Friday, March 10, 2017

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.26
Time =  6:20:53
Ave. Speed =  9.6
Max. Speed =  41.2
Monthly Dist. =    70.71
Yearly Dist. =  203.38

I left the house a few minutes before 8:00 a.m. and temps were already in the low 40s. As I left I felt a little bit under hydrated. I usually load up on water before I begin a long ride, often starting by drinking extra water the night before. This time I didn't do that because the water at our house has had a brown tinge to it lately. The water co-op says it was stirred up by the fire department and is harmless, but it looks distasteful. I drank less before this ride and I could feel it.

Luckily, I was trying out something new. I bought a powdered energy drink and mixed up a bottle and brought it along to see if it could help me avoid fatigue. It says that it has 100 mg of caffeine per serving which will be new for me since I am not a coffee drinker. I drank about half of it on the way to the Y and the other half on the way up to Capulin where I finished it off. The fruit punch flavor was acceptable and I believe that it did have a beneficial physical effect.

I headed down 337 and along the way there was a cold spot at Thunderbird where the temperature seemed to fall least 10 degrees. Once I got around that curve it went back up again. I rode through Cedar Crest and the sign at Davis Hardware said 55 degress. I rode into my break spot at the Y wearing my heavy gloves but came out of it wearing my half-fingered gloves. I had anticipated that the day would be warm, at least by March standards, by leaving my normal windproof jacket at home and wearing only a windbreaker over a light shirt and arm warmers. It was the right decision.

I took my break at the Y and then started the climb to the crest. About a mile into it there was a dead skunk by the side of the road. It had not released it's odor and I was glad of that! I continued up to Capulin passing the ski area along the way, which was closed. Global warming is dooming Sandia Peak as a winter skiing and snowboarding destination. As I approached Capulin I felt a cramp beginning to form in my left quads. I drank a bunch of water and it went away.

After a short break I was back on the road and before long so was cramp in my left leg, and much worse. Again, I drank a bunch of water and once again the cramp subsided. I think that the salt and electrolytes from my energy drink helped me to overcome the issue. It might have been ride ending without it.

I made it to the top without any further problems. There was a couple feet of snow above 10,00 feet but it was melting fast. I only stayed at the top long enough to tuck in, zip up, and put on my medium warm gloves for the ride down. The trip down was on an almost completely dry road with only a couple of wet spots to have to slow down for. There was hardly any traffic and it was fun to have the whole mountain to myself.

I filled up on water at the bottom and removed my arm and leg warmers. Temps were in the sixties as I head back to the house. I felt pretty good on the climb back up 337. I have been working out more consistently lately, and maybe the energy drink helped as well, but I was able to do this entire ride in my middle chain ring and my time was much faster than last month. Progress!

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