Sailing over the Sandias

It was a warmish, slightly humid day, which must be fine for flying.

I was running through here earlier in the day and never thought to look up. Mostly I look down, for tarantulas, buzzworms and drunken Republicans.

This afternoon I cranked up the Vespa for a short runaround, just to keep the battery topped off, and as I putt-putted toward the Menaul trailhead I noticed orange windsocks fluttering in the parking lot.

Looking up, I saw a hang glider cutting didoes over the foothills, so I pulled over and snapped a couple pix with the old Canon S110.

Looks like fun, doesn’t it? But so does riding a cyclocross bike on Sandia singletrack, until you have that unexpected get-off.

There are lots of pointy bits down here on Planet Albuquerque, and as luck would have it I found one while running through this very area this morning.

A terrorist shrub stabbed me in the left shoulder blade with a broken limb as I lumbered through a rocky patch on Trail 365, my gaze focused on the water-scoured trail, which is studded with toe-grabbers, ankle-twisters and face-planters.

Maybe I would have been safer aloft. We’ll never know. I don’t even get big air on the bike.

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17 Responses to “Sailing over the Sandias”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I hope the wound was minor and required no bandages. Thanks for the new word, didoes.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Nevertheless, I persisted.

      “Didoes” is a good word. I can’t remember when or where I originally stumbled across it. Even Merriam-Webster is vague on its etymology. But I’m pretty sure that I first heard it in relation to aviation.

  2. JD Dallager Says:

    Ditto here….and always keep your SA (situational awareness) high!

    Hard to do when there are so many threats out there at our ages!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I have pretty good peripheral vision, but it must have taken yesterday off. It didn’t help that I usually run this loop counterclockwise; yesterday I reversed direction.

      I’m gonna toddle back over there today with some pruning shears and clean up that shrub. I expect some mountain biker got tagged and did a little meatball surgery on it.

  3. SteveO’D Says:

    They do say, flying is safer than driving, by orders of orders of orders of magnitude. But then again, when you crash, you technically aren’t flying anymore, so maybe that skews the results a wee bit.

  4. Herb from Michigan Says:

    While I miss gunning it down a gnarly single track route I don’t miss the emergency room visits. I started doing stand up paddling to replace the anti-gravity defying thrills of mountain biking and alpine skiing. That way when I crash it’s a soft (albeit wet) landing. However SUP has very hard landings in winter here once the H2O changes to ice. Nordic skiing the better alternative. I find as I get older if I don’t mix upper body activity with cycling, I seize up like a 2-cycle engine on ethanol mixture. WTF he’s talking about? I made the bad mistake of using ethanol blended fuel in several chain saws and trimmers which made them useless over time. Don’t want that to happen to ME! Well…..not yet anyway.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I used to get some upper body via swimming, but I pretty much gave that up back in the early Nineties. Too many years in the pool, covering that same 25 meters over and over and over again, and anyway cycling had totally rearranged my body so I was using these skinny arms to drag those big legs through the water. It felt like drowning delayed, is what.

      I’ve been in and out of the gym since, but I hate indoor exercise in general and gyms in particular. I like being outdoors.

      We had a home gym at the place outside Weirdcliffe, a Parabody deal with all the bells and whistles, but I got most of my upper-body workouts there via your two-cycle amusements mentioned above (a woodstove demands a certain amount of manual labor, and if Manuel isn’t available, why, then you have to do it).

      We did a bit of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing there, too, but winters in Colorado became increasingly irregular and we couldn’t count on there being snow in the ’hood; not enough for playtime, anyway. Since I hate driving to chichi ski resorts even more than indoor exercise, those winter activities sort of drifted away.

      Lately I’ve been lifting again, using dumbbells (how appropriate, que no?) and a cheapo Marcy bench. I’ve only been back at it since August, three days a week, but it feels like it might stick this time. I lift on the days I run, and the total time spent exercising is about as long as a decent bike ride.

      I still find it vaguely irksome, but then so is a trip to the dentist.

  5. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Indoor exercise? Ugh..well, more like UGH. And now that summer is over on the soon-to-be-frozen plains of Iowa, double UGH. I’m down to one bike, one too good to clamp into a trainer or bash around on dirt, so I’m close to climbing onto an old Nordic-Trak since there’s really no fall here. But in a month I (he typed, hopefully) should be in Sicily riding outside without wearing every piece of cycling clothing I own or getting blown sideways while being sandblasted as well 🙂

  6. larry brown Says:

    when winter hits here on the north coast of Ca. I will be doing ZWIFT

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