Thursday, September 29, 2016

Location =  Tijeras, New Mexico  
Distance =  8.21
Time =  1:41:49
Ave. Speed =  4.8
Max. Speed =  9.2
Monthly Dist. =    85.00
Yearly Dist. =  735.48

One of the rides that I wanted to do ever since I got my new mountain bike is the Tunnel Canyon/Otero Canyon loop. That ride is a good measuring stick for how well a bike climbs and descends. I was finally going to put the Cannondale Scalpel through it's paces.

Sofie and I drove down to the Tunnel Canyon trailhead and we started out with the climb toward Otero. The Scalpel is the best climbing bike that I have ever taken on this trail. Even though I am not in that good of condition I could tell that I was using less effort and making better progress than I ever had before. Sweet! I pretty much knew that that would be the case but it's nice to finally complete the ride that confirms it.

We descended down to the Otero trailhead where we took a break. Sofie needed a rest. After a few minutes we rode up Otero Canyon and then climbed up West Ridge trail. I walked in a couple of places. Once we made it up to the ridge and then rode a mile or so, we took another break for Sofie. After another few minutes we were riding again.

We continued our ride on Birdhouse trail and everything was going smoothly when events took a turn for the worse. There was a large rock in the trail that I didn't think anything about until my rear wheel started to spin out as I was going over it. This caused me to lose momentum which led to me falling off of the trail to the downhill side. Not good. There was a Juniper tree in the way that kept me from tumbling down the mountain but it delivered some punishment at the same time. A branch of the tree stabbed me in the left shoulder on my way down and I also managed to get some road rash on my right, lower back. I had cuts on both legs and my right elbow. My helmet came between my head and a rock which is what it is supposed to do.

As I lay with my head downhill and my legs tangled up with my bike, I looked up to see Sofie standing on the trail looking down at me as if to say, "What are you doing down there?" It took me a few minutes to extricate myself from my situation and assess the damage. Nothing major to either myself or the bike. The bike did suffer it's first significant damage to the paint on the right-hand chain stay near the seat tube. Oh, well. It was only a matter of time before that happened.

I took it easy for the rest of the ride not wishing to press my luck any further. It was a partly cloudy day with temps around 60.

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