Monday, August 11, 2014

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.75
Time =  6:50:45
Ave. Speed =  9.0
Max. Speed =  38.5
Monthly Dist. =    61.75
Yearly Dist. =  847.11

This ride was a bit of a struggle. I haven't been doing very much riding lately. Between work and the rain there haven't been many opportunities. The weather forecast had chances of rain at 50% so I had my raincoat along, just in case.

I left the house a little befor 8:00 a.m. and headed down the highway. It was cool, in the low 50s, so I had my windbreaker on. I rode through Cedar Crest and then took a break at the Y. After a few minutes I started up the long climb. Just before I reached Doc Long I felt three puffs of air on the back of my right leg. It was either a ghost or else I just punctured my tire and the slime sealed up the hole in three tire revolutions. I had my doubts about it being a ghost so I figured that the second option was more likely. I could tell that my rear wheel had lost some of it's air pressure but I was hesitant to stop and try to add some more air. I realized when I left in the morning that I had taken my larger pack to accommodate my raincoat, and in doing so I moved all of my gear from the smaller pack to the larger one, and I had forgotton to move an extra CO2 cartridge to the big pack. All I had is what was left in the old cartridge and my hand pump. Uh-oh.

I continued climbing and I could feel my rear wheel getting softer and softer. I decided to stop and try to add some air and hope that it would help to seal up the leak. I emptied what was left of the used CO2 cartridge that I had and started riding again. I only made it another mile or so when I felt and heard the dreaded air blowing out of the tire. I was at the sign that said 8000 feet in elevation and I had no choice but to replace the tube and try my best to get enough air into it with my crappy hand pump so that I could continue to ride. I thought of bailing out of the ride but I had forgotton my cell phone and it wouldn't have worked where I was located.

Another thing that I had forgotton were my two plastic tire levers. Luckily, I had one on my mini-tool or I really would have been screwed. I got the tire off and replaced the tube and now the fun begins. I struggled getting air into the tube and keeping it there. It seemed to be escaping as fast as I was pumping it. I spent about 45 minutes to an hour trying to get enough air in the tire so that I could ride. Eventually, I used the schrader connector on the pump and an adapter that I had and I finally got a minimum amount of pressure in the tire that I felt I could ride safely. My goal now was to ride slowly to the top and then take it easy on the descent and make it down to the gas station. They have an air compressor there and I could get all the pressure I needed.

I continued my climb and decided to skip my usual stop at Capulin. It's not like I needed a rest. I was just sitting around for practically an hour. The soft tire was slowing my down but I didn't care. All I wanted to do was get to the top. I eventually made it and after checking the temperature, 53 degrees, I headed down. I tried to keep most of my weight forward on the bike and off of the rear wheel. It helped a little bit. I stopped at the ski area to take off my windbreaker and then I cruised down the gas station. I topped off the air in my tire and then went inside to fill up on water. After a few minutes I was back on the road and heading for home.

The ride up 337 was was a grind. I saw Robert on Raven Road and we talked for a few minutes. Our trip to Moab is coming up soon.

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