Milestones

Your Humble Narrator logging some trail miles during 2019.

I awarded myself a day off yesterday, which is no way to jump-start a new year.

Did Albuquerque’s evildoers take some well-deserved downtime after a blue-ribbon year that saw them crush the old record for homicide by 10 stiffs (72 in 2017)? They did not. They got right back after it in the wee hours of New Year’s Day, dropping a body on the northwest side, after a New Year’s Eve in which APD took 146 “shots fired” calls.

Me, I didn’t even clear leather. I puttered around the shack, wandered over to the grocery to acquire a bit of this, that, and the other, whipped up a largish pot of simple posole, and updated a few stats in the old training log from 2019.

It seems I covered 3,704.6 miles last year aboard various bikes, continuing a steady upward progression from 2016, when I managed just 2,354.1 miles.

This is far from impressive. Back in 1989, when I was a man, instead of whatever it is that I am now, I rode 6,725 miles. Booyah! Big number, yeah?

No. Not really. Not when you consider that Gary Fisher tallied 6,500 miles in 2019. And he’s 69.

So I’d better get back after it. But not today. Today looks like light snow, with a high in the 30s and a brisk northwest wind.

Maybe a short trail run? I wonder how many miles The Fish’ ran in 2019. …

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38 Responses to “Milestones”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    I pulled a muscle in my side moving a couch over the holidays. So I took yesterday off the bike since it was damn cold and windy up here. I’m a wimp.

  2. JD Dallager Says:

    Banged out 0+50 on the indoor trainer yesterday. 🙂

    More importantly, whenever I start focusing on mileage, I remind my self that it’s not the size of the pen/mileage, but the style with which one writes/rides! 🙂

    Quality vs. quantity, blah, blah, blah. Stay safe and healthy, ride strong!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      O, the trainer. The man is a bear for the suffering so.

      It’s amazing how easily you can get distracted by digits. I look at a 12-mile ride and snort, then read the deets: It was on a cyclocross bike, on singletrack, on a subfreezing day.

      Well, OK, then. …

  3. katholoch Says:

    I don’t know… sounds like you are doing pretty good. Consistency is key.
    Is violence really that bad in ABQ? I remember some stuff when I lived there, but I was absorbed with school and my access to news was more along the lines of listening to KUNM in the drive to campus. After I left, I remember a friend telling me that Cops was filmed there a lot.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’m doing OK, for sure. I lost a solid week to a gut bug, and I always tend to sort of drift away from long rides as the weather cools down. It’s all good. Except for the gut bug, of course.

      The numbers make ABQ look pretty bad, when the cops aren’t cooking the books, as they have been. And it’s hard to get any real idea of the story behind the story because the local blat rarely follows up on the initial dead-body short, unless the DB is a cop’s mom.

      That said, I’ve read a couple truly insane pieces about teens killing other teens over $40 drug debts. That’s not a news nugget that the Chamber of Commerce sends out with its tourism brochures.

  4. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Damn ABQ makes Detroit look like the French Riviera. For the most part is it thugs shooting thugs? Or is it a northern version of Mexico’s cartel picture? Either way it also sounds like the gun culture is BIG in the Southwest. Meanwhile here in Michigan the DNR is whining cause they can’t sell enough hunting licenses. Who wants to sit in a cold, wet deer blind when they can just drive through a neighborhood and shoot at houses with children in them. Or so it seems.
    Lord I’d love to see gun control on a major scale…

  5. Michael Porter Says:

    🥳 Happy New Year!

    What app do you use to track your activity? Hello 👋 to Shannon

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      HNY back atcha, Miguelito. I just keep a training diary with a running tally on the Mac, in Pages. I should set it up as a spreadsheet, but I’ve been journaling since 1974 and old habits die hard.

      • SAO' Says:

        Best was to track mileage is with a Fitbit. Cuz if you’re short for the week, you can loop it through your neighbors dog’s collar and then open the gate. (I would have said, tie it to your cat’s collar, but then it tends to return negative mileage .)

  6. Dale Says:

    Re: Milestones…
    In the great state it doesn’t take an evil doer, all it takes is one asshole with a gun trying to have fun on New Years.

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Nurse-killed-by-stray-bullet-during-New-Year-s-14943880.php

  7. Libby Says:

    Gary Fisher was briefly interviewed in a ‘cross feature that was shown between the women’s and men’s races at the GP Sven Nys yesterday. He was wearing masses of (fake) ermine and a massive gold crown that complimented his elaborate facial hair. He still managed to look like an easy, low maintenance guy. The King was in his off-road element and waiting for the next entertainment on two wheels to begin. I imagine he strips off the furs and crown and slips into something less comfortable to ride his stable of steeds.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      He’s still a bike-riding fool, Libby, no matter what he’s wearing. I’ve had the chance to chat with him a time or two, even raced with him once at a cyclocross I was running in Bibleburg. He was enough of a gent to let me finish ahead of him.

