Sunday, July 23, 2017

Weekend's Rides: July 22 & 23 - East Mountain Mosey

Another great set of rides in the books.  We are approximately half way through the training season, and 34 days until the Bike MS.

Saturday:  We escaped the mid summer heat for a quick jaunt in the East Mountains. Due with some problems in the road conditions on the 217 rollers (road condition combined with aggressive drivers) we switched up our normal ride and added a quick loop out through Gutierrez Canyon (route here).
In the cool mountain morning!
From O'Neill's five of us headed east across the city to meet with the majority of the group at the Smith's at the base of Tijeras Canyon.  We picked up another 13 riders, and headed out old Route 66 and wound our way eastward and upward.  We gathered another 4 enroute, making our total ridership 22 for the day.
Heading south for some downhill!
From O'Neill's, the first 26 miles of this ride is all up hill, picking up 2300' of elevation to the top of South 14.  After a quick break, we headed back down the hill and over to the start of Gutierrez Canyon for another dose of hill work winding up eventually at Frost Road where we had our last break before the last 14 mile descent back to town and the end of the ride.
Getting our kicks, on Route 66!

Sunday: Something Route here. Dennis, John M., and Ali left O'Neill's at 6 and headed out for a quick out and back to Bernallilo to rack up some easy(ish) miles.  John made the mistake of commenting on how nice it was to ride with "no wind" so, of course, we had a headwind for the rest of the ride.

It's a fairly unremarkable ride so we amused ourselves by playing "i spy".  Of note were almost enough tools for a tool box; a giant bull frog, snake, and skunk (all deceased unfortunately); some wild turkeys (good spot, Dennis); a jackrabbit; and a Vespa cruising along on the diversion channel.

This was also the first time any of us had to stop at a train crossing to allow the Railrunner to speed by.
Mostly done and still smiling!
While not the most exciting ride, it was great company and goes to show that we can have a great time anywhere when we are riding together.  Thanks!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Weekend's Rides: July 15 & 16 - Time to get the miles!

Another great weekend of rides!  This is usually the worst ride of the year in terms of pure feeling like you are cycling through an oven set on slow roast. But it was not as bad as in previous years, so cheers all around.

Saturday:  Today we headed out for the Jemez Dam Ride* - a 65 mile out and back through the picturesque Rio Grande Valley, then back through Corrales and then back home (route here).  We were 15 strong as we headed out of O'Neill's early, and picked up another 4 riders as we headed out 313 heading north.  After our first rally in Bernalillo, we surprisingly picked up an additional 2 riders represented by the Los Alamos contingent of the team (more on them later) just before heading up to the dam.

Or rather, tried to head up to the dam.  Last summer the ride was cut short by a gate and guard who informed us that a dispute between the Pueblo and the Corp of Engineers had closed the road.  I hoped for the best this year, but this year they actually closed more of the road.  Boo!  Need to find a new route for next year.
At the aborted attempt to ride to top.
After this we headed out into Breaking Bad vistas for the 20 mile loop out through the dusty high desert before heading back into the valley near Corrales.  The biggest surprise of the ride was the impromptu stop at the wonderful Hardy house just before our traditional refuel stop.  We were treated to fresh baked cookies and plenty of water.  

At this point the group split into two, with the first group (those who didn't get cookies) rolled on just before the second group caught up to them.  The second group had two flat tires in the space of about 5 miles which delayed them significantly.  But all arrived safely at back at the ride start where a few stayed for a post ride brunch at O'Neill's.  The captain is happy to report that the Bloody Mary's are as delicious this summer as last!

*Dam not included.
Yay cookies!
Sunday: A quick jaunt around the city (route here). Ali, Rhea, Ryan E, Blythe, Cap, and Liz started out from O'Neills at 6.  A beautiful and cool morning.  We picked up Stacey at the start of the diversion channel and headed north.  We had a surprise meetup with Greg about half-way up Tramway and Nellie at the top.  A brave few headed up the base of the tram.  Kudos to Nellie for her first-time climb!  A great ride, with great company.  Thanks to all for joining.
Headed up the tram spur

Regrouping at Tramway before heading home.  We missed you Gary!
Editors note: due to a miscommunication Good Gary headed in the opposite direction and cranked out the full city (50-mile loop) like a rock star!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Weekend's Rides 7/8 & 7/9 - While the captains away....

