Happy trails, or the slime’s best inside the tires

Blue skies above, brown trails below.

It’s not all politics, podcasts, and posole around here. Some days I actually get outdoors to ride the bike.

But lately a bitter north wind has been whistling down our cul-de-sac, making the weather surrounding El Rancho Pendejo seem worse than it actually is.

The sun spends its mornings skulking around behind the Sandias, burning its daylight where I can’t see it. The trails seem a little muddier than usual for this time of year. And the streets are curb to curb with the usual multitasking mutts who think “hands-free” refers to their use of the steering wheel, not the cellphone.

Back when I was a man instead of whatever it is I am now, I’d ride wherever, whenever, in all manner of weather, fair and foul.

But that was then. And this . …

This is another thrilling episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

On the road again. …

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Shure SM58 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder, then edited in Apple’s GarageBand on the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. The pigpen belongs to zecraum at Freesound.org. Shovel and pickax courtesy CameronMusic at the same joint. The Dubliners gave out with “Poor Paddy Works On the Railway.” Tom Cotton and Alan Dershowitz address us through the holes in their lying arses. All other sonic enhancements are courtesy of Your Humble Narrator and his handy, dandy little Tascam DR-05 portable audio recorder.

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11 Responses to “Happy trails, or the slime’s best inside the tires”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Well, at least you get to do your 66 ride in March. Of course by then the wind will kick in.

  2. Charley Auer Says:

    Patrick, you can’t age affect on biking until about age 77+-!

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I’m finding that it’s dependent on how much risk I am willing to take to ride, on dirt or pavement. The older I get, 70 at present, I frequently think about the consequences of a crash. And, the frequency is increasing. That is why the mountain bike is on consignment at my LBS. It’s the old risk vs reward calculation. Isn’t that always the balancing act? So, I think the answer is different for everyone.

      PS: I used to think the World Cycling promotional crash compilation DVD, hosted by Bob Roll, was fun to watch. I gave it away about 5 years ago.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Yep. Not all mountainbiking was created equal. I was on a steep descent last fall and at the bottom was, as I discovered, a sand pit. Several riders coming from the other direction saw me do an excellent ass-over-handlebars trick. Fortunately, nothing hurt but my ego. That time, anyway.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Back in the Day® I kept “training” right through the end of cyclocross season and into January because I was planning to do the Mount Taylor Winter Quadrathlon, or some early season time trial.

        Now, since I don’t race anymore, and am generally a little weary of bike stuff after a year of drawing cartoons and writing reviews, January is sort of a bike-optional month. I’ll run more, or take more time off, or do short rides — an hour or so — usually off-road where the psychos can’t get at me.

        But with the trails all gooey lately my rides have been mix-and-match deals, with a little bit of pavement here, a little bit of trail there, sticking to side streets and sandy singletrack. Takes a little thought to put a loop together, but hey, keeps all those cranial gears lubricated.

        Also, since I’m generally riding a ’cross bike on the trails, or something very much like one, I find ways around the technical bits, just as I find ways around streets with heavy auto traffic. A crash around here nearly always involves landing on something sharp and unforgiving.

  3. Libby Says:

    Thanks for another RFD! Keep the “filth” comin’. Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.

  4. JD Dallager Says:

    My “hike-a-bike” ratio when MTB’ing continues to climb in proportion to my age squared! I’d like to think my “wisdom” does too; but am usually proven wrong. 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Cyclocross did not make me a more confident mountain biker; it just taught me it was OK to get off and run over anything scary.

  5. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    Training? For what? I ride because it’s fun. If the weather’s not going to make it fun, I don’t ride. This morning I would have LOVED to get out there but got stuck having to be home so some guys could install a new sunshade on our terrace.
    Hope tomorrow morning’s as nice so I can get out there. Unlike you PO’G, I like to be back by lunchtime, showered and ready for a relaxing pranzo. Went out awhile back with a new friend who couldn’t get away until 2 PM…that’s just too late in the day.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Exercise is the addiction I traded up for, from nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, and all the rest of it. I gotta get my fix ’most every day.

      That said, there are days when I decide I’ll just have to endure the withdrawal symptoms. If it’s cloudy, with a wind from the north, and the temp is below 32°F, I generally won’t ride. And if it’s that cold and raining, I won’t run.

      And no matter how filthy it is outdoors, I refuse to exercise indoors. That contravenes the Will of God, who clearly sent the foul weather to encourage a relaxing day of recovery.

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