Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  62.17
Time =  5:53:26
Ave. Speed =  10.5
Max. Speed =  41.0
Monthly Dist. =    71.50
Yearly Dist. =  586.47

I left the house a few minutes before 8:00 a.m. and headed down the hill. It was cool, in the low 50s, but that wouldn't last too long. The sky was cloudless as I headed down 337 and then through Cedar Crest to my break spot. I took a short break and then I was back on the bike and headed uphill.

I set out on this ride with a goal of completing it in less than 6 hours. I managed to do it by more than 6 minutes. I feel good about that. I tried to put a little extra effort into each section of the ride and it seemed to work out. Excellent! I have a secret plan to ride the Leadville Trail 100 in 2018. I've got a ways to go to get ready for that, but it's never too early to start.

I used my middle chain ring for the climb up to Capulin, and then it was my granny gear plus one for the rest of the ride to the top. I took my usual break at Capulin and ate a PowerBar and then headed for the top. I rolled into the parking lot at the top feeling good and after downing two chocolate chip cookies I was feeling even better.

Before I headed down I talked for a few minutes to a guy in the parking lot. Mostly, people want to know how long it takes me to make the climb up. He was no different. It was 61 degrees as I began the downhill. The first few miles were cool but it warmed up quickly and it was in the high 80s by the time I reached the bottom. On the way down I came within a few feet of a deer who was standing just off the road in a ditch, just above Capulin. I think that I surprised him just as much as he surprised me. I was probably going about 35 miles an hour. Our eye contact was only for a moment.

I stopped at the gas station just long enough to fill up on water and then I was back on the road. The sky at the bottom of the mountain had scattered clouds, but when I was at the top it was cloud free. This is opposite of the norm. Usually, it's cloudy at the top and not as cloudy at lower elevations. Mother Nature is all mixed up. Maybe that has something to do with the large amount of rain that we have had this year. Strange.

I was still trying to complete this ride in less than 6 hours so I tried to keep up a good pace on the wasy back to the house. I did the steep climb up Raven Road out of the saddle and in my middle chain ring. That was a good effort. When I finally got off of the bike to walk up the last hill before the house I looked at the time on the bike computer and saw 5:53:25. I smiled.

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