Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  59.43
Time =  5:38:30
Ave. Speed =  10.5
Max. Speed =  38.0
Monthly Dist. =    59.43
Yearly Dist. =  503.01

Streak ride #29 is now in the books, but it wasn't easy. I needed some help, and help was received. I am very grateful.

The day started out looking great, so I decided to make the attempt on the crest, and get it out of the way, early in the month. I have plenty of time now, as I was laid off from my job, and am once again looking for employment. Maybe I'll be able to get back into a riding pattern where I can do it regularly, instead of the half-assed attempts that have characterized this year.

Anyway, back to the ride. It was cool up at the house, so I started out with my jacket, leg warmers, and warm gloves. I didn't need them at the bottom of the mountain, so I stopped and took them off. I did have on a long sleeve shirt, which helped, because it was breezy at times.

I cruised through Cedar Crest, and then began the ascent up to Sandia. I was plodding along, closing in on the top, when wouldn't you know it, I got a flat tire about 2 miles from the crest. Luckily, I had purchased some new tubes a couple of days ago, so I sat down on a fallen tree, and began the process of replacing the tube. I found a sliver of metal, that had gone through my puncture resistant Bontrager tire, and it took me a while to dig it out. I finally did, and put the new tube in, and started to pump it up with air. I didn't realize that I was on top of an ant hill, until they started crawling all over my legs. I stood up, lost my balance, and fell over with the wheel and pump in my hand. I bent the air valve in the process, but it seemed to straighten up okay, and I continued to try and fill the tire with air. All of a sudden, the valve broke in half, spewing green slime all over the place. I was bummed, because that was the only spare tube that I had, and it looked like I was going to have to figure out a way to get home, without using my bicycle. No problem, I was only twenty eight miles away. Damn!

Before I could devise a plan of action, another rider just happened to come by, and asked if I was okay. I said that I was, until my spare tube self destructed. He gave me a tube, and I was saved! Thanks Mario! I put the tube in the tire, and attempted to fill it with air, but it wouldn't inflate. The tube was snakebit, with two little slits on the inside. Damn again!

I was pondering what to do next, when a woman came jogging down the mountain. She asked if I was okay, and I explained my dilemma. She said that her van was just a little ways down the mountain, and she offered to help. It turns out that she had a BMC Bicycle Racing Team van, and was the support driver for the team. She scrounged through the van, and managed to come up with her last spare tube. Once again, I was saved! I didn't get her name, but I am eternally grateful.

I managed to make it to the top, and her is the picture to prove it.

I bundled up for the ride down, because it was in the 40s at the top, and enjoyed the pleasant 60s at the bottom. I stopped in at the gas station for a gatorade, and to refill my water, and then headed for home. The climb back up to Raven Road seemed interminable, but I kept turning the pedals, and trying to ignore the traffic. I'm glad that I can get a few weeks off, before I have to try that again.

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