Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Location = To Sandia Crest and Back Distance = 52.77 Time = 5:10:53 Ave. Speed = 10.1 Max. Speed = 39.5 Monthly Dist. = 52.77 Yearly Dist. = 678.10
Let me start out by saying that I have been suffering from a toothache for the past couple of weeks and that has taken a toll on me. Yes, that is my excuse.
I left the house around 8:00 a.m. feeling good but not strong. My plan was to take it easy and try not to break too much of a sweat. I stuck to that strategy but things didn't work out. Temps were good -- mid 50s to low 80s and no wind. I cruised down the hill and through Cedar Crest with no issues and took my first break at the Y. After a few minutes I was back on the bike and headed uphill.
The climb upward progressed steadily at a comfotably slow pace. There were some dark clouds forming to the north but they looked like they would probably leave me alone. I made it up to Capulin where I took my next break. I made this break longer than usual and I was fully rested when I got back on the bike and continued the ride.
After about a mile of riding I started to feel a little twinge of a cramp beginning to form in my left quad. I drank some water and slowed my pace a bit. It didn't feel very serious and I wasn't giving it much thought, when all of a sudden -- BAM!!! I got hit with a cramp in my right quad, just above and on the left side of my knee cap. An intense knot formed in the muscle, the worst that I have ever felt. I knew immediately that this ride was over. My thoughts turned to how can I get past this pain and how am I going to get my sorry ass back to the house.
I was frozen on my bike, completely unable to move for at least 10 minutes. I could have laid the bike down and gotten off that way, but I wasn't sure that I would be able to get back on, so I just stayed where I was. I drank every drop of my water but it wasn't enough to save me. I knew that if I could get my bike turned around and pointed downhill that I could coast all the way to the ski area. There's an uphill there for about a half mile that is a gentle grade and I was pretty sure that I would be able to pedal up that grade. After that it would be all downhill to the gas station where I could get more water and a Gatorade.
I finally got myself turned around and I rolled down to ski area. As I started down, the wind chill was making me shiver so I stopped and put on my jacket. That was a good decision because before I would make it to the bottom it would rain on me a little bit.
I made it down to the ski area but the little bit of uphill pedaling that is required there, was too much for me. After about a minute of pedaling on the uphill section I could feel that knot forming again in my quad muscle and I had to get off of the bike in a hurry. I resigned myself to having to walk the uphill section. I took very small steps and sort of shuffled my way to where I could get back on and roll down to the bottom. On the way down I saw a group of 6 turkeys. One of them was walking on the road towards me and he nearly walked into the path of my bike before he turned away.
I was very relieved when I finally made it to the gas station. I had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup while I was there and I was feeling much better as I headed out for the home stretch. When I left the gas station I was surprised to see that it was raining. There were dark clouds to the north and blue skies to the south with the gas station right on the edge. It was pretty amazing. I was heading south and by the time I got to mailbox hill the rain had stopped.
I made the ride back up 337 without any problems. I finished all of the water that I had, for a second time, but at least I didn't have anymore problems with cramps. It's a good thing that I still have a lot of days in September to get this ride done.
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