An ill wind

The northwest side of the Cheyenne Trail in Palmer Park.

The northwest side of the Cheyenne Trail in Palmer Park.

Ah, jaysis. One of those forecasts. The devil must be eating beans again, because the wind is up, and it stinks.

After spending the morning working on various velo-projects and watching the trees prostrate themselves like monks before the altar I decided to leave all the bikes in the garage, no matter what class of tires they were wearing, and go for a 90-minute hike in Palmer Park.

Some dipshit lit the place up the other day, briefly, and with Beelzebub’s butt-trumpet blasting hell-farts hither and yon suddenly the Asplundh folks are in there turning foliage into sawdust. It’s either a fire-mitigation effort or a thinly disguised attempt to deny cover to those horny Bibleburgers who are either too free-spirited for a hotel or too cheap to rent a room, the park’s shadier nooks long having served as havens for spirited and unsanctioned rounds of Hide the Bishop.

There was none of that going on today — not that I saw, anyway — though I did spot what could have been a few post-coital cigarette butts along the way. There was, however, a veritable parade of mountain bikers disinclined to yield trail, unleashed dogs dropping deuces, and oblivious pedestrians.

One day these three factions will come together in some blind corner as yet uncleared by Asplundh and there will be a fine old donnybrook. I will sell tickets and use the proceeds to buy a house in some place where neither the wind nor the populace blows.



35 Responses to “An ill wind”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Fuckin’ A, Patrick.

    Local conditions.

    Red Flag Warning is in effect until March 30, 09:00 PM MDT

    Fire Weather Watch in effect from April 1, 12:00 PM MDT until April 1, 09:00 PM MDT

  2. James Says:

    Not to defend the off road riding brethren, but the last two – unleashed hounds and dumb-as-fuk peds – are millions of times worse! At least the dirt riders are having fun! The other two are just blocking the way to that fun.

    See, even the ill winds blow here in Kali-four-knee-ya. Haha!

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    As least you don’t have steaming piles of road apples just waiting for the next errant knobby tire. Or do you?

    • khal spencer Says:

      Interestingly, I’ve rarely found horseshit stuck in my knobbies after singletrack rides (the horse stables are at one end of my favorite bit of singletrack). Dog poop, OTOH, is a serious and smelly issue. I think the mountainbike folks and horse folks generally get along a lot better than one would expect if one simply assumed the trails were a zero sum game. As far as the future of the trail network, we all agree that having an extensive trail network is non-negotiable.

      • Steve O Says:

        I’m probably a little oversensitive to the whole dog shit thing. Or, maybe more accurately, I’ve been sensitized. I used to have great Danes, two of them, about 300 pounds worth of dog. And when you have great Danes, everybody knows you have great Danes. The downside being, they assume every canine discretion came from your household. My dogs never barked unless I told them too, but any yappy dog in the neighborhood was attributed to me. And in a totally passive aggressive way, folks would point to a steaming pile and say, that wasn’t yours, was it? (not that my neighbors were total shits… Were talking army bases, where everybody gives each other shit over everything. Imagine a high school locker room, except with 35-year-olds.)
        Anyway, I would then point out that my kids would fill a shoebox every time they went, so the little six-inch turd they were pointing at was more likely to come from my cat then one of my mutts. Here repetition of the event, however, made me realize how many people don’t pick up after their dog, or let their dog piss on the neighbors flowers, or send them outside to bark.

        There’s definitely something holy about dogs, which makes this comparison appropriate: i’ve always thought Jesus was one of the coolest guys on the planet, but there’s something weird about his followers. Take that last sentence and substitute dogs and owners in the appropriate spots.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        When I lived in a Greeley trailer park back in the mid-Seventies, the next-door neighbor had two Danes. He had this itty-bitty white picket fence around his trailer, about shin-high on these big-ass dogs, and they stayed behind it. Amazing.

        Glad I didn’t have to pick up their turds, though. A guy could throw out his back doing that.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We get a bit of horse exhaust, gents. There’s a stable in the park, but equestrian use seems to have fallen as other uses rose. The horse people who still use the park regularly are very easy to get along with, in my experience — yield trail, speak to them and the horse, and everything goes smooth like butter. As K notes, it’s the dog walkers who can’t be bothered to scoop the poop who pose the greater problem.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Speaking of ill winds

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Well written, K. The ongoing militarization of the police — and their use as a revenue-collection tool — is a growing problem, and one that the wingnuts often overlook, focused as they are on the Islamic Kenyan socialist usurper in the Black House.

        Here’s a fine example of serving and protecting, from Idaho. Remember, kiddies, when road-tripping leave the bong at home, and keep the lawyer’s number handy just in case.

