They call me The Breeze

The Arkansas River Trail, just east of City Park.

The Arkansas River Trail, just east of City Park.

PUEBLO, Colo. (MDM) — It’s hard to know what to make of all the traffic on Highway 50 between Cañon City and Pueblo. We could chalk it up to unemployment, but then how do all these people afford the gas?

Day two of my self-propelled getaway began with a free breakfast at the Hampton followed by a five-mile ride to the AT&T store for iPhone surgery. A very helpful young lady showed me how to reseat the SIM card using a paper clip (my preferred tool is a ball-peen hammer, but different strokes, etc.).

It was cool, in the lower 40s, with a brisk wind out of the east, so I made a few itinerary changes on the fly. I skipped a second visit to Dakota Hot Springs, reasoning that poaching my thighs just 10 miles into a 50-mile day might not be smart. And I likewise gave a miss to Lake Pueblo and the western stretch of the Arkansas River Trail, because Pueblo West has changed some since last I cycled through there and I didn’t feel like getting lost in some prairie-dog town hunting the trail. So I stayed on Highway 50 to Pueblo Boulevard, hung a right, and picked up the trail just west of City Park.

Despite the chill there were plenty of fishermen working the river — one of them in shorts — and quite a few folks either walking or cycling the trail, which beat the mortal nuts off Highway 50 in terms of traffic/noise volume.

I left the trail at Main Street and hung a left over to Union for lunch at the Hopscotch Bakery. Dismounting and walking the bike through a crosswalk I narrowly avoided getting center-punched — by a cop car! I gave the bluesuit the stinkeye, which is always a bad idea in P-town as these guys like to tase you before they shoot you. But still, damn.

If you’re ever in Pueblo make sure to visit Hopscotch and its brother op’, Bingo Burger. Locally owned, great food, better people.

The final leg of the day was up Main through Mineral Palace Park, over to Elizabeth and north to another Hampton (free stay, free breakfast, what’s not to like?).

Today it’s back home to Bibleburg on what looks to be the chilliest of my three days on the road. It’s just 28 at 8:40 a.m., so it may be checkout time before I actually check out. No need to hurry — some of today’s finale involves short stretches of Interstate 25, and I’d like to hit that sweet spot between hungover motorists driving to work and drunken motorists heading back home.

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15 Responses to “They call me The Breeze”

  1. Andy Bohlmann Says:

    Hey P. O’G,

    Need someone to pick you up when you get too tired?


  2. Steve O Says:

    What’s the no-prize if we guess tomorrow’s song title?

  3. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Highway 50? Interstate 25? Geez, I always wonder about the American west, not enough roads for the most part. Reminds me of a loop we used to enjoy out of Santa Barbara but don’t bother with anymore because of a stretch on the 101 Freeway. No way to avoid it, if you wanna do the loop ya gotta ride on this thing with people in their Chevrolet Subdivisions and Ford Exploders whizzing past @ 70+ mph. Glad you had a good ride and here’s hoping you’re back home safely rather than a hood ornament.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Highway 50 has a great broad shoulder, unlike the main east-west option, Colorado 96, which requires some detouring through Florence and Wetmore before bending eastward toward Pueblo.

      And the I-25 bits are short ones, under 10 miles total — most of my ride north was on a blend of frontage roads (which may be leftovers from the old Highway 85/87); Old Pueblo Road; and the off-road Front Range Trail, which runs from just north of Fountain to the Greenland Open Space north of Monument Hill. It dropped me off a half-dozen blocks from Chez Dog.

      Got to admit I prefer the trail. Although some fucktard on a homemade moped nearly took me out on a narrow, washed-out stretch just a few miles from home.

  4. Khal Spencer Says:

    Speaking of motor vehicles. Patrick, I looked at a 1987 Toyota pickup truck. I think SR5. It had a 4 banger 22R engine. Minor rust on the sides of the bed box, but otherwise looks solid and engine purred nicely–maybe a little bit of valve lash noise. 102k miles, single owner who is another laboratory conehead. Do you recall that vintage and whether it is worth picking up?

    • Derek Lenahan Says:

      Khal, I don’t know if POG has additional input, but the 22R seems more reliable than the 20R, it is fuel injected and by ’87 they had worked the bugs out of the IFS. If you need a little hauler I wouldn’t let the valve lash bother me, probably good for another couple hundred thousand even if you don’t fix it. If I remember correctly they are hydraulic lifters on that and low or thick oil will make it sound bad until it gets up to operating temperature.

  5. Sharon Says:

    Beautiful trip for sure Patrick! Spending a little time at the F1 track in Austin this weekend for the US Grand Prix. Interesting how those Formula 1 cars go so fast, even on the sharp turns. Was also fun watching how the rich guys light their cigars with $100 bills.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Remember Jim Hall and his Chaparral? I was a big fan back in my slot-car-racing days; can’t recall if we were stationed at Randolph AFB or Ent AFB. I was quite the motorhead for a kid who didn’t get his license until age 18, promptly lost it, and didn’t get it back until graduating college.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Used to take off the weekend and go down to the Long Beach GP when Mario Andretti was racing in F1. Quite the show, perhaps my first exposure to real Europeans. After a few years they switched to Indy cars – it went from champagne and caviar to beer and BBQ. From exotic and gorgeous European women to the “show us your t__s!” types. That was the end of it for me.

      • Derek Lenahan Says:

        It is amazing how the same type of event can change character so quickly.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        I may try to go down to Austin in 2014 for the MOTOGP races. Went to Indy for the first one there and was ashamed of the track conditions the boyz were forced to contend with – it would seem like the new, purpose-built Austin circuit should take care of that…and give me an excuse to escape Iowa in April, before we head over to italy as usual.

      • Derek Lenahan Says:

        If I could only harness the traction like those boys do. It makes me ashamed of my skill set every time I see those guys ride.

      • Sharon Says:

        The F1 race is over and the high dollar Euro trash heads back across the pond. Was quite an amusement for Austin. The track and cars were fantastic. We had great seats where a long straight meets a set of sharp turns (turn 12). All in all, quite a spectacle. All that said – – maybe we’ll attend again next year. At least we don’t have the expense of $500 a night to stay at a dive hotel with a 4-night minimum.

  6. Libby Says:

    Good that you had a chance to get away while the weather was decent. It sounds like you had a great trip.

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