WOW! Today’s ride was absolutely beautiful and the most fun, yet exhausting ride we’ve had yet. (In my opinion) Here are some pictures:
Today I rode for Grandmom Pat! Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of my calves, but you better believe her name was there and I was thinking about her all day. She is my cousin’s grandmother, my Aunt’s mother-in-law, my Uncle’s mother. She sadly passed away from cancer not too long ago.
Today was tremendous. It had a bunch of climbs and a bunch of downhills. It had breathtaking views and incredible changes in scenery. We climbed a total of over 7000 feet today and descended almost 6500. The ride was 88.5 miles and I loved almost every minute of it! My calf muscles were killing me because of our hike yesterday, but I tried to ignore it as best as I could. There was a lot of stop-and-go on our ride today because of the hills. We took little mini-breaks at the top of each one and it really helped our legs! I decided to forgo my pride and become good friends with my granny gear today. If I felt like it would be pleasant to use it, I did. And let me tell you, I used it a lot!
You can find the GPS route and stats here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/543848022. Notice the elevation map, and how my speed corresponds to it! On the uphills, we were averaging around 7mph, and on the downhills we averaged about 30mph! I even broke the speed limit a few times! My favorite is when I went 41.8mph in a 40mph zone. I’m such an outlaw…
Jeremy, Lauren, Kirk, and I left our host this morning and rode for a few miles on a nicely paved bike path that sparkled in the morning sun. The weather was a bit chilly, and the first 20 miles were completely downhill! We coasted almost the whole way, pedaling only when we reached a couple of stop signs and had to slow down. Everyone was in high spirits at the first water stop. Then we took a turn into the mountains:
According to the internet, we had two category 2 climbs and five category 5 climbs! There were a bunch of awesome downhill switchbacks that snaked through small little spanish villages. They were really steep and we got our first taste of leaning into turns at 30mph! It felt almost a little like carving down the ski slopes! The uphills were tough, but what made them awesome is seeing this sign at the top of almost every one:
When we finished our first category 2 climb, we had to stop at the top and take pictures! The pictures don’t do it justice, but we were really high up and could see for miles down into the valley. Here’s Kirk and I at the top:
We stopped for lunch and let me tell you, the food van did AWESOME today. They got a $225 gift card donated from Whole Foods, and a $50 gift card donated to Trader Joe’s. We had a feast of healthy foods for lunch and still have money leftover on the gift cards! After filling ourselves up, we prepared for our next category 2 climb.
We biked on and on until we reached the top where we encountered MILES of screaming downhill! I was going a constant 38mph down the hill, leaning into turns and having the time of my life! I would climb massive hills any day to be able to bomb them on the way down! We finally reached our host after outrunning an afternoon thunderstorm.
We are staying at Quail Ridge in Taos, NM. Quail Ridge is a tennis club and has a pool and a hot tub! After ripping through our mail, a few of us got in the hot tub until dinner time. Speaking of mail, I got a ton of unexpected packages! I got a card from Amy, a friend from high school that did the San Diego 4k last year, tubes and a subway gift card from my Aunt and Uncle, and what has to be my favorite package ever! A rock climbing friend of mine (and Eric’s) from college is currently studying abroad in Japan and she has been following my blog. She mailed Eric and I a bunch of Japanese snacks!
I have no idea what they all are, and there’s almost no english describing them, but I hope they’re tasty! Thanks Sam!
In other news, I finally got to meet the Emanuelson’s and they are wonderful people. Bob recognized me from pictures in my blog and introduced himself. He told me that I look exactly like my selfies. We ate a feast that they prepared for us including burritos and enchiladas and I got to talk with them over dinner. Eric and I talked a lot about skiing with them since they ski over 100 days per Winter in Taos Ski Valley. After dinner, I got in the hot tub again until it was my turn to shower, then started catching up on my blog.
Tomorrow we have another 88 mile day into Colorado! It should be pretty boring and flat since we elected not to take the hilly scenic route that totals 99 miles. We are going to be having some long hilly days in Colorado so we decided to take the flat route to give ourselves a little break tomorrow.
Now that I’m all caught up on blogs, I hope I can get caught up on sleep! I haven’t even been napping much recently! Anyway, comment on my posts, and don’t forget to read the one about yesterday’s rest day!