Tuesday, May 06, 2014

An Arrow and an Omelette

At the Entrance of Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument
This past weekend was forecast to be perfect!  I was also invited to attend a breakfast at the hotel restaurant right there at the Monument entrance.  Meeting at 9 am on a Saturday morning meant I'd have to leave The College at 7 am.  Well, at close to 7 am, all set to ride, it was still about 35 degrees!  But just seemed that it would warm quickly as I rode down the mountain - and also there was no wind!  Incredible!  So although there was a sting in the air from the cold, I was quickly rolling out.

With no wind, I flew down Hwy 64 like an arrow!  Part way, I startled some wild ponies and they dashed off and stomped and were bit upset to be surprised by a cyclist.  Again, with no headwind, which is usually the case going down to Chinle, my two hour ride ended up being an hour and 15 minutes from what I could tell.  I just wanted to keep going because I was wanting to keep up a higher average speed.  I hammered really hard - why not?  I mean usually I've go the wind roaring in my ears from riding down - this time it was beautiful!

So I met these people at the restaurant - what it was was my former colleague in this job (I had never met her) and ended up she was passing through town and all her teacher and librarian friends met her and met up with each other.  My breakfast was good - a Denver Omelette -  but mainly everybody was catching up.  It got kind of rowdy and loud - the folks I was with were a bit odd and I didn't really fit in - but they were nice enough. 

Oh yeah, some son-of-a-bitch stole my tool bag from my bike - that really sucked.  So for my hellish ride back up the mountain, I had no patch kit, no wrenches, no spare tube, etc.  Luckily, they didn't take my tire pump.  I took my Garmin off the handle bars and put in my pocket before breakfast - basically anything that someone could steal they took.  This was right at the entrance of the hotel.  Of course I had brought by big (and heavy to carry) bike lock, so at least they didn't steal my bike!

The ride back up was okay at first, but then as I started to get up into the High Country, a very strong cross-wind kind of beat me up.  Also, it was getting pretty warm out!  So I slugged it out for the way home, gusty wind, and hot and sweaty going.

About 8 miles out from Home
I want to tell you that I've shed some weight - about 20 pounds!  Being lighter makes a difference on the bike!  And up in the mountains and with the altitude, being lighter and not a fat guy helps - so what I'm saying is that I feel pretty strong, Gentle Readers of This Blog.  I'm no longer gasping for air like I was on my short commutes to work.

For the 50 mile ride, I averaged 14.5 MPH which is a vast improvement - mainly because there was no wind going down...  As the days are getting warmer and longer, I will try to go out and do a few hours before the sun starts to go down.  

Hwy 64 is really the only safe road for me to ride on - its good training for sure, but I'd like to get out and do some more riding to other places.  Just have to do an out and back - unless I want to do about 20 miles on narrow, busy, and really bad rez roads.  I just don't think I'm ready just yet!

Cheers!  Bruce

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