Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Weekend's Rides: 7/18 East Mountain Mosey

We converged from all over Albuquerque and met at the Smith's at Central for a beautiful East Mountain ride today (route here).  A long 65 mile ride (depending on your start location) through beautiful scenery and cool weather.  Today we were 14 riders strong - the usual Good Gary, Evil Gary, Captain Awesome, Greg, Matt, Jeff, Craig, Calvin, and Captain Snookums with returning riders Brady and Peggy making their 2015 debut, as well as new riders Ryan, Alba, and Frank.
Being chased by the horde
The main contingent headed out of Albuquerque along old Route 66 on a freshly paved road with generous shoulders and smooth riding (amazing how much you pay attention to road shoulders as a cyclist).  From the Smiths, the next 16 miles is a slow steady climb of over 1800 ft rise.  Not too shabby.  A rally at the country store for some needed food and water replenishment.  To our disappointment the coffee shop was closed.  What? Rely on physical activity to get us functional, and not the magic chemical caffeine?
At the first rally/refueling stop
From there we took the back way over to 277 a tree lined down hill sprint.  My favorite stretch of the ride - cool, wonderful smelling evergreens, picturesque, and FAST!   From there we turn left and hit the infamous rollers, that are just high enough that regardless of how fast you go down, you are back in your lowest gear struggling up the hill on the other side.  These 8 miles go slow, and you wouldn't know on average that you are steadily going downhill.  
At the final rally for the whole team
At this point, we split up, some heading back to the home, other turning back toward ABQ, which left only 7 riders continuing on toward the Triangle.  This 10 mile slog was hard.  It was hot, and the legs were burning.  But we persevered on to the last rally stop at the Triangle where we refreshed with healthy food like salt and vinegar potato chips (well, me anyway).  The last 20 miles was the long descent back into ABQ.  Around noon, the four riders that departed from O'Neill's pulled in tired, but energized by another great team ride!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekend's Rides: 7/11 & 7/12

Saturday's Ride - the Dam Ride!:
Another glorious weekend of riding!  Well, maybe glorious is not the best word. Maybe sweaty? Meditative?  Endurancy?  Is that even a word?  In any case we had 7 riders head out from Nob Hill on one of my favorite rides of the season, the long Jemez Dam ride (route here).  Evil Gary, Tina, Greg, new rider Ryan, John, Maneeshika, and myself cruised north along the diversion channel out through the north valley.
Rolling team shot!
At this point is there the ride becomes beautiful as we wind our way north through green river valley with the always visible Sandias on our right on our way to Bernalillo.  After a very fast ride in a decent pace line we arrived for our first full rally stop.  At this point we caught up with Calvin who was probably just in front of us most of the way.
The spectacular view back toward the city
After some snacks and more water, we headed out on the next leg of the journey through Bernalillo toward the Jemez Dam finishing with a 7 mile uphill toward our next rally stop at the top.  It's a beautiful ride though, lots of breathtaking vistas.  A good rest at the top at the almost halfway point, overlooking the Jemez Dam, which even after all the recent rain did not have any water in it.
At the halfway point
From there we dropped back down and headed toward Rio Rancho.  The contrast to the scenery in the morning was stark - we were now rolling through red desert with sections that if you made a right off the road and headed straight, you probably wouldn't hit anything man made for hundreds of miles.  We then dropped down off the West Mesa and headed through Corralles on our way back to the Bosque trail and home.

All 7 riders rolled into Nob Hill around noon. Not sure if everyone did a lunch or not at the end of the ride, but yours truly needed to head home for toddler wrangling and feeding time.  But another great day in the saddle.

Sunday's Ride: Balloons and Jeff is back!

[Guest contributor - Ali] The counter-clockwise city loop (36 miles) was the planned route.   When Jeff showed up at Casa Scrymgeour still looking a little worse for wear after his bike crash of a few weeks ago, we decided to modify the route to something short and relatively flat - a jaunt up to the Balloon Park (route here).  That was fine by me because [SPOILER ALERT] I just wanted to give my new bike a test drive.  

The weather was beautiful and the scenery spectacular.  Especially once we got up to the park. Taking a little deviation from normal.  We rode down into the park to check out the balloons going up.   

Welcome back to the pack to Jeff.  (Author's note: this may be the only and only time I can pace with Jeff.  Even though he's still recovering, I may have to gloat a bit.)
El Jeffe
Me and my new precious