all of my downhill clothes. The ride down was difficult because I had to use my brakes a lot more than normal in order to control my speed through the snow-covered sections. My hands were aching when I got to the bottom. It was 30 degrees at the top and in the mid 40s at the bottom. By the time I would make it back up to my house it would be in the 30s again.

I made it down to the gas station and stopped just long enough to trade out my warm clothes for some less warm clothes and to fill up on water. This ride was taking a lot longer than it shoud have and I was trying maximize the daylight that I had left. I cruised back through Cedar Crest and then started the long climb back up to Raven Road. About two miles into the climb I felt fatigued so I pulled over just before Tunnel Canyon and took a short rest and ate a half a PowerBar. I hadn't eaten anything all day except for a bowl of cereal before I left the house, and my body was starting to run down. Those few calories were just enough to get me back to the house.

These Streak Rides are really starting to take a toll on me. I had more passion to complete them when I was approaching #100. Now, I find myself almost wishing for them to end. I think that I will take it one month at a time, and see how I feel.

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