Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 19...Albequerque to Moriarity, NM

34.87 miles in 4:05...2270 ascent....1014 descent...average speed 8.5 mph...max speed....31.1 mph. 550.29 total trip miles....total elevation climb for trip...17197 ft.
Ok, it was Sunday morning, my legs are a little tired, I've got a legendary climb, on historic US 66, ahead of me, to get out of the Rio Grande valley and onto the high plains. I decided to go to church, get a late start, pound up the mountain pass, and cut out early because my choices were 40 miles or 120 miles. I'm limited here because of the few towns that have motels. Moriarity, was forty miles away, so I decided Sunday would be a day of rest, sort of.
I got rolling about 11am, and started out easily because the uphill began the second I put my butt on the bike seat. Thinking it was going to be a tough climb, I did not push at all. I headed north on University Blvd until I found Central Ave, which is historic US 66, as well as the main drag near the U of New Mexico. My plan was to grab a quick breakfast, but I did not feel comfortable leaving my bike outside of any store or fast food place, because of the beggars and general looking bums that were hanging around everywhere looking for a buck for food. Even if I locked the bike, all my possessions are in panniers and are not secure. So I headed further out of town and finally found a subway with two bike police inside. 
The stretch of road from my motel to the edge of town was about ten miles long, filled with bars, food places, businesses, college type clothing shops, and eventually, about everything you could imagine. Lots of places referenced 'Nob Hill,' so I figure that was the name of the area. There were lots of people wandering aimlessly for a Sunday morning, but later I thought of a news report I saw last night that talked about them breaking up a huge homeless, tent city just outside of town on old 66. I also climbed almost 1000 ft before the 'official' climb started on the edge of town, with a mile marker O. I noticed several Sunday morning workout bikers flying off the hill, so I decided to count bikers. Almost 60 bikers were coming off the hill in the 14 more miles that it took me to get to the top. Only seven passed me going up, because of the late start, but four were especially memorable because they were Russian, and had CCCP biking jerseys on. They spoke as they went by, so before realizing they were foreigners, I asked " what's the elevation at the top?" And one of the Ruskies answered "11,000 ft. " My immediate answer was "bullshit!" And he looked at me really funny. I think he was either a Russian with a sense of humor, or he meant to say 7,000 ft. Either way, the top came at about 7100 ft. Considering I was at 5000 ft at my motel, climbing 2100 ft in 24 miles really wasn't that daunting. As I rode the hill I definitely had a sense of weird disappointment and also thanksgiving that it really wasn't that ball busting of a climb. I started thinking of the passes I've climbed, and it probably makes the top ten, but it wasn't bad. My legs were gassed though, so I'm okay with it. 
The area was relatively populated, with a couple of small towns along the way, definitely not on the edge of a mountain, with a drop off. I hauled a lot of water, but really didn't need to. Traffic was pretty heavy even though we were in spitting distance of Interstate 40 all the way up. When I got to the top, it flattened out with just a few rollers and descent began immediately. The entire 1000 ft i descended happened in the final15 miles into the town of Moriarity. The town, along with a nearby town bill themselves as the towns where the " mountains meet the plains". I cruised into town with my legs feeling decent, a lot of time to rest up, and a great hope that tomorrow will bring a tailwind. There is a KFC in town, and an eight piece bucket hit the spot.

Mile marker 0, going into the mountain pass

At the top of the pass

NM 333 (Rt 66) between Albuquerque and Moriarity, NM

View from motel in Moriarity, NM

View from motel in Moriarity, NM

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