      • Steve O Says:

        // The ongoing militarization of the police — and their use as a revenue-collection tool — is a growing problem,//

        I can’t find a liberal or a conservative they can make sense of this: you take a state trooper, pay him $65k a year, put him in a $40k cruiser with $12k in commo gear, and then send them out to write hundred dollar tickets.

        We had a fatality in our neighborhood couple months ago, dude running a red light that was bigger than Dallas. It was on the intersection where my daycare center is, so natch I was concerned. Sent the police Public affairs guy a little letter telling him about my experience here so far, help everybody runs red lights, even the black-and-white cruisers. And how, statistically, running a red light is a bigger threat to public safety than speeding*, so why do we only right speeding tickets and don’t do a thing about red lights? The public affairs guy called me back, we had a little discussion about how we spend money and what the anticipated payoffs are. Bottom line was, he said that the types of problems that are most dangerous are also the hardest to enforce, so they just don’t do it.

        We write speeding tickets because we have radar guns, period.

        * speeding is the number one factor in all accidents, but everybody speeds, so you have the whole correlation versus causation thing there. Folks that speed often take care of themselves through single car accidents, because that run red lights and up hitting somebody who did nothing wrong.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        You oughta see the moto cops working what Joe Wambaugh used to call “an apple orchard” at the corner of Heart Attack and Golf, just west of Palmer Park. I bet that op’ pays for a squad car or two per annum, or at least a shitload of donuts.

  4. Larry T. Says:

    Windy as hell here too my friends. On our local trails horse poop’s usually easy to miss while the doggy stuff is often hiding, just waiting to get you. The only thing worse than dog poop is the leavings of their owners. Years ago we were riding up in the San Bernardino mountains in SoCal when our group rode through what some drunken hunter decided to drop right in the middle of the trail. Yuck! Thank gawd we all had roof racks back then, I think I would have left my bike behind (or ripped the tires off and tossed ’em) otherwise. The “WTF would someone do such a disgusting thing?” question wasn’t answered until I met my wife a few years later.

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Well, we got the ride in. Left at 0630 to beat the wind. We did. Got to see two ravens think they had moved into a red tail hawk’s nest. Nest was in a cottonwood by the ranch house. Hawk came back home and rousted out the squatters. Quite a tussle for a few seconds. Then on the trail out, we had 9 javelina, 4 adults and 5 little ones, cross in front of us about 30 feet away. We had our noses in the wind, and they never spooked. Cool.

    I too have had good experiences on the trail with equestrians. My problem has been with Strava types trying to turn the trail into a race course.

    Dog owners, and past dog owners, are, I think, most offended by those that don’t pick up after their dogs. I would much rather hit a pile of road apples than dog shit.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I too have a bone to pick with Strava. Seems to me that site gives a thin sheen of justification for behaving like a narcissistic, flaming asshole.

      • veloben Says:

        Agree. Everything is a race apparently for those users. When last in Santa Fe went online to find cycling routes to Taos. All I could get by way of narrative out of Strava was how fast someone went up and how close to wiping out going back down.

      • Larry T. Says:

        This thing is just an electronic enabler of the same punks who “race” you on the road. Same crap back in my moto daze – you’e out for a nice ride and some squid comes blowing past racing towards a finish line only he knows the location of. Then you hear the “I beat so and so!” in his imaginary race. When you challenge these types to pin on a number or bolt on a number plate, all you usually get is a series of lame excuses. Races ARE races because everyone is out there under the same conditions and knows where the finish line is. This Strava crap is just the cycling equivalent of jerking-off in my opinion.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Real races can be won or lost by changes in conditions, or dealing with adverse ones. I recall one TdF time trial when Jan Ulrich wiped out on a wet curve trying to make up time. Other races can be decided by a deluge hitting in the middle of a time trial, or someone forming a break in a strong crosswind. Races are as much about tactics and smarts as they are about Strava time trials against imaginary opponents, where even if the finish line is known, the conditions can change from day to day or hour to hour.

        As I said on my own blog about a year or so ago, no one at Strava is holding a gun to anyone’s head and making them ride like idiots. Its just that this kind of masturbation, as Larry calls it, can easily get silly or downright stupid.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Back in the day, mid and late 60’s my older brother, Bill, was a AMA national number (99) racing flat track 1/4, 1/2, and mile distances. I tagged along as a pit rat. No brakes, other than a compression release on 2 stroke engines, and a steel plate on their left boot for sliding around the corners. I have never watched any other kind of racing that had the sheer excitement of flat track dirt motorcycle racing. Maybe cyclists racing up Alpe d’Huez gets close. Later in life he did motocross until he had too many stainless steel and titanium struts holding his bones together. He just bought himself a new bicycle for his 70th birthday and is selling his last motorcycle, a Hayabusa monster which I rode, ONCE.

