Monday, November 24, 2014

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.97
Time =  7:24:53
Ave. Speed =  8.3
Max. Speed =  41.0
Monthly Dist. =    99.43
Yearly Dist. =  1131.75

I left the house a little bit after 8:00 a.m. and headed out into the cold and wind. It was 25 degrees but I was ready for it. I had all the clothes I would need, including my booties. I remembered to put those on just before I left and I was very glad that I did. When I finally made it to the top of the mountain it was only 12 degrees up there. That is wicked cold, especially on the downhill. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I headed down 337 fighting a bit of a headwind at first, and then it turned around and became a tailwind. I liked that. I rode through Cedar Crest and took a break at my spot near the Y. I decided to take a long break and eat a PowerBar and rest up for the climb. They didn't have my favorite flavors of PowerBar at REI so I bought some choclate-peanut butter. It tasted like dirt, but at least it gave me a few calories to burn.

After a few minutes I started the long, slow, climb to the top. I was not in a hurry. I put myself in survival mode and decided that nothing was going to stop me. That's not to say that I couldn't be slowed down. About two miles up the mountain a gust of wind blew so strongly that it pushed me off of the road and I fell over. I got my left foot out of my pedal but my right foot was stuck. I had just put new Crank Brothers, Egg Beater pedals on my bike and they were very tight on my cleat. A car going by saw me fall but he didn't bother to stop and see if I was all right. I was, but it would have been a nice courtesy. Anyway, I managed to free myself by lifting up the bike so I could twist my foot out of the pedal. I dusted myself off and continued on my way.

As I neared the ski area I noticed that the wind seemed to have stopped. This was unexpected but very welcome. Thanks for small favors. Also, as I climbed higher and higher I seemed to gain more and more sunshine which helped to keep me warm. This wasn't too bad. I pulled in to Capulin to take another break and eat another PowerBar. This time I had a vanilla flavored one which is really good. After a few minutes rest at Capulin I was on my way to the top.

Somewhere between Capulin and the 10K trailhead my water tube became frozen. I drank enough earlier to carry me to the top so at least I didn't have to stop and try to warm it up to get a drink. I rolled up to the crest and went into the gift shop to warm up for a few minutes. I talked to a couple ladies up there who were quite impressed with the fact that I had ridden up there 119 months in a row. One of them said that she could barely breathe just to walk around. We talked for a few minutes and then I put on all my clothes, including my face mask and over mitts, and was out the door and heading down.

While I was on my way up the mountain the Google Earth car passed me going up, and again when he was going down. Maybe in some future version of Google Earth you'll be able to take a virtual drive up to the crest and you can pass me along the way!

I got more water at the gas station and then headed for home. My slowness and my long breaks put me a little behind schedule and the clouds came back which made it seem dark out. I had brought a red, blinky light with me so I turned that on to make the climb back up 337 to Raven Road. It was almost 5:00 p.m. when I finally made it back to the house. I was tired but relieved. My only other day off for the rest of the month was Thanksgiving Day and I did not want to ride to the crest on that day. I wanted to watch football. Lions won!

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