Bear with me

It’s all downhill from here. That itty bitty green stripe in the distance is the bosque.

More distraction: Sick of being a spectator at our latest national disaster, I hightailed it to the hills yesterday.

It was a short ride, just 25 miles, but a hilly one, meandering up and down the foothills streets before tackling the star of the show, the short, steep climb to La Cueva picnic grounds.

There’s bears in them thar hills.

The road surface is what we like to call “heavy,” which is to say the chip-seal is mostly thick tar and old boulders. But the views are pretty damn’ fine and well worth the effort to get there.

School having started, there was mostly no one at La Cueva but me. One young gent, who was backpacking his kid up and down the trails, said he was maintaining a wildlife camera up there. He’s getting plenty of bear pix, but no cougars. Might check the bars down by the university, I thought.

The lack of cougars aside, it was nice to take a break from that ruptured sewer line disguised as the news that leads to my MacBook, and thence to the overworked leach field in my head.

And speaking of news, let’s: I can write all day long about the walking, talking Superfund site farting Mickey D’s into the ordinarily rarified atmosphere of the Oval Office like some malignant tuba, but you folks can get better, smarter stuff elsewhere, and plenty of it, too. I’m starting to feel as though we already enjoy an overabundance of words on this topic and rather than picking the scab over and over again we might be better served by taking action to resolve the problem.

So what do you come here for? Politics? Bike stuff? General yuks? Filthy language? Pet pix? Let me know your preferences in comments. But do keep in mind that it’s my shop, and I’m likely to stock many of my favorite products no matter what the customers crave.


31 Responses to “Bear with me”

  1. Keith Willy Says:

    i appreciate your commentary on politics, bikes and things in general. Like the yuks.

  2. Carl Duellman Says:

    you cover a lot of ground on your blog and i’m happy to read whatever you write but i am pretty much over politics at this point. i can’t even listen to the news anymore so i pick up the new york times once a week and dose myself slowly. i enjoy the ride reports and photos. i enjoy the bike reviews and non-bike related commentary as well. the music, literature and food posts are also nice. i appreciate anyone that can string words together (about biking or whatever) and make it coherent and entertaining. i can imagine you’re getting burned out. thanks for your efforts.

  3. Steve O Says:

    Short ride, just 25 miles, or about 24 miles longer than I’m riding these days.

    But the times they are a-changing. The 7 year old got a 20″ six-speed for her birthday, so trying to be patient while she tries to remember which gadget does the brakes and which one does the gears. I’m hoping her attitude is contagious, watching her grin as she locks up the rear and makes skid marks on the sidewalk. Forty-six pounds of unbridled curiosity and self-confidence.

    The wife surprised me by initiating the conversation about getting a new hitch rack. The old Yakima went with the Soobie when we traded it in, haven’t had a rack for too many years since I could never figure out how to get the youngest ones tricycle on one. Best part is, I thought I’d have to start with a bare bones basic rack, but turns out everyone thinks I’m too old to hoist a bike up too high, so she’s looking at a 4 to 6 bike mount that swings out of the liftgate’s way.

    So things are looking up here, national current events not withstanding.

    Why do I have MDM bookmarked? The all-of-the-above approach. Never a dull moment here, always something new to talk about. Besides, I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like bikes, pets, or good food, and especially don’t trust anyone who thinks what’s passing as normal in Wash DC should be tolerated.

    > >

  4. gary burnette Says:

    Ditto Mr. Steve O. there… I came to find you through your fabulous cartoon strip in a trade magazine in the bike shop with the “Old Guys Who Get Fat in the Winter” dude pestering the shop owners. Love to see some more of that but your “rants” are uplifting, prescient, and very much appreciated — DO CARRY ON!!

  5. Libby Says:

    I come here for all of it, including the cooking. You can put the ingredients into the punch bowl. Thank you so much for removing a comment that belonged in a different bowl yesterday. It was sickening. I saw it on my second visit and immediately left. Later, I peeked in and it was gone. And a fourth time to make sure I was in the right place.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That gentleman has been barred from the premises, Libby. He finally got all the rope he needed to hang himself.

      Funny thing. In all the years I’ve been doing this I’ve only banned two commenters. It’s not something I do lightly.

      • Libby Says:

        You had thoughtfully responded (to xx) on several occasions. I remember you delivered a mild but firm caution early on. Thanks.

  6. Sharon Says:

    Love bicycling, bikes, bike trips, bike friends, bike memories, cats, dogs, other animals, people, laughter, nature, lakes, streams, oceans, mountains, music, good writing, films, doing the right things, equality…good with the salty language on occasion…

    I’m good with it all…don’t care for people or their rants who want a pecking order based on race, creed, color, sex, religion, etc. Every person deserves same weight and opportunity. But I do absolutely believe in hard work, no matter what you do. Put in the work – it makes a difference.

  7. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I think you are doing a first rate job on content. What could make it better for me? Meeting some of the folks that gather here in person.

    • Carl Duellman Says:

      maybe we can all meet at the inaugural maddog grande fondo.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Tell me when and where, and I’ll be there, especially if it’s in Duke City. Riding with Señor Mad Dog is fun and interesting, and I would do it again at the drop of a cycling cap, and I’ll drop the cap. I would help organize it and buy the first round.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Maybe what we need is a gran fondue. Cycling, camaraderie and cookery, all in one big pot.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          I wonder how many of your wonderful readers would come?

