Thurssday, November 20, 2014

Location =  To Sandia Crest  
Distance =  31.46
Time =  4:59:45
Ave. Speed =  6.3
Max. Speed =  41.0
Monthly Dist. =    37.46
Yearly Dist. =  1069.78

This ride had disaster written all over it, right from the start. I had been sick for three days and was feeling weak and congested. Add to that the fact that I haven't done much riding in the last few months (I did try a couple feeble attempts on my spinning bike) I was doomed to suffer. And suffer I did.

It was 25 degrees as I went out the door at 8:00 a.m. The day was absolutely beautiful with nothing but blue skies and no wind. It was supposed to warm up nicely so I was eager to try and take advantage of the wheather and get November's Streak Ride out of the way. I only have a couple more days off of work so this seemed like my chance.

Right away it was obvious that I was feeling weak and having difficulty breathing. My heartrate was easily elevated so I knew that this was going to a long, slow, journey. I would just go slowly and grind it out. All of the climbs that I would usually do in my middle chain ring I would do in my granny gear if I had to. I'd done that before. This would be another day like the rest. No, it wouldn't.

I made it down to I40 and then stopped at the sidewalk on the other side to take of my headband and warm gloves. My toes were cold but my fingers were hot. I continued on through Cedar Crest Crest and then took a longer than normal break at my spot near the Y. While I was there a couple came by who were walking their dogs, and they warned me about ice in the shady spots on the road. I know all about that, but it wouldn't be much of an issue on this ride. There was always enough pavement or dirt or luck that kept me upright on the icy curves. I stood around long on my break to warm my toes up nicely. After a good 15 minutes I was back on the road and slowly crawling my way uphill.

A couple of miles up I heard a few seconds of hissing and then it stopped. I knew what that sound was. It was the sound of air escaping from one of my tires and then the hole is sealed up by the slime. I decided to ignore it and hope that the slime would do it's job and I wouldn't have to deal with it. That lasted for about two more miles and I started noticing that it was becoming more and more difficult to pedal the bike. I stopped to check the air in my tires and both of them were low. That was not good.

At this point I had to consider my options. I only had one spare tube but I did have two CO2 cartridges. I decided to use one to inflate both tires and then see how far I could get. My only hope was that one of the tires would seal and I could change out the tube in the other. I made it another mile and a half and my back wheel was flat. I stopped at the turnout before the downhill to the ski area to change out the tube. The first thing I did was eat a few handfuls of trail mix and I was suddenly feeling much better. I changed the tube and put in just enough air to make the tires rideable and off I went. Since I just had a break I skipped my usual stop at Capulin and headed up to the top -- very, very, slowly.

I was feeling very weak. I tried stopping and resting on the bike but that only delayed any progress I was making towards my goal. A couple of times I resorted to walking so I was at least getting closer to the top. I was feeling so tired that I was starting to worry that even if I did make it to the top, would I have enough energy to make it back to the house? I was seriously having my doubts as to whether I could do it or not. A little more than a mile from the top any thoughts about finishing the ride were put to rest when my front tire went flat. All I could do now was walk to the top and try to call for help. I was bummed that after all of this effort and suffering I wasn't going to be able to finish the ride.

I slowly trudged my way to the top and went inside the gift shop. Of course, I couldn't get a good signal on my cell phone so the gift shop guy was nice enough to let me use his phone. I left a message for Debbie on her cell and at home and then I thought to call Robert. About 90 minutes later he arrive to pick me up and my ordeal was over.

It pretty much sucked.

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