Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gusts to 50? Let's Go for a Ride!

We just look like we're full of energy.

Yesterday neither one of us had anything pressing and the high was supposed to be in the 70s--a perfect day for a ride and a hike, right? We thought so. We packed up the bikes with our hiking boots, water and snacks and set out for Sandia and the La Luz Trail. The trailhead is only 14 miles and a steady incline from our house, which we thought would be no big deal. We loaded our daypacks, strapped them to our racks and headed off. 

As we were finishing up a light lunch at Annapurna's, the wind kicked in. It seemed like it was coming from the East--from the mountain--and boy was it ever. Once we hit the road the wind blew steadily at 25-35 mph and had gusts up to 50. This proved to be very brutal. We could barely go 4 miles per hour into the headwind. After 9 miles we were second-guessing this plan and at 12, just 2 more miles uphill, we decided to call it a day. After slogging for 2 1/2 hours uphill, with the wind at our backs and gravity taking us downhill, we were home in less than an hour. Our maximum speed was 34 mph. We could have gone faster, but there is something unsettling about going really fast with a gusting crosswind. Wimps, I know.

At least we had this beautiful scenery. We also came upon an historical marker. It didn't designate a place, however, but recognized a person. "Lola" Chavez de Armijo was state librarian in 1909. The governor tried to oust her because she was a woman. She fought and won a landmark discrimination case and is now considered one of New Mexico's Notable Hispanics. Other interesting landmarks were a decomposing coyote or fox and a group of ravens lingering near an unidentifiable smell. It was a beautiful, challenging ride and one we'd like to repeat--minus the wind.

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