  8. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I guess Duke City hasn’t got enough good guys with guns. More guns gottabee the answer.

    I have other things to do in a day, so I am happy when I bust 2000 miles a year. But, I quit keeping track of miles 2 years ago, and took the computers off my bikes in May of 2019. For myself, the numbers were getting in the way of the fun and distracting me during the ride. I probably got about 1500 in this year, but that is just a guess. Patrick, your mileage this year is impressive considering you were also working, helping with the housework, cooking, shopping, taking care of critters and on and on. You know, life. So, good on ya, and 3700 miles would be excellent for anyone save a pro racer! It is also the reason you have to run around in the shower to get wet. When you turned sideways at the SF century last May, Khal and I thought you disappeared.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Speaking of the Santa Fe Century, any takers this year?

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Andy can’t make it this year. I’m still a question mark. I haven’t been on the bike in almost 3 weeks. That shit has to change if I am going to do 50 at 7100 feet again.

        Herb, are you planning on riding in May? How about it JD and Libby?

        • JD Dallager Says:

          Paddy me Boyo: Thanks for the kind invite; but I haven’t ridden a road bike in 5 years (too many close calls with distracted or irate drivers) — it’s all MTB now — and I’ll be riding with our high school (NICA) MTB team then. Or, more accurately, trying to keep up with the JV team. I figure, at my age of 73, they have about a 55-heartbeats-per-minute advantage!! 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ho, wait until Sharon weighs in with her tally. I bet she’s up in the 7K range.

      It’s too early for me to be thinking about May centuries. But as I recall, Sandy and Pat were thinking it might be nice if they weren’t the ones doing all the driving next time around.

      Mebbe something in the way of a training camp in Fountain Hills might be in order. Or a ride around Tucson, if they get their dern mountain lions under control. I don’t care to get et in mid-ride, thanks all the same.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        You are correct Patrick. Driving 500 miles, riding, then driving 500 miles back home was a little tough. Our schedule was driven by Andy’s timetable. Any of the alternatives you suggested would be good. But, if some of the folks who hang here want to do the SF century rides, we might show up, and would stay a little longer. Like you say, let’s get a little closer to May before we decide.

  9. khal spencer Says:

    Albuquerque is a shooter’s paradise. Drugs, gangs, low educational levels, mental illness, anger issues, cultural mores stressing macho shit, a revolving door criminal justice system that plays catch and release with felons, and…guns. Lotsa guns. What could possibly go wrong?

    Its often thugs shooting other thugs, but if you get caught in the crossfire, cut someone off accidentally in traffic, or just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, it sucks to be you. A few years ago I was driving down Zuni Ave. and slowed, waved, and smiled to let some guy cross the street in front of our car. The guy started screaming at me like a madman. He probably was. I found out later that the area around Zuni Ave is called the “war zone” in Albuquerque.

    We have over a thousand members in the gun club in Los Alamos, a town of 12,000. Its been years since anyone took a shot in anger at someone in BombTown. With good jobs and a high standard of living, people have better things to do than crime. You can’t have social dysfunction and guns and not expect it to be analogous to matches and gasoline.

    David Yamane, who is a sociologist at Wake Forest Univ., has studied American gun culture. He maps out a change in gun culture from stuff like hunting and target shooting, which are now in decline, to today’s emphasis on self defense. I’m not averse to self defense, but when Maslow’s Handgun comes into play, what can you expect? I think we have become a very angry and nasty nation.

    • khal spencer Says:

      People I know at the club don’t pull this shit.

      https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/apd-investigates-shooting-in-northwest-albuquerque/

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      From the Journal‘s New Year’s shooting story. Just after midnight, near San Mateo and Gibson:

      According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, an officer heard multiple gunshots and then saw 29-year-old Dominica Zamora hide a silver handgun in her jacket as she walked away.

      Zamora admitted to being a convicted felon and said she’d bought the silver handgun, and another gun concealed on her left ankle, on the street, Gallegos said.

      Both of those guns had been reported stolen.

      Zamora was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center and charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, two counts of receiving a stolen firearm and unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon.

      Twenty-nine. Convicted felon. Two hot guns. Let’s see how long she stays in lockup.

      • khal spencer Says:

        She’s probably out on bail by the time you read that. Remember, its New Mexico.

        Boyo, you folks in the Duke City don’t let any grass grow under your Modified Weaver Stance, do you?

        I ran into former APD Chief Gordon Eden once on a plane trip from Chicago back to Albuquerque and he told me theft of firearms was a big issue in the Duke City. So I suggested to Prof. Daniel Webster, the head of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, that we, as policy, give tax breaks to people to buy gun safes or car lock boxes since like my solar panels on the Bombtown house, they are in the public good. He was snotty in return and said it was up to gun owners to buy their own fuckin’ safes (my translation, not his exact words, but the snark was there).

