Sunday, June 22, 2014

Location =  Tijeras, New Mexico  
Distance =  18.98
Time =  2:54:13
Ave. Speed =  6.5
Max. Speed =  34.9
Monthly Dist. =    124.43
Yearly Dist. =  695.32

Robert and I had made arrangements during the week to start early, at 9:00 a.m., at Oak Flat in order to try and beat some of the heat. It was supposed to be in the upper 90s. I had also talked to our UPS man, Ed, and invited him to join us. For some reason Robert thought it was 9:30 that we were going riding and I had to call Ed on his cell phone and tell him that we would be a little late. We did eventually ge there to begin our ride. Ed has a carbon fiber Santa Cruz Tallboy. Very Nice!

We left from the trailhead and then headed down Dead Man, all the way to Pine Flat. We went down the shoulder of the highway a short distance to the Gambel Oak Spur. This avoids the climb up Poker Chip. The intention was to climb up to Cedro Peak and I didn't want to wear Robert out too early. Ed is a pretty strong rider and he wasn't having any trouble.

We took the Spur trail to Poker Chip and then rode out to Juan Tomas. We went down the road toward the highway and then took the forest road up the south side of Cedro Peak. Ed and I pulled in to the top before Robert did and there was a guy in the lookout tower who called down to us and invited us up to take a look. We said that we would come up as soon as our buddy made it to the top.

Robert eventually made it and we climbed up the stairs to meet a guy who has one of the loneliest jobs in the world. The only people who ever go up there are mountain bikers and an occasional hiker and maybe a maintenance guy or two when they come to service the towers. Other than that it's pretty quiet on top of the mountain. The guy's name was Dave Chemistruck and he had a pretty nice little hangout. There are windows with 360 degree views of the forest in all directions. There's a bed and hot plate and a microwave. Practically all of the comforts of home. We hung out with Dave for a while and ate a PowerBar. I asked him if he knew Bill Packer, and he did. It's a small world.

After a while we saddled up and headed down a singletrack that took us back to the road. Once we passed the gate we took the main road down through the campground and back to Juan Tomas. We passed Poker Chip and took Magnolia back toward Oak Flat. On the way we stopped at the water collector and hung out for a few minutes there. From there it was back up to the parking lot - ride over.

We managed to get the ride in before it reached the peak temperatures for the day. That was nice. Robert did a good job handling the extra mileage and having two pretty decent climbs included in the ride. Our trip to Moab is getting closer.


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