Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  61.34
Time =  7:30:07
Ave. Speed =  8.2
Max. Speed =  37.8
Monthly Dist. =    61.34
Yearly Dist. =  1030.11

This ride was difficult. I had been suffering from some breathing issues for a week before going on this ride but I chose this day to make the attempt on the crest because the weather forecast was favorable as far as temperature was concerned. It was supposed to go up into the 50s and then have a drastic cool down after that.

I started out around 8:00 a.m. and temps were in the low 20s. It was a chilly start but it would warm up quickly. By the time I made it to my break spot near the Y it was about 20 degrees warmer. I took a short break and then started up the long climb. Coming out of my break it had warmed up so much that I quickly over heated and I had to stop and remove my heavy winter gloves and my headband. That was a good thing.

I slowly pedalled my way up to Capulin and stopped for my second break. While I was sitting at my picnic table and enjoying my PowerBar, a red tailed hawk swooped in and landed at the top of a tree nearby. He seemed to be enjoying his day and the almost total lack of snow on the ground. So far, winter doesn't seem to be happening.

I left Capulin and headed for the top but not without a bit of a struggle. My poor breathing and the high elevation were taking a toll on my strength and endurance. I was feeling very fatigued and I stopped fairly often to catch my breath and gain the strength I needed to continue. I eventually made it to the top where I took a short break to zip up and put on my warmer clothes and then I headed down.

The first few miles were very cold and I was mad at myself for only bringing my headband and not a real hat. A hat would have helped me stay insulated from the cold. I will remember my hat for next time! By the time I made it to the ski area temps were much warmer. The ski area looked ridiculous. Chairlift #4 had a thin coating of snow on it that was man made and spread around with machines. The entire rest of the mountain was bare. I think that they are hoping that they can sell a few lift tickets between Christmas and New Year's. Right now, it's not looking good.

I made it down to the gas station where I filled up on water and then headed for home. I continued to struggle with weakness and fatigue as I climbed back up 337 to Raven Road, but I took a few more short breaks to give me strength and I finally made it back to the house. This completes 13 years of riding to the top of Sandia Crest without missing a month. I will admit that I felt like quitting on this one....

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