Friday, June 16, 2017

Location =  Major Mountain Bike Ride -- Both Sides of the Highway  
Distance =  35.34
Time =  6:15:30
Ave. Speed =  5.6
Max. Speed =  35.4
Monthly Dist. =    123.41
Yearly Dist. =  458.57

I wanted to go for a mountain bike ride that would keep me out on the trail for hours. I definitely got what I asked for -- and more.

I headed out a little after 8:00 a.m. and rode over to Mars Court to get started. I took Turkey Trot and crossed David Canyon to do the climb. Already I was suffering and I stopped to take a hit off of my inhaler. It seemed to help a little bit and after a few minutes I was back on the bike and continuing the climb. Early in the morning while it was still a little bit cool, there were clouds of gnats that would find me when I was in the shade. They seemed to like the sunscreen that I had used and they would pester me as I rode along until I got back into the sun. They couldn't take the heat and by 10:00 a.m. they were pretty much gone.

Turkey Trot was a challenging climb and I walked a significant amount of this trail and also many others over the course of this ride. I tried to ride things that I couldn't ride, which caused me to fall over on several occasions and dismounted and walked through many sections. There were a lot of steep spots that had me gasping for air.

I continued on More Turkey and then Western Boundary and Drop In and 106 and Gnasty with a G. That took me to Otero Canyon where I climbed West Ridge and then took Birdhouse Ridge to Tunnel Canyon. From there I went through the culvert under the highway and took that trail to Coyote Trailhead. It gets there by climbing behind a couple of homes that are on private property. From there I went down the road to the ranger station to get more water. I was going to return to Mars Court on the west side of the highway, but after going inside the ranger station and getting a trail map I decided that I would stay on the east side of the highway and ride on some of the trails that are there that I don't often get a chance to ride. That decision would turn out to add a lot more difficulty to the day. Some of those trails were very steep.

I went back up the highway to Coyote Trailhead and then took Powerline to Chamisoso to Delbert and then Mighty Mule. I continued on Meadow Singletrack and then onto Poker Chip which led me to Juan Tomas. There was some new trail carved out on Meadow and Poker Chip to try and minimize some of the steepness, which was nice, but more is needed. I was struggling.

I stayed on Poker Chip until I got to Gambel Oak. I took that to Pine Flat Connector and then over to Deadman. I took a shortcut to the Deadman Road and then I crossed the highway and went over to see if Joe was at home so I could stop in and visit. Joe was home and I hung out there for a little while before heading up through his neighborhood and back into the forest to get on Cajun Pine. I took that back to the road which led back to Mars Court.

This was one of the longest mountain bike rides that I have taken in several years, and it beat me up along the way. I had a scrape on my right calf and a bruise on my right hip, as well as a scrape under my chin and scratches on my left wrist. My left elbow pad got stabbed by a tree branch which caused a rip in its material but somehow it didn't manage to draw blood out of my arm. There were a couple of places on the trail where I had to ride through dozens of little ground bees. The ground was full of holes and the bees were buzzing all around. They seemed harmless but I didn't want to stop and find out otherwise.

It was a beautiful day for a ride with temps in the 50s when I started to the low 90s when I finished.

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