La Ruta Reducido

From left: Pat O’B, Your Humble Narrator and Khalil S. “The boys regret their apparel selection as they begin their prison sentences. It seems they will be targeted by the harder criminals.” | Photo and caption by Herb C.

La Ruta del Rancho Pendejo 2018 is receding in the helmet mirror, the weather gods having decreed that stage two would not proceed as scheduled.

Stage one, a pan-flat, 33-mile out-and-back on the Paseo del Bosque, went off without a hitch, unless you count hunting parking spaces at the Alameda trailhead. Hijo, madre, etc. It was like looking for honesty in DeeCee. I usually bicycle down to the bosque trail, so this was a new experience for me, and I devised my very own parking space, where I imagine no one had parked before.

With the heavy machinery docked, properly and otherwise, Pat O’B., Herb C., Khalil S. and I set sail with a few hundred thousand of our closest friends (save for you, dear readers) for what I and the weatherperson anticipated would be a hideously hot, wind-scoured ride. Not so much. It turned out right nice. Even our handlebar bells were in sync, pealing out nuggets of harmony as we overtook our brethren and sistren in heavy traffic.

From left: Pat O’B, Your Humble Narrator and Herb C. The South Diversion Channel Trail, says the city’s description of the bosque tour, “provides impressive views of an industrial portion of Albuquerque,” if you happen to be feeling industrious. | Photo by Khalil S.

For some reason I never remember to unlimber the camera on these deals, mostly being preoccupied with bullshittery, so we have no “pro” images of the four of us from the Canon PowerShot S110 and its convenient timer for hands-free photography.

Happily, Khal and Herb weren’t shy about pulling out their phones for a few snaps, so we have proof that we were on the bikes and not barstools. At these precise moments, anyway.

Afterward we lunched at Casa de Benavidez on 4th, and then I sped off to the Duke City airport to fetch Herself home from a jaunt to Colorado while the lads amused themselves elsewhere.

I had planned to snap a few candids of the crew on today’s mountain-bike ride, especially if anyone wound up plucking cactus thorns from their bibs, but the planet had other ideas.

Between fires, high winds, and impending heavy rain and/or hail, we agreed to employ the better part of valor, which is to say “discretion.”

At long last, rain. My fault: I washed and lubed the bicycle I intended to ride today.

We might have been able to pull off a quick hour on the trails — by noon, the gods had huffed and puffed to no particular effect — but there ain’t many places to hide in the upper reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert when they finally start tossing the icewater and electricity around and about.

So Pat scurried off home to Sierra Vista, Khal remained in Fanta Se, and Herb headed north to inspect The Arts so that he might tell the wife he’d done something of merit over the weekend. Me? I caught up on news and chores. The party never stops.

Next year we might shift the Ruta north to Khal’s neighborhood. There’s plenty of cycling to be done in our old hometown, lots of top-shelf grub, and The Arts aplenty in case any of yis tilt in that direction.

Finally, thanks to Pat, Khal and Herb for joining me, and another round of happy-birthday wishes to Pat, who celebrated his 69th with us.




23 Responses to “La Ruta Reducido”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    …and that picture is further proof that I need to lose some weight.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Check out the Crypt-Keeper in the red and black. I didn’t even know he rode.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Patrick O’G is the skinny one.

    • DownhillBill Says:

      Dude, you need to *gain* some weight or we’ll have to repossess that jersey. Our leader is looking downright anorexic also and too.

      Would have loved to join y’all, but the 1800 mile drive to the start sounded like a bit much.

      Last weekend as we finished a ride (involving 2 ferry rides, beer on a deck overlooking a marina, and Michael Vick’s former kennels) a guy rolled up to the start wearing an original yellow FG jersey. This led to some glee etc. as I was wearing the new Fat Guy one, which is my second. He admitted that when he got the jersey it took a while to grow into it. We both expressed puzzlement over their availability in any size smaller than Large.

      Oh, and happy b’day Pat!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The sizes below Large are for juniors. Think of them as the fashion equivalent of restricted gears.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Thanks Bill!

        With family in Illinois and Kentucky, I hear you on the 1800 miles. I had to drive 430 to get home, and it whupped my old ass. I think my cross country driving days are over. It’s not much fun anymore.

  2. Libby Says:

    Thanks for the photos of the squad. Sounds like a good time had by all and a nice way to celebrate a birthday! Happy Birthday, Pat!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We should have snapped a couple in the scenic bits. But the ride leader was too busy goofing off to work. Who hired that dude, anyway?

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Thanks Libby! I can’t think of a better birthday present that riding with those guys on the Paseo del Bosque. Perhaps you can join us next year. Too much fun, if you can put up with a little toro poo poo.

  3. SteveO’D Says:

    I can hear the boys in D Block now:

    Hey boy! You’re looking mighty fine in those peejays. Let me show you an alternative use of White Lightening.

    Too bad Johnny Cash is no longer with us. He’d do a benefit show for ya in a heart beat.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    And if we do head towards Fanta Se, some of the views are damn nice.

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Nice meeting yu Khal, finally. As for the view, I’d buy that for a dollar!

  6. Merrill Says:

    An Arts Ride. I like that approach.

    Well done gents.


  7. khal spencer Says:

    So in lieu of that ride and between chores, I put a set of 44 cm Salsa Cowbells on that La Cruz I rode on Saturday as the bars on that bike always felt a little cramped. Hopefully get to try it out today after work. The bar tape I found in the garage parts box looks like it came over on the Mayflower, so I will probably have to retape soon but that’s OK since I’ll probably fiddle with the brake/shifter positions, too.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’m doing likewise with my favorite Steelman Eurocross, K. It still sports a 40cm (center to center) Cinelli Eubios from my glory days and that’s way too skinny for comfort on singletrack. I’m at 44cm on everything else.

      The eight-speed Shimano 600 STI is coming off, too, and I’ll be going to a scarred set of 105 aero levers and bar-cons for that 19th-century look. Soon, the ironic facial hair, bespoke hemp knickers and sandalwood jersey (made it out of my own sandals).

      With a 44cm Soma Highway One bar installed all I’ll need is the legs to drive that 36×28 on the steeps. I wonder where I can buy those. …

    • Herb from Michigan Says:

      Still think you should have swapped socks with POB cause his matched your bike nicely. He needed silver socks anyway to complement his fine ride.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Hi Herb, good to meet you. Next time, we might have to do a jersey for the occasion. Call it the Rancho Pendejo to Concertina Wire Not Timed Trial.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Those test dummy socks were a little faded. I wear very bright jerseys and socks so if some distracted dipshit runs me off the road, I can wear them to their day in court. I will stand in front of the jury and say, “Can you see me now?”

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