Just Because We Can, Doesn’t Mean We Should

By Courtney | No Rookie Marks »

Note: Courtney is feeling lazy today, so I Robbie (Goober) get to write the entry for our ride today.

Our ride started out like most, except this time I had installed a speedometer/odometer on my bike so we could see how fast and how far we were going. Of course I lived up to my nickname and accidentally reset the entire meter while trying to reset the odometer. When I got the tire size and time corrected, I noticed it was reading in KPH (kilometers per hour). Try as I might, I could not get it into MPH (which is sad because I can program a VCR in no time, but this little meter had me stumped). Needless to say, I spent the rest of the ride calling out speeds and distances in kilometers…

After the little incident, we finally got riding. After about a kilometer, the wind started picking up. Let me tell you, riding in the wind sucks, and here in Albuquerque, it’s always a head wind…no matter which direction you are riding.

We made it to our 4 mile marker and Courtney decided we had ridden far enough for the day. I still had a lot of ride left in me, and since we have to push each other, I reminded her of how far we had ridden (eight or nine kilometers). She mulled it over for a sec and decided she could make it to 8.5 mile marker. We never got there. About half a kilometer past our 4 mile marker we came to a fork in the road. Normally we ride on the west side of the irrigation ditch, but lately on our way back, we’ve been riding on the east side of the ditch. At this fork, we had the option to cross over a bridge and ride on the east side, or continue straight. That’s when Courtney noticed another paved trail to our right, heading east toward the river. This new trail peaked our curiosity, and it wasn’t long before we decided to go on a mission of exploration.

We rode on the new trail for a ways until it ended in a loop. Courtney noticed a dirt trail continuing past the paved trail and took off down it. I followed, but noticed that we were riding in soft sand (that soft sand where if it’s too deep, you just sit in one place spitting sand behind you until you get off your bike and walk it the rest of the way). So I yelled out, “Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.” But it fell on deaf ears. Of course when you’re riding a mountain bike, you’re always itching for the trail off the beaten path, so off I went to catch up with her. We followed the trail until we reached the river. We met a woman and her young son, who warned us not to get too close to the river or we might fall in, and the woman informed us the trail kind of follows the edge of the river. The bushes and trees were pretty thick, so we dismounted and pushed our bikes along the trail some more until we found we couldn’t go any more. Courtney wanted to see how deep the water was, so we parked our bikes and walked down to the river bank.

Now I didn’t find out until later why she wanted to see how deep the water was, but before I knew it she was out of both sock and shoes, and had one leg in the water trying to find the bottom. She couldn’t find it, so we walked back to where the woman and boy had been (they had left by then). It was shallow enough at that point that the water only came up to her shorts. She made her way about six yards to a sand bar in the middle of the river and proclaimed herself king [queen, ruler] of the sand bar. She like the backdrop of the river and trees behind her, and decided that was the spot she was going to have her graduation pictures taken. After she was done playing in the water, she made her way back to the bank. I offered my hand to help her out of the water, or keep her balance while she was cleaning the mud off and putting her socks and shoes on, but she reminded me she was “Miss Independent”. I told her she can be Miss Independent all she wants, but I’ll still always offer my help.

After our fun at the river, we made our way back to the 4 mile marker, which also happens to be a main road to look for a place to park for when we come back to take those graduation pictures. We didn’t find a place to park, but we did find another dirt trail that took us in back of several ranches (we got that itch again for off-roading). The ride back to our cars was uneventful, but I have a feeling we’ll be doing a lot more off-roading, and exploring on our subsequent rides.

(Normally Courtney lists her blood sugars status here, but she didn’t tell me what her starting or stopping numbers were, so I can only assume they were in the normal range)

We rode ~21 kilometers (Courtney calculated it to be 15.87 miles) in an hour and 10 minutes, but there was at least 20 minutes of fun in/by the river, and another 10 minutes looking for a place to park on Montano. When we were riding, we averaged 21 KPH (~13 MPH) which is exactly how fast we need to ride in California.

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