Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Location = To Sandia Crest and Back Distance = 62.28 Time = 7:06:30 Ave. Speed = 8.7 Max. Speed = 38.0 Monthly Dist. = 62.28 Yearly Dist. = 227.92
I had everything packed and ready to go the night before so I was able to get started before 8:00. It continues to be unseasonably warm. My starting temperature as I left the house was 39 degrees. Knowing that it was going to be a mild day allowed me to leave a lot of my bad weather clothes at home and take a smaller pack. This made for a slightly easier day on the bike.
I cruised down 337 and then through Cedar Crest to my break spot at the Y where I took a short break and then began the long climb. The ski area is closed for the season so there was very little traffic on the road, which was pleasant. It was just me and my music. I haven't been doing much working out so I picked "slow" as my only speed and turned the pedals accordingly. I enjoyed the climb up to Capulin where I took another short break. I stopped long enough to scarf down a PowerBar and then I was back on the road.
As I neared the 10K trailhead I started to feel a little twinge in my left hamstring, a sure sign of an impending cramp. I slowed down a little and started drinking down a bunch of water. Before I could clear the twinge in my left leg my right quadricep started having a cramp. I could tell that it was the kind of cramp that would cause difficulty in trying to get my leg off the bike so I slowed down even more and drank water even faster. Luckily, my strategy worked and I was able to wash away the pain and continue my ride with no more ill effects.
About a mile and a half from the top a car honked at me and gave me a thumbs up. That always lifts my spirits. Once at the top a couple more people gave me kudos for doing what I do. I told one couple that it was my 123rd month in a row of riding to Sandia Crest and that I just can't stop doing it.
I rested inside the gift shop for a few minutes and then I headed down the mountain. It was 39 degrees at the top which is warm for this time of year, but it's still makes for a chilly descent. Things warmed up about halfway down and it was in the 50s at the bottom. I got more water at the gas station and then I headed for home.
The climb back up 337 was tedious but I was like a horse headed for the barn. Nothing was going to stop me. Just as I was nearing Raven Road the sun came out for the first time. Other than that, the entire ride was ridden under overcast skies. That's unusual for New Mexico.
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