Today was one of those days I got to ride on some roads that I haven’t set rubber to in a couple of years. There were certain things I forgot (like how hard the ride was going to be!) I hopped on the road bike and headed east. The wind was pretty substantial in Albuquerque today, so I dressed a little warmer (i.e. no shorts and jersey today!). By the time I got out to the East Mountains, the wind was absolutely raging. In fact, I got blown into the gutter with gusts of wind. I had to put it in my smaller ring on the front and pedal downhill. I had forgotten how the wind gets back there, so it was both funny and frustrating at the same time. At home in Colorado this time of year, I mostly fight with being cold, ice, and snow (I have learned about when to avoid certain roads in windy conditions). Today, it was fighting with the wind and yet another thing to help make me a little tougher. I yelled at myself “Harden the f*&! up, Looney!” I also forgot how hilly N HWY 14 is. Wowee!!!
Finally, I got to the turn-off to Sandia Peak. I remembered the peak being 10,300′. Wrong! 10,678′ is the high point.
The wind was still howling straight at me riding up the road, making it infinitely harder and challenging. Fortunately, it wasn’t super cold, and there were only a few tricky parts of the road with ice and snow.
I only made it halfway up before I had to turn around today… Even though I ride on weekdays, I still gotta work, so that resulted in me flipping it and heading back down before I wanted! The road is 14 miles long, I turned around at mile 7 at the Sandia Peak Ski Area.
There would have been some serious nostalgia if I went in and sat there at a picnic table. I learned to ski as a child at Sandia. It doesn’t open very often anymore. I also did my first 2 mountain bike races there and I love going back and riding the trails. It’s been a couple years, and last time I rode up there, it was before they had been maintained for the year. I remember the feeling, the people I met those first two races, crossing the finish line (and at one of those, I took so long, it was just me and promoter left!!! hahaha! awesome, but probably not for the promoter.) Last time I rode at Sandia (for fun), there were tons of fallen trees and overgrown sections (adventure!) I can’t wait to ride up there again, but I rarely get to ABQ during the racing season.
Tomorrow is a big day of work, a big day of rest(well, and core workout), and a big day of going to SADIES for lunch!! YEAHOO! My family has been going there since I was a little kid, and my grandpa used to give my cousin and I quarters to buy candy from the vending machines, and play pacman (and we’d also play pranks on people in the restroom!)
Oh man I hate that wind there. I’d skip all the east mountain road riding and just stick to all the climbs east of Tramway. Look for Sunset Canyon Road and the head up Hidden Valley to Deer Trail. The look for Paseo del Puma off of Cedarbrook which is at the top of Sunset Canyon. Then the whole net work between Spain and Academy, eat of Tramway – some of those fingers (Pino, Quaking Aspen, etc) climb pretty good. Finally after working through all of the stuff north of Simm Park Road head over to La Luz, climb it, and then try to climb up Tierra Monte. That one hurts!
Much better way to stay out of the wind while cruisng relatively safe neighborhoods…..
Hey Matt! Yes… I know those all very well! The fingers. 🙂 Paseo Del Puma is a beast. I like doing the stuff on the other side because it is more sustained, but the fingers are an awesome option for a windy day. I just forgot how windy it gets 🙂 Hopefully you’ll be around next time I come to NM