The bee’s knees

Somebody tell the bees and the trees that it ain’t spring yet.

Actually, you can’t see their little knees — do bees even have knees? — but the little bastards sure are buzzing away up there in our backyard maple, which is already budding out.

So is the ornamental pear by the master bedroom window.

The pear thinks it’s spring too.

I haven’t budded out, but I have bugged out, for a pleasant two-hour loop that took in some of the bike paths I avoided in Year One of the Pale Horseman. The forecast called for a high in the low 60’s, so I figured why not?

For openers I rolled down Paseo de las Montañas to Indian School and thence to the I-40 Trail, which took me to the North Diversion Channel Trail. This trail has been blocked for a while north of Comanche as the Water Authority engaged in a bit of valve rehabilitation, whatever the hell that means.

Heading north on the NDCT I passed through Balloon Fiesta Park and worked my way over to Interstate 25 and Tramway for the half-hour climb to County Line Barbecue. Tailwind, mostly, so yay. Nevertheless, records failed to crumble beneath my thundering wheels. No prizes were awarded.

I stayed on Tramway for the trip home. Usually I dick around a little bit on the side streets to the east but I felt like scaring the shit out of myself for no good reason.

I’m going to insist that the State install a flyover exit for bicycles only at Comanche so I can make the left turn without (a) getting stuck for three-four rotations in the turn lane (the arrow refuses to appear for bicyclists), or (2) getting run over and killed to death.

There’s a pedestrian bridge just south of the intersection, but getting to it almost certainly would involve (2) because nobody ever even slows down for a right turn at Comanche and Tramway, much less stops to gauge the oncoming traffic. When the YMCA goes belly up I expect it to be replaced by an auto body shop and an EmergiCare.

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12 Responses to “The bee’s knees”

  1. JD Says:

    Too early for Spring at 5000′ MSL even in the Duke City (ABQ), Mi Amigo!
    And way too early here in Black Forest, CO (7500′ MSL) just outside Bibleburg. Mother Nature may be smart; but she’s also fickle, dispassionate, and often capriciously cavalier. And …. like gravity (excepting dark energy), she always plays the strategic gambit … and WINS!
    Nonetheless, it was 52F here today and, like you, the Pale Horsepeople (PC here) emerged from their dens and celebrated with socially-distanced activities to include walking, running, cycling, yard work, conversation and socializing et al.
    S-o-o-o …. we’ll get 2-3 inches of snow tomorrow afternoon/evening just to keep us guessing.
    “Springtime in the Rockies” has begun! 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Never a dull moment, hey? Down here tomorrow the wind is to make its triumphant return. I hope the folks I saw tenting it along the bike path today have their homes staked down good and tight.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Was up at the orface today to do some classified, so no ride on such a nice day. Spent early part of the week bastardizing the race bikes.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Way to keep ’em rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, Hoss. I’ma have to do something similar with the Voodoo Wazoo, I think. I have a helluva time pushing its 38×28 low end in March.

      Of course, I could always leave the damn thing alone in March and ride something more sensible. But you know how I roll.

  3. SAO' Says:

    Enjoyed the 65° weather with a family cruise that included stopping in the woods to build a fort out of dead tree branches, some owl gazing, and navel contemplation. Pretty sure my heart rate got up to 20%, maybe 25% of my max.

    Now we’re back in chili today, hot tamale mode for the next week.

  4. Shawn Says:

    From your adventure description and reviewing goggly street view, it sounds as though you were coming north on Tramway and want (wanted) to make a left turn onto Comanche? I will deduce that the left turn lane light on Tramway is one that only actuates* if you are a 6000 pound rumbling pile of sh-teel truck, a noisy souped up rice rocket like vehicle, or one that has a boom box that you can feel in Gallup. Is the difficulty crossing the pedestrian bridge due to your need to cross Comanche north in the crosswalk after crossing over on the pedestrian bridge? I have heard about those dangerous right turn boulevards. My brother in Phoenix has spoken of their hazard from an experienced on-the-pavement position.

    * Have you tried the “lean the bike way over and move it forward and backward in a few inches” trick to see if the left turn light will actuate? I believe in the past I was able to trigger a light via this method.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Shawn, I was southbound on Tramway and wanting to hang a left on Comanche. This involves crossing two lanes of 50-mph traffic (which is actually traveling at 60-70 mph) to get to a left-turn signal that does not recognize bicycles. Two of the many reasons I almost never head home this way. It’s much easier to take the side streets than deal with these high-speed, multilane, median-divided boulevards.

      The pedestrian bridge is just south of the Tramway-Comanche intersection, but getting to it at speed from Tramway is impossible. There’s a right-turn cutout for Comanche traffic buttressed by a small island that includes the button for the east-west crossing signal. Maybe Hans Rey or Danny MacAskill could negotiate the maze, but not me.

      I should post a photo. It’s a case study in what not to do with traffic.

  5. SAO' Says:

    I’ve learned more about trees in the last year than in the previous fifty-five. We got a ton of snow in October and November and then December was warm and bone-dry, and it freaked out our pears. They were all budding out in January, thinking it was an early spring.

    Then I got some maples that apparently need SPF 50, cuz they got sunburned last year. Should have planted aloe instead.

    And our oaks have a bug that gets eaten by a bigger bug that gets eaten by a bigger bigger bug (I can hear Cleavon Little explaining the whole thing) who then gets eaten by some nasty hornets that also seem to like whatever I’ve trying to grill.

    There won’t be a “next house” until I’m ready for the Big House, but if there was, I’m putting in rock gardens on all four sides.

  6. Pat O'Brien Says:

    The traffic light sensors are inductive coils that react to metal in the loop which changes its inductance and triggers the signal. Weight sensors are not used much anymore. I learned this while working with the company that service our gates in my community. They can adjust the sensitivity of the loops, which are imbedded in the pavement, but they must be careful not to make them too sensitive or they will produce false changes from cars in the next lane. The most sensitive area of the loop is the edges. After they installed the new gates and sensors in our community, I worked with the techs adjusting the sensitivity of the loops and testing them with bikes. We were able to get them to open the gates with alloy and steel framed bikes by riding about 2 inches from the edge of the loop. We did not test carbon frames bikes.

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