Snow? No

It ain’t easy getting green.

We was robbed.

Just as well. The ladies have plans, and though they are Marylanders and used to snow, only Herself has enjoyed winter motoring in The Duck! City, whose drivers can’t keep the shiny side up on a sunny day.

Yesterday it was a Tesla and a pick-’em-up truck that ate shit at Comanche and Tramway, where the debris from old crashes piles up like the fast-food wrappers, liquor bottles, and dirty diapers drivers toss from their vehicles between texts as they breeze through the red five seconds late and 20 over the limit.

You want to keep your head on a swivel when your light turns green. Left, right, left again — count one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, etc. — then proceed as though you believe in an afterlife.

Never mind the asshole leaning on his horn behind you. Hell ain’t half full, as s/he will learn after finally honking at the wrong person, who then climbs out of the vehicle with something more authoritative than a middle digit extending from one white-knuckled fist.

The honkers are usually tailgaters too. Some of these yahoos will crowd you so closely you can smell the beer on their breath.

Doc Sarvis, the brains and bucks behind “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” had a solution to that sort of harassment. The Ukrainians are giving these ancient anticavalry weapons a go, and why not? I bet they work against horses and horses’ asses.

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20 Responses to “Snow? No”

  1. Shawn Says:

    Yep. Good ole caltrops.

  2. B Lester Says:

    So much to be gloomy about, as the month of brown is upon us. I nonetheless remain optimistic, as we will be solidly in the upper fifties in a few days. I’ve got new tires and bar tape to break in!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We never know what March has in store for us. Except wind, of course. If you ever wake up some morning in New Mexico and the wind isn’t blowing, it’s a sure sign that you died during the night.

  3. Pat O’Brien Says:

    March, the month of wind. One of our favorite rides was out highway 90 towards I-10. Off we go, and we quickly reached the 18 mile point, the border patrol checkpoint, patting ourselves on the back for our strong riding. When we got to the 20 mile point we would turn around and go back. You guessed it, right into a strong head wind.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That was the tale of my first bike race, an out-and-back time trial in Colorado. I thought I was crushing it … until I turned around for the return leg. Holy hell. By the time I finished they were timing us with a calendar.

    • B Lester Says:

      Wind is fun. A few years ago we had an unusual Thanksgiving Day with 70-ish temperatures. About 30 degrees above norm, so naturally I rode. There was a hellish south wind blowing me up a big climb at about 27 mph. The return leg had a gentle downhill stretch straight into it. I was cranking my balls off to keep it above 13.

      Today the snow is gone. We’re about a foot-and-a-half low for the season. Great for those of us who have to move it and drive through it, but the agricultural folks aren’t thrilled.

    • khal spencer Says:

      That was the story of the State TT in Hawai’i. The TT was on the Windward side in those days as there was less traffic. When I did it, we had a nice push on the port side going out and a wind in your face to starboard going back. Not paying attention to all that wind, I was sure I was well inside an hour for 40k–until the return leg. I didn’t break an hour and was pretty miffed.

      I did the Makaha TT one year in a massive Kona storm with a sideways wind always wanting to knock me off the road. Took first place because everyone else in my age group had the common sense to stay in bed.

      The Castle-Hanauma TT was best as it had that quartering tailwind and then usually a full tailwind once you turned the corner at Makapuu and headed along the coast. I liked that one except for all the broken glass. One year I finished in time for next day breakfast as I had four flats. To heck with those lightweight race clinchers, he said ruefully.

      • B Lester Says:

        Roundabouts are a recent thing here. I was riding toward one with a wonderful tailwind at an impressive (for me) clip. When I got around and the tailwind became a crosswind, sumbitch nearly blew my ass into the ditch. Physics teaches me new lessons every day.

  4. canamsteve Says:

    ‘Round here, we have some roundabouts (or “rotaries” – discuss). The bigger ones pretty much have a guy with a broom sweeping up the broken plastic and glass 24/7

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      There’s a roundabout (or “traffic circle,” discuss) at Roy and 4th that I have to negotiate when cycling down to the Bosque. From Tramway and I-25 it’s a descent to the roundabout, which gives you a bird’s-eye view of everyone who will be trying to kill you in just a few seconds.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Speaking of the Duck! City, this guy musta thought he was in Albuquerque.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      “I’m just having a bad day. and I took it out on him. I’m sorry.”

