Friday, January 2, 2015
Location = Distance = 41.27 Time = 5:53:32 Ave. Speed = 7.0 Max. Speed = 31.9 Monthly Dist. = 41.27 Yearly Dist. = 41.27
I had to take my mountain bike for this ride because snow has been falling over the past few days and I knew that conditions would not be suitable for the skinny tires of my road bike. I was right about that. One of the mistakes I made was taking my full-suspension bike instead of my rigid bike. It was a more comfortable ride but the weight penalty wasn't worth it.
I left the house right at 8:00 a.m. and the temp was 16 degrees. It was cold but I was bundled up and I had all of my extreme clothes with me. It was snowing lightly as I left the house and headed down 337. Once I got below Otero Canyon the snow stopped and it warmed up a few degrees. On the other side of the freeway I took off my face mask and heavy gloves. Things seemed to be going my way, but a look up to the cloud enshrouded Sandia mountains indicated trouble ahead.
I cruised through Cedar Crest and as I neared the Y the light snow returned. I rode in to my break spot and danced around for awhile trying to warm up my toes. I took a fairly long break as I tried to gather my strength for what was sure to be a brutal climb.
I started up the hill very slowly. That's the only speed the mountain has when compared to the road bike. As I neared Doc Long I was enveloped in a full blizzard. The road was quickly becoming very slippery and to make matters worse, there was a lot of traffic. I think that the ski area was having a job fair and lots of people were going there looking for work.
I continued to struggle slowly as I climbed up the mountain. About a mile past Doc Long someone's tire tracks left the road and went onto the shoulder where I was riding. It didn't look there was any sliding. Rather, I think they weren't paying attention and veered off of the road. Still, that was disconcerting. I was now starting to think that maybe I should go home and try again another day. I still had more than nine miles to go to get to the top, and conditions were horrible. At the rate I was going it would be well after dark before I got home. It was only the second day of January and I was bound to get another chance to ride to the crest and, hopefully, it would be a better day than this one.
Having made the decision to throw in the towel, I turned around and headed down to the gas station. I left a muddy puddle under the table where I sat, and everywhere I walked I left muddy footprints. Sorry! I refilled my water and dried out a little bit and then I headed for home. The snow stopped after a few minutes but the storm left a fresh inch or two on the ground in Cedar Crest. By the time I got back to Tijeras the snow was gone.
The ride back up 337 was a bit of a struggle. I took my time and took a couple of pee breaks. It was a relief to finally arrive back at the house. I live to ride another day........
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