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!