      So, I guess if he had been having a slightly worse day, he would’ve shot this dude over a U-turn. Yep, he’s a natch’al-born Burqueño, a’ight. The John Laws should seize the weapon and the Dodge Charger, both must-have items in the Official Old White Man Penis Extension Catalog.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I learned a long time ago to take my anger out on inanimate objects. Like the time, while going through the divorce with Herself, Ver. 1.0, when I badly sprained my foot kicking a solid oak door up in an Adirondack hotel while attending a fellow grad student’s wedding. That sucked, as a bunch of us were headed from that wedding to a backpacking trip in the High Peaks. Ouch, oof, shit…wait, guys, I can’t walk any faster….

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        If I was Captain Kirk, I would beam that ass wipe right into Kiev. Then he can truly have a bad day.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Meena had that suggestion for all the street warriors with hand cannons in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Send them to Kiev and give them something to fight about.

          • Shawn Says:

            Zee Dirty DoZen, or so. Kind of like Sgt. Aldo Raines and the Inglorious Basterds going after nazis. In this case it would be after spetznaz and chechen hit thugs.

      • Dale E. Brigham Says:

        Quoting the article: “Mr. Funsch said he was unable to see the male’s hands, so he unholstered his concealed weapon and pointed it at the male,” the complaint said.

        In this age of a “good-guy-with-a-gun,” do we have to assume everyone is carrying, so we have to get the drop on them first? Keep repeating to yourselves, “An armed society is a polite society.” What unalloyed good can’t (idiots with) guns do?

        Dale (keeping my empty hands in sight) in Missouri

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I like to think that these confrontations don’t happen as often as they seem to. It’s the sort of thing that catches the eye of a police reporter, so it winds up in the paper.

          But then again, pretty much every cyclist I know has a similar story to tell involving an out-of-control motorist. Throwing things at them, too-close passes, and the occasional brandishing of weaponry.

          I just don’t understand the mindset. I was never big and mean and stick-ass dumb enough to be a bully, so I guess I missed out on a lot of “fun.”

          • JD Says:

            As an “elderly” layperson observer of the media (written, visual, social, etc.) I tend to think that they often focus on what I call the “Three C’s”: conflict, controversy, and confrontation. If they can’t find it, then they sometimes generate it because it’s ultimately all about market share, “hits”, and advertising revenue.
            Please don’t get me wrong! The Fourth Estate is a great positive in our society; but I try to remember that most of that “estate” is in the for-profit business.
            What was the old media credo? “If it bleeds it leads!”
            Yes, I’ve transitioned from critic to cynic to curmudgeon. Oh wait …. those are another “Three C’s”!! 🙂

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            In many ways the news biz is like any other. What we once called “news” is now “the product,” or “content.” And the “reader” — now the “customer,” “subscriber,” or “audience” — is subject to closer examination than ever. So once the One Chain to Rule Them All figures out what you want, why, you will get it and then some.

            I recall a long-running debate over what readers want versus what they need. Mostly what they want is what they claim they can’t abide — the “bad news” about murder, mayhem, and miscreants, with a little sugar (feel-good throwaways about firemen rescuing cats from trees, etc.). What they need is coverage of the city council, county commission, state legislature, school boards, sewer districts, etc.

            Guess which you get?

            The first is cheap, if the cops will still let you read the police reports. As a side note, this is why you also see so much more opinion and analysis these days; you don’t have to leave the newsroom to opine and/or analyze.

            The second takes manpower and shoe leather. At the Gazette in the late Seventies we had an “education desk” with three reporters dedicated to the county’s school districts. We went to school-board meetings and schools and filed copy about the nuts and bolts of education even when the taxpayers weren’t insisting that teachers pray the gay away or trying to get the superintendent fired. Not sexy, but kind of important. Or so we thought.

            Sadly, as newspapers have shrunk, been gobbled up by the OCTRTA, or vanished entirely, there are few resources for in-the-weeds reporting. And probably few readers who have the attention span to absorb the information. They get everything they “need” from social media, which is like letting your cousin Floyd with the lazy eye and perpetual whiskey flu remove your brain tumor with a DeWalt drill and some vise grips.

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