          • JD Dallager Says:

            This 70-year old vet, cyclist, MTB’er, kiddo-lover, animal-lover, nature-lover, wannabe PO’G-quality literary talent/philosopher/curmudgeon/cyclist extraordinaire/chile-lover/et al would!! ABQ/Duke City sounds really good in early Spring 2018!!

            Time to put faces and graces to the names and pseudonyms!

            Would need to be a “no-effort” rendezvous for PO’G and Herself….just a time and location for us all to join, meet, rejoice, and celebrate our common passions.

  8. David Rees Says:

    You’re right, there are many sites to go to for very good political commentary – Pierce at Esquire, three or four really fine writers at the Atlantic for example, but as Steve O says I think most of us come here for the variety of topics, your way with words, the humor, and for me, the excellent comments from your readers; there are some very smart, intelligent folks contributing here.

    The links you provide to music and other well written and thoughtful articles are a big bonus as well.

    I can appreciate how much time and effort you put into your posts; I can only hope you don’t get burned out from the effort and will continue to make us laugh and think.

  9. Pat O'Brien Says:

    They say birds will stop tweeting during the total solar eclipse. You don’t think someone else will stop tweeting, do you? Nah.

  10. katholoch Says:

    I come for it all, but particularly for the humor and the goings on in the Heights. I lived in ABQ from 1994-98 and did a lot of mountain biking and hiking in the Sandias. Today was particularly memorable. I remember the road up to La Cueva, steep and surface as you describe. I did a couple hikes to the crest, taking the tram down for a loop. Once up the La Cueva, and once up the Pino Trail. I wasn’t able to make ABQ work for me, but I did get some good biking and hiking in while there.

  11. Ira Says:

    OG, I’ve been a fan since your “Foaming Rant” days. I appreciate your sense of humor and sense of humanity. I’ve got time for anyone with an open mind and compassion for fellow human beings, regardless of creed, colour or religion. You keep being you and I’ll keep coming back to this blog.

  12. Jane B. Says:

    You can write. I love your combo of rage and humor. You make me laugh. You are helping me get through the horrors with your passion and respect for music, pets, landscape, food, herself. If you can live through these times and still laugh, so can I. Please keep writing and I’ll keep visiting the shop. Thank you!

  13. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Thanks to all for your kind words and for copping to what you enjoy about the joint. I’m not planning on hanging it up anytime soon, but I don’t think I’ve been giving it my best lately. Frankly, this mess in DeeCee has me talking to myself.

    Barbara W. Tuchman put it concisely in “The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam,” noting: “Mankind, it seems, makes a poorer performance of government than of almost any other human activity.”

    With that in mind, I’ll strive to add more cycling, cartoons, comedy and cookery to the mix. Last month was too bloody hot for serious cooking, but I cranked out a fine mess of pasta al cavolfiore from “The Moosewood Cookbook” the other day, so I’m back on that horse.

  14. Stan Thomas Says:

    I am, of course, an outsider looking in and trying to understand Americans. It’s always interesting to read your thoughts and doings. We’re about the same age and have strikingly similar backgrounds, although I lack your literary talents and the desire to share a story. So, steady as she goes please.

  15. Says:

    Carry on with your passions. Keep us informed of what both bothers and delights you. A wonderful mix.

  16. Herb Clevenger Says:

    Crisp salute and a “carry on” from me Patrick in regards to your blog content. However, in a very naive moment I wished the entire world would ignore Adolph Trump for a solid 30 days. Pretend he doesn’t exist and that the Presidency is currently vacant (yeah I know it seems like it). Even noxious weeds in the garden wither and die without sunlight and water. And we are Adolph Trumps life giving sustainance when we go on and on about him. I have not and never will acknowledge him as my President. But by talking about him or even reading about his latest crimes I am simply fueling his ego. So how’s about 30 Trump Free Days on the blog? There are plenty of other political things to skewer, poke fun at or seriously consider. Glad you banned that dude. It wasn’t so much his politics that got to me but he rarely made coherent sense.

  17. DownhillBill Says:

    All of the above, your status as a Grandmaster of Snark not the least of it. You’ve created a little oasis of relative sanity in the desert (all puns intended), for a remarkably like-minded but varied group of people I’d love to meet in the real world, preferably on a bike, of course. (I did run into Larry & Heather on the street at the World Championships, too bad you couldn’t have hustled someone into sending you to cover the event.)

    Your photography is also an attraction – your territory looks like another planet to this denizen of the eastern woodlands.
    BTW the texture of that road surface shows up appallingly well in the photo. Compared to here, though, that’s a remarkably long stretch with no potholes .

  18. Dale E Brigham Says:

    Patrick, I feel it is a true blessing from God that you have graced us with your presence. The highest honor in my life is to be a humble contributor to your blog. Your glory and wisdom sweetly permeates the ether and bathes us like unto a gentle balm.

    OK, I will save that blather for the unlikely event that the Dear Leader appoints me to his cabinet. You are my go-to for wit, wisdom, and snark. Oh, and the recipes. And the political links. The bike stuff is nice, too.

    Comrade O’Grady, we will live to bury our enemies (in green chile and queso fresco!).

    Comrade Dale, Lieutenant, Mid-Missouri Regiment, Mad Blog Insurgency (Retired)

  19. Peter Polack Says:

    It’s YOUR blog so do as you wish. I just enjoy the smorgasbord.

  20. A new dawn | Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] particularly liked Herb’s notion of going 30 days without a post mentioning … well, you know. That […]

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