Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Miles Per Hour

Fast rollers in the Pull Out
 After a few weeks of much needed vacation, Gentle Readers of This Blog, I got back up to The College.  I was in KS to see Little Egypt for a spell, and also bid Rico farewell as he's off to Germanland for the summer.  How I wish life was easier, and that we could all live in the same country - but jobs and War have taken us so far for the last few years.  Little E wants me home but, as in AZ all those years ago, there were no jobs.  Also in KS no jobs.  So I work as I do - at least I have a job and in my profession.  It pay the bills.

As much as I want to be home, the mountains and this land, as harsh as they sometimes are - have slowly endeared themselves to me.  I feel in my heart a real love for the land - the birds, the greening grasses and trees - the high strung Mustangs I encounter - and the darting and singing birds everywhere. 

Living at the elevation I do - and in this clear mountain air - I could tell on my vacation that my lungs had power.  I noticed this walking up five flights of stairs at our hotel in Orlando, FL - I found that I was hardly winded.  I'm not bragging - it's just that for many months I could hardly breathe up here.  Now with some time, gradually I am stronger. 

On my return up here, and now that summer has all the students away - it is quiet and slowed down.  The weather was for me, heavenly - so I left my place at 5:45 pm and headed out with the Mighty Trek, and the plan was to ride down the first Pull Out of the Monument, and return.

A rare evening ride for Yours
 No traffic as I roll out, mes amis.  I see my pals, like Le Tigre down in Tucson, with incredible average speeds!  Try as I may, I can't seem to get that MPH up.  Compared to last time when I rode down to the Mummy Cave Pull Out at Canyon de Chelly, I was just a wee bit slower.  Today I was at 14.4 MPH average speed for the 30 mile round-trip trek - last time 14.6 average speed.

So I try to take less photos and just pedal - that can slow you down getting the camera out.  Wind plays a part too.  Even though I am riding fast as I can - the headwind will slow me down, and sometimes coming back instead of the tailwind I have a headwind again.

Also compared to when I first went out, I am much improved.  The first trip I did I could barely breathe, Gentle Readers of This Blog.  Not only a struggle for a breath, but feeling the insides of my chest burning on fire, and  my lungs pushing my rib cage out! 
Tsaile, Arizona, Navajo Nation
Tonight I glided and found a groove.  Always difficult the first four miles because I have to climb "Benally Hill."  After that, after the lungs, heart, and rib cage wake up - things are smooth.  Mostly the out trip is down-hill, and I reach my top speed (tonight) of 31 MPH. 

The air is cool and the sun makes everything hazy - the headwind is a winding down and the roar, like in the mornings, is more like an echo in my ears.  Also, I'm not wearing the warmers and jacket.  It's like Tucson Days on the fast commute home - after working and sitting on your butt, your tired body gives way and blood mixed with oxygen being forced into you  and that powers-up your body.

Pretty soon I'm charging into the Pull Out - a coyote eyes me from a safe distance as I zip into the parking lot of Massacre Cave Overlook. 

Going back now, I am tired, mes amis - just keep pedaling.  I have a crosswind that seems more like a headwind mostly - but at some point - I don't know where - I get that tailwind that's so sweet, and now I'm flying back to Tsaile.

For some reason I could not shift down into my small ring (I have a triple ring) and for the last climb up Benally Hill - the real hard last climb that seems to want to kill you - as I said I could not get the thing to shift so I had to just man-up and shred my legs.  I made it okay actually, but I could feel the cramps starting out in my calves - that means I'm in trouble.  But then I sailed down the road you see above, and soon was gliding home.

For a bit later after the ride, the legs cramped but then things were okay. 

Now this evening I need to rest - but tomorrow evening I'll go back out there!

Take care and keep reading my blog.  Check back now and then.  I'm still here!

Cheers!  Bruce

No comments: