The Bernalillo Triangle

At the Triangle you can ride up to the Sandia Crest, if that's your idea of a good time. I haven't done it in about a quarter century.

At the Triangle you can ride up to the Sandia Crest, if that’s your idea of a good time. I haven’t done it in about a quarter century.

Remember that training ride I was contemplating, the one based on the old Watermelon Mountain Classic?

I rode the tail end of it yesterday on the Soma Saga (cantilever edition) and remembered one of the reasons I usually did poorly at the ‘Melon: inconsiderate motorists hogging the descent through Sandia Park-Cedar Crest to Tijeras.

There’s not much in the way of shoulder, and what there is is mostly covered with debris, and the traffic lanes are mostly covered with assholes. Plus there’s that one surprise climb just south of the Triangle that I always forgot about. But other than that, yeah, good times. Maybe not.

I did my recon as part of a 36-mile out-and-back from El Rancho Pendejo, and a mighty nice ride it was, too. There’s a sidewalk-slash-bike path on the climb from Interstate 40 to the Triangle, so a cyclist needn’t endure any buzzing on the way up. And since I was rocking 700x38mm Schwalbe Little Big Ben tires with goopy tubes the debris mostly wasn’t a problem. But damn, some folks need to get theyselfs reacquainted with they manners.

Anyway, now all I need to do is scope out the 25-mile section from Bernalillo to the Triangle and I’ll be ready to ride, just as soon as I get a rear-view mirror, a Glock G26, and some climbing legs.


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24 Responses to “The Bernalillo Triangle”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    And at a mere 740g loaded, not enough weight to slow you down on the climbs. About the same as a 24 oz water bottle.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Just don’t have one in the pipe in case you take a digger, hey? Road rash and a gunshot wound.

      • khal spencer Says:

        One would definitely want to figure out a way to carry the damn thing in a manner that would be safe in an endo. Probably ten in the magazine and an empty chamber.

        I’ve been told that a Glock can be dropped on the floor and it will not go off. Not so sure what happens when those double triggers get caught up in the lycra as one does a head stand.

        All kidding aside about packing heat on a bike, you live in Dodge City and I don’t.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        A quality small frame, double action revolver, .38 special, with a transfer bar like a Ruger SP-101. Small, light, trouble free, and safe. Doesn’t fire? Pull the trigger again.
        Back to reality. A quality pepper spray, for 4 legged and two legged problems, is all I have ever carried. I used it once on my morning commute years ago for a large aggressive dog that wouldn’t back off after a squirt from the water bottle. One spray and he took off. Never chased me again.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Speaking of rear view mirrors, I bought one of the Ortlieb Ultralight Mirrors from the ACA Cyclosource Store. Not sure where to mount it on a drop bar bike with bar end shifters. I don’t know if tightening the mount around the shift or brake cable housing will affect shifting or braking. Plus if you mount it just in front of the shifter, you have to orient the mirror vertically so it doesn’t interfere with using the drops.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, Pat, I have the same issue. I was thinking about maybe mounting it somewhere near (or even partially under) the brake-lever hoods. Check out the pix from Rivendell. Whaddaya think?

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        That seems like the best place to me. Just below the brake hood. No cables to pinch there. I’ll mount it there tomorrow and see how it works.
        Got to ride early as sliding patio door being replaced around 1100. Got one with the blinds built into the glass. Maybe I can go a few months without any house problems after this. Yea, right.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’m tellin’ ya, a van down by the river. That’s the ticket. All we need is the right van. And the right river.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Yep. van by the river.! Plus the Duffinator pulled a leg muscle, or messed up his knee, chasing a baby rabbit across the yard this morning. I’m riding early to get my head on straight for the rest of the day. If he is not better by noon or so, off to the vet where I give them my wallet and tell them “just take what you need.”

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      I used a rear-view mirror 40+ years ago attached to an old Bell Biker crash hat. When that went away so did the mirror. Over the years I’ve found a distinct cause/effect situation with mirrors – on the same road passed by the same traffic the mirror users have way more of the “Wow, that guy almost (or most certainly was going to) ran me off the road!” exclamations than non-mirror users.
      If some dolt texting on his dumb-phone is gonna clock me from behind, I doubt seeing his hood ornament just before it’s up my a__ is going to do me much good.

