I had a doctor's appointment today at 10:50 AM. I had previously planned to use this for an excuse to do a long ride, estimated at 25 miles each way. I realized this, early this morning, but only at about 10 minutes to 8 AM. Since my average speed is normally about 7 or 8 MPH, this means I should have already left in order to arrive in time.
I jumped to, loading up the 2-wheel recumbent bike for the ride, but had not had breakfast yet and feared I didn't have time to EAT a real breakfast, so I snarfed 3 homemade choc-chip cookies and took off.
I was chagrined to find my pannier's LiFePO4 expensive long-life battery had not been plugged into the charger after yesterday's ride. I was in a hurry so I took off anyway, hoping the battery had sufficient capacity to carry me through the day anyway.
My waking blood glucose had only been 67, so this obviously was not the best of programs for ride preparation. I dialed my pump's basal rate back to 20% of normal and rode onward and westward.
It's been cold in the mornings recently and today was no exception. I donned a windbreaker for the first several miles, taking it off to climb the long hills on southbound NM-14 and putting it back on when I topped the hill for the long mostly-coast into Tijeras and Old Route 66. It was still cold when I got to Tijeras so I left the windbreaker on clear into the city limits of Albuquerque, and not taking it off until halfway THROUGH Albuquerque.
I haven't ridden this route in a while and today I was struck by the number of homeless camps and homeless folks I encountered. They tend to congregate along the bike trails since many places are not easily reached or monitored by the "Authorities". A couple of guys were set up in tents close together, and several others were just lying in piles of clothing and bedding in the open, including a male & female couple with a DOG lying right next to Old Route 66 just outside the city limits. They were lounging around in a huge pile of clothing, pillows, and bedding, evidently trying to thus keep warm overnight against the cold.
|Can you read the sign "Dark Tunnel Ahead"?|
|Translation: "Homeless May be Sleeping or Camping Inside"|
When the physician's assistant took my blood glucose inside the office, it was 120.... a little on the high end but not bad considering all I had for breakfast was 3 cookies. My blood pressure was 114 over 60 and my pulse was 80, surprising me. Having just ridden 27 miles and still panting slightly, I assumed it would be pumping hard.
The doc gave me an atta-boy since my A1C had dropped a full point since we last met, and said I was doing good.
I've known several people who died within days of receiving such "sound-as-a-dollar" reports, so remember me in your prayers.
He asked what I was going to eat for lunch, having skipped a decent breakfast, and I told him I was thinking of a nice juicy cheeseburger. He said "Sounds good to me!"
Thus I was watching for a LotaBurger or most any burger joint as I rode homeward. Albuquerque's bike paths are like most, meaning they rarely come close to established businesses such as restaurants or grocery stores. I remembered there were fast-food joints close to the bike crossing at San Mateo, but I could find none when I stopped and looked up and down the street. My eye fell upon the "Subway" sign less than 50 yards south, requiring NO heavy-traffic street crossing or dodging. Thus my meal of a FULL foot-long Pizza Sub sandwich, with chips and a NON-diet Barq's Root Beer. I've never eaten a foot-long before, always settling for the halfway 6-incher version, so I wondered if I could eat it all. I knew I had a long pull going through Tijeras Canyon and the mountains to home, so I wanted to stock up on carbs. I was able to stuff it all down, and it lasted me clear to Tijeras (about 10 miles), where I had to dig into my second baggie of 3 choc-chip cookies. I stopped at the Subway in Tijeras solely to refill all 3 of my now-empty water bottles but, after checking the blood again, realized I had to "force" myself to eat the cookies.
When I got out of the doctor's office and started home, almost immediately my radio, GPS, and electronics died, indicating a dead battery. I carry a smaller spare backup battery but it produced the same dead results when I plugged it into the bike's wiring so I gave up and rode home with no electronics at all save my cell phone, which was still charged and worked nicely, thankfully.
The ride east through Albuquerque is more uphill than downhill so it took me quite a while to make the return trip. It was much warmer also, leading to more frequent water and rest breaks while slowly climbing the hills.
About halfway to Tijeras I had to pull over to remove some thistles from my socks that were aggravating me. How do you get thistles in your socks while riding a bike, you might ask? Well, it must have been the walk in the woods looking for a private place to pee alongside the road.
Instead of returning the exact way I came, I rode farther east from Tijeras to Guiterrez Canyon Road and rode north from there to Frost Road. By now I had gone 40+ miles so when I neared a friend's home alongside the route I couldn't help myself. I stopped in to say hello and stayed almost an hour cooling my heels.
After finally arriving home and plugging in the supposedly-dead battery, I was horrified to find a broken wire on the power connector for the electronics. Had I realized this earlier I could have "hay-wired" it to get me home with radio & electronics blaring all the way.
Ride Started: 8:18 AM Ride Ended: 5:36 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage: 13.9 Ending Voltage: 13.1
Lowest Temp 37 F Highest Temp: 74 F
Stats from the GPS: Total Miles: 54.68
Overall average speed Moving Avg Max Speed
7.9 MPH 11.7 MPH 35.1 MPH
Total Trip time Moving Time Stopped Time
9 hours 20 mins 7 hours 4 mins 2 hours 16 mins