01/17/06

Location =        Albuquerque NM, Foothills Trails
Distance =         20.22
Time =                 2:53:55
Ave speed =       6.9
Max speed =      24.5
Monthly Dist =   145.13
Yearly Dist =      145.13

I made it home from work a little bit early, so I was able to hit the trails with a little more daylight, and a little more warmth, than usual. My favorite route that I take, starts at the County Line Restaurant, and then rides in a north to south direction, ending at the Embudito trailhead parking. If I take one lap around the parking lot, it's exactly 10.0 miles for the house. As I approached Embudito, the sunset was a spectacular cherry red color, and before I made it to the parking lot, I had to turn on my headlight.

It was a very pleasant night to be out riding. Riding in the darkness, can sometimes have a calming, hypnotic, sort of effect, on a person. I often find myself losing track of time, and location, as the trail passes beneath me. All I hear is the sound of tires passing smoothly over the dirt, and my breathing, as I attempt to supply my legs with oxygen, which is being consumed in bulk. I rode easily, and with great enjoyment tonight. I didn't try to push the envelope, or break any records, just become one with my bike.

I did struggle with the steep parts, on this ride. I had a few extra days off the bike, but I had good excuses. On Saturday, N.D. (Neighbor Don, hereafter known only as N.D.), asked if I wouldn't rather go bouldering, than bike riding. I'm alway up for trying new things, so we hiked straight up the mountain, through a field of boulders, and then looped around, and came down an arroyo. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of work. That afternoon, I was picking cactus needles out of my knee, which must have been on one of the rocks I had to climb over. I didn't mind the nuisance too much, - because the Seattle Seahawks were beating up on the Washington Redskins, 20 to 10! Now if you can beat the Carolina Panthers, you get an all expense paid trip to the Super Bowl, in Detroit, Michigan, my original home town. Go Hawks!

Back to the ride... As I head toward the south, I stay as far to the east as possible, making only left turns. I reversed that process heading back, and only made right turns. I usually take a shorter, more direct trail to the house, because when it's cold, I want to get back home, but tonight I felt comfortable, and wanted to get in a few extra miles. Riding in the dark can be deceiving. At one point, I found myself in an unfamiliar arroyo, and I didn't see any bike tracks. I had somehow made a wrong turn, and passed through a gate into the wilderness area. I only went a short distance before I realized my mistake.

The northern half of the park is where most of the rocks hang out, and once again, I was a victim of their difficulty. I went down, but it was a gentle down, and I didn't suffer any injuries from it. I almost cleared the last hard climb before you get back to the water tanks, but not quite. I'll have to make that one, another night. I popped out of the trail at the restaurant, and back into civilization. Altogether, it was seventeen and a half miles of twisty, turny, fun singletrack. Very Nice! The final mile and a quarter I ride on the side streets, and the darkness, or incompetence, made me take two more wrong turns, before I made it home. My toes were finally cold, but it was a good cold.


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