        It seems that in all this polarization with the gun and anti-gun folks shitting on each other, we should take a time out on the food fight and agree is that its not a good idea to have people stealing your guns and selling them to felons. Secure storage in high crime areas when the gun is not in use makes sense and would undoubtedly pass legal muster. Sweetening the pot with a tax gift makes sense too. Carrots and sticks.

        But nah. Let’s just keep throwing the mashed potatoes back and forth across the room.

        • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

          I gotta question whether my tax money should be used to help folks buy things to keep things that I consider more-or-less useless under lock-and-key. Are we gonna pay for fencing to keep large vicious dogs away from the public next?
          I’d be happy if some of my tax money was used for a gun buy-back program, but that’s all. I hate it enough already that so much is wasted on the f–king Pentagon budget each year. Which begs the question as to why these so-called religious folks can skip paying for stuff like contraception?

          • khal spencer Says:

            Also, a few other differences between here and Oz. 1. No constitutional issues. 2. Their homicide rate was already far lower than ours and in a long term decline; they are just a less violent people. 3. Buyback probably prevented more mass shootings but hardly a change in slope in their homicide rate before/after the Port Arthur law.

            https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/40534/

            GUN LAWS AND SUDDEN DEATH

            Did the Australian Firearms Legislation of 1996 Make a Difference?

            JEANINE BAKER and SAMARA MCPHEDRAN*
            BRIT. J. CRIMINOL. (2007) 47, 455–469

            Mass murders in Dunblane, United Kingdom, and Port Arthur, Australia, provoked rapid responses from the governments of both countries. Major changes to Australian laws resulted in a
            controversial buy-back of longarms and tighter legislation. The Australian situation enables evaluation of the effect of a national buy-back, accompanied by tightened legislation in a country with relatively secure borders. AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) was used to predict
            future values of the time series for homicide, suicide and accidental death before and after the 1996 National Firearms Agreement (NFA). When compared with observed values, firearm suicide was the only parameter the NFA may have influenced, although societal factors could also have influenced observed changes. The findings have profound implications for future firearm legislation policy direction.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Good point. But I have to ask why the Feddle Gubbmint and New Mexico should pay to put solar panels on a McMansion festooned with SUVs that pisses away more energy than half of an African nation. Its a matter of balancing individual rights with finding ways to reduce risk, whether with renewable energy or ensuring people keep their shit locked up.

          If I were dictator, I’d put a maximum size on homes and cars that use fossil fuels and mandate gun safes unless you lived in Backwater, Montana. Lacking all-powerful authority, tt minimum, I’d suggest making gun safes tax exempt.

          Sadly, gun buyback programs appear to have a minimal impact on gun crime; they are mostly symbolic and political, which is OK, but doesn’t reduce shootings. People turn in crap that no self respecting gang banger would be caught dead with. I volunteered and helped with one a couple years ago, because the other volunteers didn’t necessarily know the muzzle from the breech; I think I was the only member of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence who actually owns guns. Most of the stuff turned in was junk, not the kind of stuff that terrorizes Albuquerque. I think one person turned in a pair of brand new semiauto pistols that their son had abandoned. The cops doing the intake checks were all eyeing them but the Chief said “don’t you dare”.

          https://www.npr.org/2013/01/15/169439243/newtown-prompts-gun-buybacks-but-do-they-work

          • SAO' Says:

            The McMansion thing is a problem on so many levels. Forgetting public policy issues, there’s a legit supply/demand problem, because there is no incentive to build affordable housing. We have a trickle down housing policy, where the bottom half gets to fight for abandoned dumps.

          • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

            I thought the Aussies used buy-backs to rein-in their gun problems? As to subsidizing Richie Rich’s solar panels, I think there should be some sort of controls on who gets ’em. If you make over $X you should buy your own…and of course pay taxes back at the Eisenhower levels as well, but you know what my wife says…
            And now is Don the Con engaging in his own wag-the-dog capers in the middle east? Gawd help us all.

          • khal spencer Says:

            This isn’t Oz. You saw what happened to Beto’s proposal.

  10. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    Yearly cycling distance? Dunno. My focus is on QUALITY rather than quantity since I threw my heart-attack monitor away back in ….1988? I have a Cateye wireless gizmo on the handlebars to keep track of service intervals on my various bicycles, but haven’t bothered to even try to add up yearly distances for about a decade I guess?

  11. khal spencer Says:

    I gave up on tracking mileage when I stopped racing. Lately, I’ve avoided the bathroom scale as well.

  12. khal spencer Says:

    Any sign of a response yet from Iran?

  13. Pat O'Brien Says:

    It just doesn’t matter anymore. Nobody gives a shit. Apathy, stupidity, and ignorance rule the day. Tell me one person inside the beltway who gives a tinker’s damn about the common man. And don’t give me Warren, Biden, or Sanders. They have been there long enough and take no responsibility for the mess we have. Without a totally democratic congress they will fail. I think I will follow Carlin’s advice and drop out of the game..

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