12/02/06

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  59.54
Time =  5:49:51
Ave. Speed =  10.2
Max. Speed =  33.5
Monthly Dist. =    59.54
Yearly Dist. =  3198.16

It's another fresh month, so it's time to climb up to the crest, and keep the streak alive. I've been seriously slacking off from riding, so I took it very easy on this ride.

I left the house around 9:30 in the morning, under blue skies, and temps in the teens. I was dressed warmly, but my feet were suffering. The air warmed up nicely, as I dropped down to the freeway, with temps reaching near freezing. My feet continued to suffer, so when I reached my break spot, I dismounted and danced around for a few minutes, to try and regain some feeling in them.

I began the big climb, and slowly made my way uphill, trying not to generate too much sweat. About a mile in to the climb, I came across my first curve in the shade, that was snow covered and icy. I had taken my road bike, and if there was going to be a lot of ice, I'd be better off turning around, and trying again another day. I decided to continue, and take my chances. There were quite a few more icy curves, but there wasn't much traffic, so I was able to ride in the tracks that the cars made, and make it safely to the next section of dry pavement.

About an hour into the climb, I had no feeling whatsoever in my feet, so at the parking area above the ski area, where the road goes down to Placitas, I stopped again and did my little dancing routine, trying to ward off frostbite.

I made it to the top, and immediately went inside the gift shop, and took off my shoes. It was 18 degrees up there. Ouch. I stayed inside for at least half an hour, and then headed out for the long descent. It was going to take longer than usual, because I knew that I would have to slow down, and be careful, through all of the icy spots. I was smart enough to have brought along a facemask, and I put it on for the ride down. At 10,000 feet, I passed two guys who were on their way up. I'm not the only crazy person out there!

I made it safely to the bottom, but I was so cold that all I could do was go into the gas station, and try and warm up. I stayed in there for another half an hour or more, and then continued toward home. I have only vague recollections of the last ten miles of climbing, up to the house, but I did finally make it. It took me two hours to warm back up to normal temperatures.



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