My Favorite Diabolical Cruise on The Fixie Black Sheep

I took a break, a breather from everything the last few weeks. I needed to recharge my muscles and my brain. The next 3 months will be extreme at the Back of the Pack. So the two week hiatus prepared me for my new lifestyle – the lifestyle of riding and training for a few big events.

The Schedule, The Big Events:

  • May = Tour de Judd, details to follow – in June.
  • June = A few 24 hour races, maybe SSUSA.
  • July = Durango Dirty Century, B.P.R. High Altitude Championships
    • AND a long vacation with the the single speed, of course

So I’m back at it. As of yesterday morning my legs were rested and my mind was wandering. Then I’ve started my high(er) altitude training – right in my back yard. Now my legs are destroyed and my mind is focused. Funny how that happens.

Just a Pic at 10,700 ft, Sandia Crest
Yeah. It’s cold up there.

The funny stuff from a fixie perspective:

  • Climbing the 13.5 miles & 4000 ft  is difficult on the 34 x 14 fixie. The legs didn’t hurt too bad – maybe because they were numb with pain after 5 miles.
  • Going down on the fixie is BRUTAL. The legs were screaming, the feet were killing and for some reason cramps show up in very weird places. No joke. I won’t provide any additional details. AND don’t let your mind wander.
    • I tackled the Sandia Crest Hill Climb on my fixie Surly many times. The pain on the descent is something that I never remember. It’s always a surprise.
    • I only used the front brake 3 times – to stop quickly for pics. Brakes on a fixie are only for emergencies – like if a chain snaps while exerting massive back pressure to slow down a runaway fixie.
    • Just joking. Brakes are good. But it’s a challenge to control the descent with leg power – it’s a brutal challenge.
  • It’s always good to stop and recharge at Backside Ale House.
    • Only blew an hour and $32 on beer and a burger.
  • My max heart rate – 181 bpm – occurred on the cruise home. My goal was to put in a few extra, easy miles on a side road. I paid for it. Big time. Nothing like wanting to cry on the ‘cruise home’.
The Data:

I’m pretty much addicted to the Sandia Crest Hill Climb – on a fixie. The climb is really benign on a geared bike – not that I’ve done the climb on a geared bike in the last number of years. The 13.5 miles & 4000 ft of vertical is a physical challenge on a fixie, 34 x 14, sort of. But It’s definitely a mental challenge due to the effects of altitude. Yeah. It seems like miles 8 – 11 are insanely tough. Super steep. But I’m fully aware of mental conditions / mental instability and the power of the demons that lie within the head of most single speed freaks. So, I was curious – how hard is the ride? Is it the grade or the altitude.

Well, I decoded my GPS data, and the data says it ‘Ain’t That Bad‘.

Yeah. The data says it ‘Ain’t That Bad‘ . The data shows that the vertical / mile is fairly consistent. So the altitude plays some games, the demons and the altitude make the ride a challenge.


The Pics:
The Middle Aged Judd


I live somewhere, somewhere way down there
1/2 way down, Sandia Peak Ski Area


The local hangout, Backside Ale House
Dale’s Pale Ale on ORDER

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