Thanks to our two volunteer ride captains - Ryan H. on Saturday and John M. on Sunday.  I appreciate that you wanted to step in and guide the cat circus through Albuquerque!

Saturday's Ride:   As relayed by ride captain Ryan!

First Officer's Log, July 8th, 2017 AD

We had as many as 21 riders at the start. We followed the course down to University Blvd where one of us developed a flat tire. After fixing the tire outside of Wise Pies Arena a.k.a. The Pit, we continued down University Blvd, crossing the dirt at Kirtland Park (as they do on the Albuquerque Century). We didn't have to wait long for all the riders to arrive at the University & Rio Bravo intersection, from where we continued down to the south loop of the Bosque Trail. There were many other riders, runners and walkers out on the Bosque this morning, making it difficult for a group to ride through. We took relatively short breaks at the train station at Tingley Beach and the Alameda/Rio Grande Open Space. From there, one of us took Rio Grande Rd to go home, and the rest of us cut through Guadalupe Trail and Camino del Bosque where we saw two bikes being offered for free (there were no takers). Continuing up Roy Avenue to Tramway Rd, some of us stopped at the Bien Mur Travel Center, where Laura's front tire went flat and had to be repaired. The rest of us continued up Tramway Road to the County Line Steakhouse where Carollan stayed behind to direct riders. I went up to the terminal, got water, waited for some other riders, headed back down and waited for everyone who had not broken off to go home. Good Gary had to add pressure to one of his tires before heading back down. On our way down Tramway Blvd, I had a tire blow-out myself. While we were repairing our fourth flat, Laura's rear tire burst and had to be repaired. Followed was the easy part of the ride, downhill along Tramway Blvd and down through the neighborhoods on the southeast side of town. 

After 52 miles and 5 flat tires, a few of us arrived back at O'Neill's. A handful of those riders joined us there for brunch.

Thanks everyone for riding. As a team, we need to work on staying together, and both keeping in a single file and slowing down and waiting until it's safe to pass on the Bosque Trail.

Artist rendition of Saturday's ride

Sunday's Ride: 

Reports of an uneventful ride.  Sometimes that is a great enough report.  And they took a photo:

From the base of the tram!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Weekend's Rides: 7/1 & 7/2 - A fine windy NM morning

A great weekend of training.  Then again, I always think heading out for some exercise with friends is great, so call me biased.

Saturday's Ride:  This weekend we did the modified counter clockwise city loop (route here) - a 37 mile jaunt around the city, heading north on Tramway with a little punishment of heading up to the base of the tram.  This is followed by a long descent back to the valley floor before picking up the diversion channel and back to the ride start.  We had 15 riders total head out for the ride from different locations.

Those of us that started at O'Neill's faced a fierce headwind (a sustained 10 mph with gusts to 20 mph) for the first 7 miles until we got to the fist rally spot at Smiths at Tramway and Central. We picked up another 5 riders at headed north, sideways to the wind.  At the top of Tramway, some of us headed up to the base of the tram up the steep 1 mile road for a challenge, while others headed on their way.
Heading up to the base of the tram.
Special thanks to Ryan who rode at the end of the group and ensured everyone made it to where they were supposed to go!  We got pretty spread out as we departed the top of the tram, but eventually all made it back to the ride start.
At the top!

Sunday's Ride:  4 of us started out on beautiful morning to do the inner city loop.  Kudos again to Evil Gary and Ryan for doing both training rides this weekend.  We had a peaceful ride along the Bosque, and probably the least busy I've ever seen.

At the 25-mile mark, Bex peeled off to head home, having cleverly staged a car at the Paseo train station.  Congrats on doing your longest group ride!

Gary, Ryan, and Ali headed back, and many thanks to those two for letting me draft until we hit a wind break.