Thursday, August 11, 2016

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.03
Time =  6:54:09
Ave. Speed =  8.8
Max. Speed =  40.7
Monthly Dist. =    61.03
Yearly Dist. =  641.09

I left the house a little earlier than usual, before 7:30 a.m. I wanted to give myself some extra time in case storms started to build up in the afternoon. I needn't have worried. It started out beautiful and it stayed that way, all day.

It was 57 degrees when I left the house and the start of the ride down the mountain was a bit cool, but I left my jacket in my pack because I knew that it would warm up quickly. I rode through Cedar Crest and headed for my break spot. On the way up to mailbox hill there was a lot of dirt and rocks on the sidewalk that had washed down from the embankment from our recent rains. The rains have been a good thing.

I took a short break and then I was headed up the mountain. Right as I started the climb a guy went past me who was older than I am. That gives me encouragement that there is hope for me to get fast enough to race Leadville in two years. Time will tell. Effort and hard work will also make a difference.

On the way up to the ski area I saw a tow truck bringing a wrecked car down the mountain and then a lot of emergency people and police were headed up. Whatever happened was all cleaned up by the time I got there because I never saw any evidence of a car crash.

I took my usual break at Capulin and ate a PowerBar and then continued up the mountain. There were occasional winds on the way to the crest but nothing that was very severe or that lasted very long. I took a short break at the top, checked the temperature which was 58 degrees, and then headed down.

The first few miles of the downhill were a bit cool because I decided not to put on my jacket. Temps were substantially warmer once I got down to the ski area. Just below the ski area a pickup truck passed me and then seemed to slow down. I normally wouldn't have minded except this truck smelled horrible. It was making me nauseous. I would slow down and try to let the truck get out ahead of me but I would always catch back up to it. That was a nasty ride down the mountain.

I was glad when I finally reached the gas station where I took another short break and filled up my water. After a few minutes I was on my way home. I cruised through Cedar Crest and I was riding through the East Tijeras part of the village when I heard a woman start yelling something. I looked over my shoulder and I saw a small, white, terrier type of dog tearing through an open gate and coming at me with "I'm going to bite you," written all over him. I yelled "NO" as I shifted into bigger gears and increased my pedal speed. The dog was still gaining on me so I yelled "NO" again and then shifted into my big chainring. By now the dog had used up most of his energy catching up to me so I knew I had him. I'm glad that he wasn't a bigger dog and I'm also glad that I was going in the downhill direction.

After that moment of excitement I decided that I would take it easy for the rest of the ride. I took my time going back up 337 to Raven Road. It was a beautiful day with mostly sunny skies and temps in the low 80s.

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