      • khal spencer Says:


        Cripes. My K1100RS, which can attain a mere 135-140 mph, can scare the royal crap out of me when I think about it. It has joined the Ton Up Club just because some things have to be done, but only twice that I know of, and never when anyone else was around who could be hurt, i.e., no trees, deer, guard rails, or other people were abused in the carrying of of this stupidity.

        I suspect the Hayabusa (which can do close to 200 mph) is far beyond the capabilities of most riders, and more like a death wish if really wound out by anyone not really capable on a motorcycle. Myself included. I’d leave stuff like that to folks like Larry, who actually knows how to race a MC, assuming he is still interested in such insanity.

        I still had the most fun on the little dirt bike my dad bought me when I was 15. Really tore up the dirt on that, and it was not big or fast enough for me to really do much damage to myself. My adult motorcycles have been wonderful, but I long ago stopped riding them like a feekin idjit. The exact date was the night in 1976 when we sat by the side of the road waiting for the ambulance to scrape a buddy of ours off Mr. Pavement after a brush with a patch of gravel on a curve encountered at close to triple digits.

      • Larry T. Says:

        Oooh, flat tracking. I always wanted to try it and my AMA pro roadracing license and national number (#39) back-in-the-day was good to race in the top class in any discipline. I had a guy with a Harley flattracker “this close” to letting me try it out, but he came to his senses at the last minute and denied me the chance. I say if you wanna race, organized races are easy to enter, otherwise, you’re just jerking off, electronically or the old-fashioned way.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Larry, man a national number! You are a member of an elite club. One of Bill’s best friends and competitors passed away recently, Neil Keen. I remember having breakfast with him and Carol Resweber at my brother’s house. They, and the other racers, were quite a crew.

      • Larry T. Says:

        I came along well after these guys. The only video on Youtube that I know of is this

        where you can see yours truly briefly on the 2nd row of the grid when they pan across the big-boys on the front row. I grew up just a couple blocks from Ascot Park in Gardena, CA, sneaking in under the fence as a kid to watch the Friday night 1/2 mile races..riding over there on a 20″ Schwinn Stingray…so I probably saw Neil Keen a time or two.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I haven’t butted heads with any Strava types yet. Hope I don’t. The cellphone/texting/earbud types are bad enough. Never understood why you’d want to drag all that bullshit outdoors with you.

      I’ll confess to taking the iPhone on rides, just in case I augur in somewhere and have to order up a medevac. Mostly I use it to snap pix.

      Ben, did you find a proper route from Fanta Se to Taos? The High Road is a nice ride, though there are a few sucky bits early on — the ride from Fanta Se through Pojoaque being foremost among them.

      I used to live in La Puebla, just outside of Española, and I spent a lot of time riding around the vicinity. The climb to Truchas is a real leg-breaker. And there was a nasty little loop just past Chimayo that we used to use for our club championships. Good times.

      • khal spencer Says:

        That loop through Chimayo and Cundiyo is stunning (NM503/NM76/and that little road connecting 503 to Chimayo). I keep meaning to do that loop.

        Best way I found to get from Santa Fe to Pojoaque is to ride on Paseo de Peralta to the Scottish Rites temple (temple??) and north onto Bishop’s Lodge Road to Tesuque. Keep on the same road, which becomes Tesuque Village Road, which goes a mile or so and hits NM84/285. From there you can ride the local access road alongside the 65 mph highway to Pojoaque. Good eats in Pojoaque. Go through there and hang a right towards Nambe (NM503) which hits NM76 and follow that through the leg breaker riding up to 8,000 feet at Truchas and then on to Penasco, where you hang a right on NM 75. NM 75 takes you to NM518, where a hard left gets you into another leg breaker over the range and then down into the Taos plains. Great on a motorcycle. I’ve yet to have the balls to ride it on the pedalbike. Some of the roads have zilch for shoulder, and a lot of traffic.

        IIRC, its about an 80 miler and a shitload of climbing.,Chimayo,+NM&gl=us&ei=wcw5U-iDM4eMyAH-04HABA&ved=0CIQBELYD

  6. md anderson Says:

    Alternate to getting to Pojoaque. Get to Ft Marcy Park however you can. Take Old Taos Highway up the hill, less traffic than Bishops Lodge Rd. Stay on the littlebike path next to the highway retaining wall. Turn left at the stop sign at the very top, cross the highway overpass and turn right onto the frontage road. Fast decent down to the stop sign at the Opera exit then right onti Tesuque Village road. Then follow Kahl’s directions above.

    Kahl. I rode from Pojoaque up to Chimayo last week. Brand new paved shoulder from 503 into the village proper. Pretty sweet. Anytime you want to come ride the loop let me know. Or even the climb to Truchas.

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