Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bruce on the Bike

Breakfast, Canyon de Chelly
 The Mighty Trek is in the shop, so I'm out on the Titanium LeMond - an awesome bike!  I'm not sure but I believe the LeMond may have a compact cassette? No matter - I've been looking at my times riding down to the first pull-out (Mummy Cave) and I noticed that my average speed is up from 13 - point something to 14.9 - my fastest time!  I am happy - some improvement.  

Pretty much it may be that I'm not taking pictures - mainly pictures for the blog - that can slow me down.  What can I take pictures of for you?  Basically I'm coming down the mountains, the Chuskas, part of the Defiance Plateau - and what has eroded over the thousands and thousands (millions?) of years from the snow melt is Canyon de Chelly.  You would not know it was there at all.  I ride about a mile from the edges, which drop down dramatically 800 to 900 feet.

There's ways in and out that my Navajo friends and co-workers know, but you would need four-wheel drive or horse - or you could walk. 

I've wanted to see about a loop I could do - but really it's a down and back for me Gentle Readers.  Good for training.  I bet mostly I'm more conditioned to the altitude which is why I can seem to ride a bit faster.  Anyway, should something catch my eye that I want to photograph, I will stop and pull out the camera.

I see ponies often.  This ride, I saw wild ponies when suddenly they heard me, and then bolted!  I heard a stick snap as they took flight.  They did stop and give me intense, curious looks!  By now you would think they know what I am - a human moving on the road where cars should be - swiftly and silently - why?  What is it doing? 

Local Bike Shop, Farmington, New Mexico
 Repairs will be done soon and I'll be back in Farmington to pick up the bike.  

My plan is to put in the miles, get fit, and then do a ride over Buffalo Pass.  Today one of my colleagues said she saw a bunch of riders going over the pass - so I am inspired.  They were in a group, which is safer.  I'll be on my own so I'm more afraid of getting hit by a car than anything else.

I just wish the roads were better and I had a few more options for rides.  It may be that I'll have to drive someplace with the car, and do a ride that way.

Okay - thanks for stopping by the blog!

Cheers!  Bruce

Monday, July 14, 2014

Burned Up

Come to Church
Up here in the High Country on this part of the Reservation they have a Monsoon Season - just like Tucson Days.  But there's not as much humidity and it doesn't get super hot like back in Tucson.  It has been refreshing, that mountain rain - but that rain the last few weekends has kept me out of the saddle.  The Mighty Trek is still out of action as well, Gentle Readers, so during the a rainy week, I tweaked and adjusted the LeMond, and first thing this past Saturday morning, I set out for a ride!

I can't say for sure, but this is probably a Native American Church Ceremony.  I did know some "Peyote Boys" back in South Dakota - and later I got to know some Oklahoma Indians in the Peyote Church, which is what I used to sometimes hear them say.   I met many Haskell students that did a lot of scholarly writing on the Native American Church - and learned that the Church was very underground for a long time.   You could go to federal prison for practicing.  I did stop and take a quick picture - people outside and around gave me a friendly wave so all is right in the World!
Antelope Pullout
No triple ring to get me up and over the couple of hills out here.  I felt pretty good and made quick work of the first big climb, Benally Hill - and then was at the Massacre Cave Pullout, the first of the three Pullouts at Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument,  in very good time - and I felt great!  I looked at my cell phone and the Strava App (did not hook up my Garmin) and I had made it down averaging 15.7 mph.  Okay!

I feel, for the most part, fit - I can tell my jersey fits me a bit better, particularity around my neck and shoulders.  I used to not be able to zip up my jersey to around my neck but now I can - so I've lost some fat (I guess?) from my upper body.  Hey I'm still kinda fat, but feels good when your clothes fit and you can ride at 7200 ft and not blow-out your lungs onto the road!

I was riding the Titanium LeMond - a sweet machine indeed!  I was not planning to go out further and longer, but I though why not?  It was still early and there was no tourist traffic - and everything felt right - I was in that groove.  It just felt like the bike needed and wanted to keep going. 

Things took a bit of a turn as I was coming back - I needed more water.  It was hotter than I though - hotter as you get off the mountains.  And the clouds were rolling in and the wind was not going to favor my return trip.

Also, not having the three-ring and having to work a bit harder on the Arrive, I needed to hydrate - and was out of water and had very little for the return.  I made a bad choice of wanting to try to extend the ride on Hwy 12, which was up-hill with bad pavement, and really I should have just cut home and made my ride shorter.  

Bon jour la bon jour

I burned-up this ride.  I got home and just could not recover.  I slept all day, ate way too much of my food because I couldn't shake the starving feeling I had - then felt better late evening - and had trouble sleeping.  Things were just off.

Now I'm okay...  I think what it is, is that I've been working too hard - my boss has been on vacation so I've been working later in the evening and not having time to go out after work to be in the saddle and loosen up.

Riding 45 miles pretty hard and not prepping means things are going to be harder - especially when it suddenly gets hot, you're not drinking enough, and the trip back is all climbing in a headwind.

Cheers!  Bruce