March in October

“Hup, hoop, hreep, horp … hey, where’d that senile old fool get off to now?”

I’ve been neglecting my footwork lately, so I left the bikes on their hooks yesterday and took a hike.

Herself thought this a fine idea and joined me, setting a brutal pace as per usual. I had to take a picture just so I could remember what she looked like in case some good Samaritan happened upon me as I lay collapsed in a weepy heap at trailside.

“Have you wandered away from the Home, old timer? Mind if I rummage through your pockets? You won’t need the wallet; the coyotes don’t take Visa, and they sure as shit won’t honor this UnitedHealthcare card. Say, you don’t have a keeper somewhere nearby, do you?”

“Yes (sob) … she looks like this.”

“Oooh, iPhone, cool, I’ll take that too.”

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19 Responses to “March in October”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    I did my part to promote global warming and took the R1200RS for a quick loop around the High Road to Taos and back.

    • Shawn Says:

      But if your education, intellect and lifelong benefit to public is accounted for, you may have caused others to reduce their emissions enough over the years, to more than offset the emissions produced from a few trips around on the Beamer. Perhaps? Maybe?

      • khal spencer Says:

        Well, maybe. Still, emissions are emissions.

        I no longer ride at night. Some say its because my night vision is not what it used to be. I say its to avoid nocturnal emissions…

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      The amount of CO2, hydrogen, and methane in the wake of Khal and his crotch rocket are entirely dependent on his diet for the past 24 hours. When he applies large amounts amounts of throttle it causes overall emissions, from all sources on said motorcycle, to rise. Follow that wheel at your own risk. Nuf said.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Hey, Patrick. Speaking of a brutal pace, did you ever ride/train/race on NM 503 through Cundiyo Back in the Day? There are some knee-popping ascents on that road that I might want to try to see if they kill me. That looked like a great place for a bike race stage.

    Beautiful tiny road through that little set of hamlets before you get back to NM 76.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yup, that’s my old stompin’ grounds. I lived in La Puebla outside Española and rode up 76 to Truchas and beyond now and again.

      The route you’re talking about, 503, was part of the Sangre de Cristo Cycling Club championship course Back in the Day®, before we moved the race to the course we called The Prison Loop. It was a real leg-breaker. If I remember it went like this: 76 to 503, hang a right; climb to Cundiyo; descend to 98, hang a right; pass the Sanctuario de Chimayo; head back to 76, and do it again.

      Occasionally we’d take 503 out of Pojoaque and head up that way. Great cycling out there back in the late Eighties/early Nineties. Hell, back then you could ride to Santa Fe without getting turned into a hood ornament.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I was thinking of heading up 503 from Pojoaque to 98, go through Chimayo (get a blessing on my knees), then up 76 to 503 and do the clockwise loop through Cundiyo. That climb looks brutal. My road bike has 50/34 and a 12-30 on the back. Not sure in my dotage if that would be sufficient but what the hell?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        It’s been a good long while since I made that pilgrimage. I was … 36? And a whole lot stronger. I was probably rocking a 39×23. I had one freewheel/cassette with a 25T low end but reserved that for stuff like the ski basin climbs, the Watermelon Mountain Classic, and the Iron Hose.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Those were my “climbing gears” in Honolulu when I was in my thirties and was doing the Tantalus Loop after work. Moved to NM when I was 47. After a few times riding up into the Jemez with those gears, I put in a 12-26 to get a 39-26 low. I did my first Red River with a 13-30 on the back to get a 39-30 and needed that when the air got really thin climbing Bobcat Pass. Been downhill ever since.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I still have a 25T low end on the old road-racing bike. I can push it, but only because (a) the bike weighs 20 pounds and I ordinarily ride bikes in the 28-32-pound range; and (2) the crankset has a 34T inner ring.

          Even so, I can’t push it for long. Not without getting out of the saddle, which is the prelude to getting off the bike entirely.

      • Shawn Says:

        That is a nice route. I did a little G-map viewing around it. I like the little climb on 503 just after turning off of 76. Coming back around on 76 looks a little dicey with what appears to be highway traffic. I thought more about it when in one of my G-map views I saw a white bicycle with a cross on the side of the road. But finishing up with a dip in Santa Cruz lake might be nice.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Shawn, its hard to find a road in New Mexico that is lacking descansos, whether they be traditional ones or ghost bikes. Its just our cultural tradition down here to massacre each other on the road if we can’t do it with firearms first.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Time passes and things change. When I was in high school I thought nothing of riding my bike north on Academy Boulevard from our house near Constitution to beer bashes in the woods, up around where Union intersects Academy now. Later we used to cycle on Powers, both north and south of Constitution.

          When I lived in Española-La Puebla I rode to Santa Fe and back now and then, and knew dudes who would ride the canyon to and from Taos.

          None of these things strikes me as a good idea now. Maybe it’s because I’m that much closer to the camposanto and in no rush to get there.

          Oddly, here in the Duke City I ride the shoulder of Tramway rather than the adjoining bike path because it feels safer. As usual, your mileage may vary.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Perspective is a lot of it. When I was in my early teens, we would ride our bikes down Genesee Street (NY 33) to the K-6 local school in Millgrove for pickup baseball games. NY 33 was/is a major route connecting Buffalo and Rochester and which had a 55 mph speed limit and no shoulders. And of course, lotsa trucks.

            My neighbor crashed on the cinder shoulder one year after wind blast from a passing eighteen wheeler knocked him down. When they took the stitches out of his forehead, a couple little pieces of gravel were apparently also removed. Hence Mark was the guy with rocks in his head.

            I rode from Buffalo to Rochester on NY 33 back in grad school after loaning my car to some good friends to do some sightseeing at Niagara Falls. Motobecane Mirage with 27×1 tires and a rack on the back with Nashbar pannier. Aside from two flat tires en route, all went well. I think that was my longest bike ride ever at that point. Never occurred to me to worry about it. Like O’G, I worry about that stuff more nowadays.

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I hope you are not withholding a nice set of trekking poles from Herself? Once you’ve used them you are hooked. Plus IF you do collapse on trail side you can use them to fend off the smaller carnivores. The larger two legged, usually bearded and ball cap wearing ones not so much but if you have a little energy left you can poke at em and maybe hit an eye or the netherlands (aka “taint”)

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