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White Knuckle Riding

At least it's (mostly) downhill

I have lived in the East Mountains for more than four years now. I have never ridden my bicycle to work.

My vegetable garden had a hard freeze two nights ago, which other than the death of beautiful tomato plants, says one thing to me: Fall is here!

Today that changed. I biked over I-40 at the Zuzax exit and then took Old Route 66, it was prettier and safer and I am sure bicycles aren't allowed on the freeway anyway. But Old 66, unlike the freeway, is much more hilly than I had assumed. I left my house at 12:45 p.m.

I took Central as soon as I got into town, I did a time check at Juan Tabo and it was just shy of 2:00 p.m.

I had browsed from home the City of Albuquerque's website to look for bike paths once I got into town, but the circuitous nature of the trails and the heartache of trying to read the map online made me opt for a straight Central hell ride.

Central all looks downhill from Tramway. I could see the beacon that was the old First National Bank building. So, I just gutted it out, owned my lane on Central and pedaled like a fool.

In spite of a few dicey maneuvers by some inattentive automobile drivers, I made it to my downtown office at 2:15 on the nose. Felt pretty damn good.

What feels better though is that I left my car in the parking garage at work last week, so at least I don't have to take the uphill ride-of-shame back home. It must be like 1300 vertical feet between downtown Albuquerque and my house.

My pride is swollen and I suspect my butt bones will be too. But is was a nice fall day and all in all, since I am in one piece, totally worth it!


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