Friday, August 18, 2017

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.40
Time =  6:33:51
Ave. Speed =  9.4
Max. Speed =  41.0
Monthly Dist. =    61.40
Yearly Dist. =  640.69

My leg has been recovering nicely from it's torn tendon. This will be my second bike ride since the injury and I don't feel like I need to baby it in any way. I'm not going to go super hard either. Common sense will prevail.

I left the house close to 8:00 a.m. and headed down 337. Temps were in the mid 50s and the sky had some scattered clouds. It was a very pretty day. It started out cool on the downhill but it warmed up quickly. It was well into the 60s by the time I reached my break spot near the Y.

I rested for a few minutes and then I started the climb to the top. Both La Cienega and Doc Long picnic areas were closed due to high amounts of bear activity. This made everyone who would normally use those picnic areas have to find different spots higher up on the mountain. I continued climbing up to my next break spot at Capulin and it was quite crowded. The picnic table that I normally stop at had people there and there were many cars and even forest service work crews milling about. It was very chaotic and it knocked me off of my routine. I found a quiet spot a little beyond the gate and hung out for a few minutes. I almost always have a PowerBar to eat at Capulin but this time I just wanted to get back on the road so I skipped it. I could eat one later, or not.

I got back on my bike, climbing for the top. As I neared the parking lot I felt some hunger pangs and I thought about stopping and eating that PowerBar that I skipped earlier, but it seemed busy up there so I made a loop around the parking lot and I headed down. I didn't even stop to take out my windbreaker which made the first few miles a little bit cool, mostly because I was sweaty and it was evaporating. As I descended past Capulin I could see that the earlier chaos had only gotten worse. Cars were parked everywhere and it seemed to be completely overrun with people. I have never seen it so busy.

I continued my descent and as I approached the hairpin turn above Doc Long it started to rain very lightly. It rained for a mile or so and then it was done. I filled up on water at the gas station and then I grabbed a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and got in line to buy it. I waited and waited and waited and finally, I got tired of waiting and I put the candy bar back and I left.

I was on the home stretch now and I was feeling good. I rode through Cedar Crest facing a moderate headwind that disappeared once I passed under the freeway. I was climbing back up 337 not pushing myself too hard. I just needed to make it a few more miles.... I was nearing Entrada de Cibola when I became unbelievably hungry. I was only three miles from home but I had to find a spot in the trees near the mining pit and finally, eat my PowerBar. I can honestly say that that was the most delicious PowerBar I have ever eaten in my life. Yummy!!!

While I was sitting on the ground enjoying my snack I noticed a bunch of turkey vultures circling in the sky just to the south of me. There were at least 12 or 15 of them. It was mesmerizing watching them soar through the sky. Very cool!

Those couple hundred carbohydrates in the PowerBar were enough to get me back to the house. Success!


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