He went down, down, down

It’s all downhill from here.

Nope, I didn’t break the speed limit. I maxed out around 35 mph as I dropped from the top of Tramway to Roy, 4th, Guadalupe Trail, Alameda, and finally, the Paseo del Bosque.

As you know, I am a law-abiding fellow, and rarely in a hurry.

Last trip down I was on the Soma Saga (disc). This time I took the Soma Saga (canti), having finally toed the squeak out of the TRP RevoX brakes.

The TRP RevoX. You need a jillion Allen keys and a 13mm wrench to make this dog hunt. But hunt it does. I never had to Flintstone to a stop.

I’ve tried a bunch of brakes on this bike and hadn’t really liked any of ’em. Paul’s MiniMoto would be the shit, but cabling proved a little crowded with 38mm tires and fenders. And I was fresh out of my go-to stoppers, Paul’s Neo-Retro and Touring cantis, having shifted my last pair to the Voodoo Nakisi.

Happily, I had this set of TRPs idling around the garage, so on they went. A little fiddly for a half-assed mechanic to set up, and on our last outing they brayed like jackasses, but now they work and sound just fine. Still, when time and finance permit I’ll give some more money to my man Paul, just ’cause.

The bosque was nuts for a workday morning. Racer dudes and dudettes, recreational riders, e-bikers, recumbents, joggers, skaters, strollers, equestrians, even one grinning young woman aboard what I think was an ElliptiGO.

I had thought about doing the whole enchilada, continuing down past Rio Bravo and back around, but discretion proved the better part of valor. I hung a U at Interstate 40 and went back the way I came for a grand total of 47.8 miles, which felt about right.

As I rode up Roy toward the Tramway climb I saw a rara avis indeed — a triplet, barreling down toward the roundabout at 4th and Roy. I waved, and the dude in the middle waved back, but he looked like he’d rather have both hands on the bars and I can’t say I blame him. That was one crowded bike and like our “democracy” I imagine it demanded everyone’s attention and participation.

If you’re looking for them “Deep River Blues,” they’re off to the left, behind the cottonwoods, and they’re actually more of a brown.

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8 Responses to “He went down, down, down”

  1. Kat Holoch Says:

    I only did a couple road rides the entire time I lived in ABQ. Stuck to the mountain bike trails and dirt roads. The drivers were crazy and hostile, which coming from the Bay Area says a lot. It was enough for me to say “Nope” and stick to dirt. I only remember the Bosque Trail. I wonder if the rest of these trails were developed post-1998 after I left? Or perhaps I was out to lunch trying to graduate from UNM. At any rate, I looked at the City’s website and the trail system now looks really great! Gets you out for a long ride and don’t have to deal with any or too many cars!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Have you checked out the trails map? It’s pretty amazing. The trails aren’t all gorgeous — some run alongside diversion canals or through industrial areas, and you’ll see the usual litter and homeless camps.

      But yeah, you can get around by bike with minimal time spent on the mean streets, which remain mean. “Aggressively bad” is how we describe the typical ’Burque motorist. Distracted, drunk, drugged, and/or demented.

      A guy with a short fuse could get into a dozen fistfights a day here. Or maybe only one. Because he’d probably be bringing knuckles to a gunfight.

      The trails can be bad these days, too. Lots of aggro fatheads with double-boingers and no trail etiquette, and pedestrians with earbuds in and dogs off the leash. They don’t hear a bell, they don’t hear “On your left,” and then they jump out of their skin when you pass, no matter how much room you give them. These last should be chained to treadmills and compelled, under lash, to generate electricity (h/t Cactus Ed Abbey).

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        Damn I loves me a good fist fight. Sadly here in Michigan they just wanna use pistolas. Oh, read further and sounds same in Duke City. Oh well I know an old school roadhouse down by the Indiana border where you can throw punches around like crazy. There’s a pond out back where they’d toss you to cool down too.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Some of the dudes I used to run with Back in the Day® were very good at the throwing of hands. Me, not so much. Had to save them delicate digits for drawing and typing. Plus the girls liked the guys to have teefers and a snappy line of patter through same, along with beer money, weed, and the occasional dollop of Dumb Dust.

        Best fight I ever saw was by accident one night in Tucson, at some bucket o’ blood a few doors up Fourth from The Shanty, from which I was departing following my post-work constitutional.

        This big dude backed out the door real fast, followed by another even bigger dude, who threw the left and the right, and boom! Down went Backy Backupski, out like a light. Whisk whisk whisk goes the victor, dusting his paws together, before heading back in for another round.

  2. Charley Auer Says:

    Good music!

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

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