01/13/07

Location =  Tijeras to Sandia Crest  
Distance =  62.76
Time =  7:04:26
Ave. Speed =  8.8
Max. Speed =  34.0
Monthly Dist. =    62.76
Yearly Dist. =  62.76

25 months in a row to the top of the crest. Now the Streak begins to be respectable.

This was a very difficult ride. We've had some major snowstorms recently, and there was one predicted for today. I looked at the sky last night, and there was no indication of any clouds, so I guessed that the storm would miss us, and I was right, but I knew that conditions near the top of the mountain would be treacherous, so I took my mountain bike, instead of the road bike.

I headed out early, at 8:00am, because it was going to take a long time to complete this ride. It was 30 degrees out, which was very pleasant for that hour of the day. I headed down the mountain, made my way through Cedar Crest, and then began the big climb to the top. I plodded along, choosing to conserve my energy, and also, I hadn't ridden in more than a month. There was a little bit of traffic, with people going to the ski area, but it wasn't too bad. I passed the ski area, and continued climbing. The traffic became minimal, but the road surface began to be very icy. My winter riding skills from northern Idaho came in handy.

About 4 miles from the top, I noticed a car coming down the road, slowing down. I heard it turn around behind me, and it pulled up alongside me, rolled down the window, and the driver said, "is that you Eric?". It was Mark Brown, and it was a nice surprise seeing someone that I knew.

I crept up the mountain toward the top, and the temperature began to fall. My feet were very cold when I finally pulled in to the snack bar, and went inside to warm up. It was 15 degrees at the top. I stayed inside about 15 minutes, and then headed out for the painful descent. I kept to a slow speed, due to the icy conditions, and my desire, not to fall. Coming out of the snack bar, ice and snow had built up on the cleats of my shoes, and I was unable to click in to my pedals, until I had dropped about 3000 feet, and the temperature warmed up enough to melt the build up. I stopped at the gas station for a gatorade, and then made my way back through Cedar Crest, and up the torturous climb of South 337, to the house. I was beat.

It took me 4 hours and 4 minutes to get to the top of the crest, from home. Last June, it took me 4 hours and 25 minutes, to complete the entire round trip. It's a lot easier in the summer, on the road bike, with less clothing on, and less weight in my pack.

This ride put the lifetime mileage on my mountain bike, over 12,000 miles. That's almost half way around the world.

Sweet!



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