La Cienega Ride

- July 12, 2011

"This is a very pretty ride through some stunning countryside. It was not, however, easy by any means."

This is a very pretty ride through some stunning countryside. It was not, however, easy by any means. As the weather gets hotter, I find it more and more difficult to maintain the same level of power output that I did in the cooler weather. I guess that’s just the physics of it all. There’s less oxygen when it gets hot. Airplanes can have problems getting moving when it’s too hot, and so can I. If my childhood memories of airplane-talk serve me, there are maximum temperature limits at which any given aircraft may take off. Cyclists, however, are not bound by FAA regulations.
Just as an aside; if anyone ever wonders where all the aviation analogies come from in my writing; it’s only recently that I’ve noticed it. When I was growing up, it seemed like everyone in my family, and our wider circle of family friends, were pilots. Several flew with American Airlines, one was with a company no longer in existence, Eastern Airlines, and the others were private pilots flying single and twin engine craft. My uncle even flew his “twin” to Tierra del Fuego from New York. The conversation around my house was filled with aviation terminology, and as a curious kid, I asked lots of questions about the new words and concepts. Unbeknownst to me, it sunk in! I still find aviation fascinating, and I know that interest can be traced in a straight line back to those spell-binding stories and conversations.
The theme of today’s ride could easily be, “How many cyclists does it take to change a bicycle tire?” or, “How many cyclists are needed to consult on the changing of a bicycle tire?” or, “If you like tech-talk about bike tires and tubes, this was the ride for you.”. Fortunately, or unfortunately, as the case may be (you decide); I documented this photographically. It was in fact quite interesting, but the comedic value of it was also not lost on me. One of our riders today, Steve, was quite knowledgeable on this subject, and very nicely shared this information with all of us----as well as doing the lion’s share of the work!
My main mental-rumination today had to do with that heart monitor which I have complained about in the past. As I was spinning along, enjoying the view; It suddenly dawned on me, after consulting the heart monitor read-out, that there was this miracle in my chest ticking away at 165 beats per minute in some cases. I can’t even open and close my fist that fast. And yet this tiny pump (it has to be small because I am) responds instantly, without complaint, and totally unobtrusively to the tasks which I assign to it---none of them easy. It was one of those revelations that I’ve written about before (briefly thank God, right?) and I felt a deep sense of wonder and gratitude. Maybe I won’t complain about the heart monitor anymore. It is a window into an otherwise invisible realm.
Happy Trails to you from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Techno-Geek Corner:
Distance: 47.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 2185 feet
Calories Burned: 691 (Oh hell, can’t we just call it 700? )
Average Speed: 16 mph
Max Heart Rate: 166 bpm
NOTE: If you'd like to see photos of the event, please scoot on over to: