December 17, 2013

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  56.55
Time =  7:27:30
Ave. Speed =  7.5
Max. Speed =  37.0
Monthly Dist. =    157.67
Yearly Dist. =  1137.21

Once again, I am late in getting this ride posted to the internet. Several weeks have slipped by since the ride. It was a difficult ride.

The stats for this ride are missing about five miles of the downhill from the top of the crest. I happened to look down and noticed zeroes so I touched a button and it started working. The batteries are probably getting low. It's been a few years since I have replaced the batteried in any of my bike computers. With my luck they will probably all go dead at the same time.

Before beginning this ride I had to decide wether I would take my road bike or my rigid mountain bike. The road bike would make for an easier ride but if there was a lot of snow and ice up high on the mountain that could spell disaster. In the end I decided on the red Cannondale mountain bike because I was only going to try this once, and I had to succeed or the streak would be over.

I left a few minutes after 8:00 and temps were in the 30s. Not bad. I headed down 337 and took off my head band and warm gloves when I reached the sidewalk on the other side of the freeway. There was a lot of dirt and debris on the road and sidewalk from the recent snowfall. Having the bigger tires on my mountain bike made absorbing all the liitle rocks and pices of dirt easier than if I had had my road bike. The downside was that I was working very hard to propel the heavier bike forward and up.

I reached my break spot at the Y and rested for a few minutes before beginning the long climb. I struggled with the heavier bike and suffered greatly as I gained elevation. About a mile before the ski area I felt a little twinge of a cramp. I backed off my already slow pace and drank a bunch of water. I finally reached Capulin and I was very ready for a break and a PowerBar. I went around the locked gate and passed the closed off ribbon and I headed for the nearest picnic table. I dropped my bike and then stepped into a small ditch that I had to cross in order to reach the table. A deer had walked through and left a little dropping from his visit. I could tell that the snow was about knee deep and the table was only about 15 feet away, but it might as well have been a mile. My second step into the ditch caused my whole body to seize up from the pain of a cramp in my left hamstring. I started drinking what I had left of my water and after a few minutes the pain subsided and I was able to move again. Reaching the table was a huge relief. I rested and ate a PowerBar and drank more water. I finally felt recovered enough to go back through the ditch and out to the road and once again, I was heading for the top.

The heavier bike continued to take its toll on me physically, and I found myself stopping for short rests in order to gain some strength. Eventually, I reached the top and went inside to warm up and put on some warmer clothes. The temp was 43 degrees up at the top which is quite warm for December. That's okay with me. The ride down to the gas station was still pretty cold, but relaxing, compared to the ride up.

I spent a few minutes at the gas station and then headed for home. It was getting late and I wanted to get back before it got dark. I struggled with the climb back up to Raven Road. On the way Robert passed me and he called my wife when he got home and told her he saw me at Juan Tomas. She appreciated the call. Thanks, Robert.

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