2007/03/10

Location =  To Sandia Crest, and Back  
Distance =  59.52
Time =  5:31:32
Ave. Speed =  10.8
Max. Speed =  38.5
Monthly Dist. =    59.52
Yearly Dist. =  292.75

Streak Ride #27 is now in the books, and it wasn't easy. I haven't been doing very much riding this year, this is only my fifth ride, so far. The forest has been snowed in, and with it getting dark early, I have been afraid to ride on the road. I was supplementing my riding by using the trainer indoors, but lately, I've even slacked off on doing that. My capabilities are suffering, as I knew that they would be.

I started out on the road bike, and slowly, wanting to conserve my energy for when I would really need it. Temps were mild when I left the house, in the 40s, and I cruised easily down the mountain, and headed through Cedar Crest. I began the climb toward the crest, and intermittent winds would blast me, just to keep me on my toes. I maintained a fairly easy pace, but I could not avoid my moments of suffering. Temps dropped into the 30s by the ski area, and they would be in the 20s, at the top. I began to get cramps in my legs with about three and a half miles to go. With two and a half miles to go, at 10,000 feet, my agony became too great, and I was forced to stop. My fingers were frozen, and my legs were very tight. I warmed up my hands, and drank every drop of water that I had. Having made it that far, I was determined to make it the rest of the way. Forty mile an hour gusts of wind would blast me in the face, from time to time, but at other times, they were tailwinds that would help push me toward my goal. There was a lot of snow high up on the mountain, and that just made the chill, seem worse. I made it to the gift shop, and went inside to warm up. My fingers were cold, but thankfully, my toes were not. I ate a power bar and then headed down for the gas station. Prices are so high at the snack bar at the crest, that I try and get back to the Y, to buy some Gatorade. Temps were about thirty degrees warmer at the bottom of the mountain, than at the top. I couldn't get down fast enough. I guzzled an X-Factor, added water to my camelback from their sink at the gas station, and then headed toward home.

The suffering in my legs wasn't over yet. On the way up to the crest, I had cramps in my calves, and hammies, which is not unusual. Now, as I headed back through Cedar Crest, I had cramps in my quads. This was serious, because the pain was debilitating, and I still was faced with the ten mile climb back up S337, to get to the house. Luckily, most of the Cedar Crest stretch is downhill, so I didn't have to put out much effort, and I could take it easy. Once again, I was drinking all of the water that I had. I stopped at the Triangle Grocery to get an onion, and some mushrooms for dinner, so even though I was in agony, I still had enough sense to know that when I got home, I wanted a good dinner.

I made the climb back to the house, without triggering too many more muscle spasms, for which I was grateful. I had just the right amount of water to get me home. About a mile before I turn off from the highway, a young woman went blasting by me like I was standing still. She didn't even have a backpack. I've go to start working more on my speed.

The snow has been melting rapidly around here. It's almost all gone from my yard. Soon, the forest trails will be passable, and I'll be able to get the mountain bike back on the dirt. Yipee!



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