11/03/06

Location =  Sandia Peak Ski Area  
Distance =  13.84
Time =  2:16:34
Ave. Speed =  6.0
Max. Speed =  38.5
Monthly Dist. =    13.84
Yearly Dist. =  3031.65

This ride was going to very different, from any other ride that I've done. The plan was to ride up the Sandia Peak Ski Area, and then ride down a trail that is not supposed to be ridden on. Fate reached out in the nick of time, and made sure that the plan didn't succeed.

I met Don at the ranger station, where we left a car, and then drove to the base of the ski area. I wanted to climb up Golden Eagle trail, but we had some difficulty finding it, at first. We climbed up a steep ski run, until we intersected with it, and then we were on our way. This ride was under a full moon, but headlights were definitely required. My light was quite a bit brighter than what Don had, so he tried to ride right behind me, to take advantage of the beam. He struggled when we went up the curved switchbacks, and had to walk on many of them, because he couldn't see very well. It's a good thing that he's a tough guy, because he was getting beat up pretty badly. It didn't take him long to see the advantages of a powerful light, for riding in the darkness.

Eventually, we made it to the top, and took a power bar break. We had expected it to be very cold up there, but we were very pleasantly surprised to find it quite nice. It was in the 30s, when we started at the bottom, and it was probably still in the 30s, at the top, with no wind. It was a sensational evening for a ride. We bundled up for the downhill, and headed for the no man's land, or should I say, no bike's land. Just as we started going down the trail, Don hit a tree stump, went over the bars, and snapped the handlebar mount for his light, right off. It was better that it happened right at the beginning, instead of in the middle. That would have been difficult to deal with.

We were able to bail out of the ride, by heading for the highway, and then riding down to the car. We had a shot at it, but it wasn't to be. Maybe next time....



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