20070903

Location =  To Sandia Crest and Back  
Distance =  59.23
Time =  4:45:28
Ave. Speed =  12.4
Max. Speed =  41.0
Monthly Dist. =    102.08
Yearly Dist. =  1549.30

Steak Ride #33 is complete, and I have made a big improvement over Streak Ride #32. I think that my training is beginning to pay off. I finished this ride more than an hour and ten minutes ahead of last months ride. It felt great. Spending the last three days in Moab, may have helped.

I started out making good time going down S337, and I continued to keep up the pace as I headed through Cedar Crest. I like to stay on the sidewalk, even though it slows me down a little bit, because I am scared of the cars on the highway. I saw a rider who was in the road up ahead of me, and I decided to try an chase him down. I managed to catch him, but when I did he accelerated and pulled away from me. I caught him again, and passed him, and then he passed me back. We did this for a few miles, but each time that I caught him, was a little bit easier than the time before. I could tell that he was getting worn down. As we neared the gas station, I crossed the highway and headed up toward the crest, and I think that he went in for a break. Racing was keeping my time, fast.

I started the big climb, and managed to stay in my third gear, for a quite a long while. I felt like I was doing great, when a guy passed me by, like I was standing still. Just what I needed to bring me back down to earth, and make me realize that I still have a lot of improvement that I could make. I don't let that sort of thing get me down, and I tried to keep up my efforts. I actually managed to pass five people on the way to the top, which is probably three more people than I have passed in the last thirty two rides. That felt good.

I got to the crest, and I didn't even stop for a break, just circled around and headed down. My armadillo tires seem to have a very good grip on the road, and for the first time in all of my road biking experience, I actually felt confident leaning my bike over into the turns. It was a blast. I caught up to an suv, and I wanted to pass him on the left on a straightaway, but he sped up and wouldn't let me go by. At the next curve I dropped down and passed him on the inside of the turn, on the shoulder, and left him like a bad habit. He was quite surprised, and slowed down to let me go. I made it all the way down to the gas station in less than thirty minutes, and took a power bar break, and filled up on water. There was a guy there with his son who had just done the King of the Mountain Trail, and were going next week to Red River, to ride the Enchanted Circle on a tandem. I'd like to do that next year, but I have other plans this time around. I told him that I had just been in Moab, and he said that he had never gone there. I told him of my belief that Moab is Disney Land for mountain bikers, and that Labor Day is the perfect time to go, if you like the place empty, and can stand the heat.

I left the gas station and headed back to the house. I climbed back up the mountain to Raven Rd., feeling very strong. I felt like I could possibly complete the ride in less than five hours, so I pushed myself to try and accomplish that. I made it with fifteen minutes to spare. Most excellent!



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