      • JD Dallager Says:

        Yeah….the problem with mirrors is that you tend to die tensed up.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        That’s what the guys at the LBS say. “If the cement truck’s going to get me, I don’t want to see it coming.” I do, and then perhaps I can do something about it in time.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Years ago, when I was just getting back into cycling again, a mirror may have saved my ass. I was riding back to Pueblo, on the broad shoulder of I-25, from the Pinon Truck Stop, when I saw an 18-wheeler in the mirror. Dude crossed the fog line and was heading right for my big ol’ butt.

        Well sir, I hit the ditch at some speed and the big rig zoomed right on past, smoothly reintegrating with the flow of traffic.

        I believe that sonofabitch was trying to clip me, and without the mirror, I’d never have seen it coming. No Fat Guy cartoons. No Foaming Rants. Just a really short obit, a big grease stain on the interstate and a couple of pissed-off dope dealers and bartenders who never got caught up.

        That said, I haven’t tried to use a mirror in years. The helmet jobs seem distracting and largely useless (I wear RX lenses under my cycling shades) and the bar-end sort don’t work if you have a bar-end shifter plugging the hole.

        But this thing looks interesting, and the motorists here are all psychotic, so I think I’ll give ‘er a whirl and report back to yis.

        “You tend to die tensed up.” Hee, and also haw.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Exactly right – just like the helmet that “saved my life” while of course there’s no identical crash without the styrofoam hat to compare it with.
        Same with cancer screenings…the old “they caught it just in time” despite the statistics that say they’re mostly a waste of time and money.
        The wife’s other phrase I like is “people believe what makes them feel good”…and all you need to do is watch video of a Trump rally to see proof!

  3. sherkat Says:

    Jeebus. I did the Sandia Crest race a couple of imes. I finished once…..the other time a storm blew up as we came over mailbox hill and they cancelled the race….

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I did the Sandia Crest time trial at least once, starting at the Doc Long campground if memory serves. As was my practice, I failed to impress. Ditto the Santa Fe Hill Climb. Too much gravity, not enough comedy. Unless you were watching me climb, which must’ve looked awfully funny. Still does.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I don’t even want anyone to see me climb any more. Unless it is on the K1100RS.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        They need to put on some downhill time trials so the guys (like me) with that “descending muscle” can have an advantage. Read somewhere that Mara Abbott lost the women’s Giro d’Italia due to time losses on a tricky descent despite her gains going up. I’ve never understood why cyclists turn all that free speed into hot brake pads and rims when they work so hard to be fast going up?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I think all you old throttle-twisters have an advantage over the rest of us when it comes to bike handling. All the moto dudes I know go downhill faster than a surplus in Republican hands. Me, on the rare occasion that I actually gained ground on a climb, I always gave it back and then some on the descent. No faith in friction.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        My auto brake response comes on around 35 mph these days. Used to be higher; it will probably get lower. We shall see when I come down Mule Mountain out of Bisbee on next month’s ride. We paced the women’s peloton down that descent at 57 mph working neutral support at the last Vuelta de Bisbee.

      • Larry T Says:

        Except the wife, who never rode anything except a tiny mini-bike once or twice as a child, can drop most anyone (including me now and then when the roads are tight and bumpy and the speeds less than 60 kph) on a descent with some turns in it.
        She was already good at this long before I came along, making up plenty of time in bike races on those who would drop her on the climbs back-in-the-day.
        Both of us find straight-line speed rather boring, you get tired of trying to tuck in as much as possible while watching the speedometer. I went 100 kph once, it’s not all that fun in and of itself.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I think the fastest I ever descended was over 60 mph on my 1990’s vintage Cannondale, coming down Bobcat Pass back into Red River at the end of the Red River Century Tour for the first time. There is a deceptive sweeping right hander, and it occurred to me halfway through it that I was really taunting the Grim Reaper. Managed to stay in my lane and didn’t even soil the chamois. My more recent bikes handle better, and I am more throughtful during these long mountain descents.

  4. sherkat Says:

    As a flatlander I’m scared shitless of the descents. I hate the new industry trend of disc brakes (especially on cross bikes, which don’t really need much braking), but I have to admit when I descended Santa Fe from Pacheco on a newfangled disc brake cross bike my hands didn’t hurt at the bottom and my chammy was clean.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Shit, did you folks see this? Looked to me like she straightened up and tried to brake in the sharp right hand curve. Larry??

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