Archive for the ‘Albuquerque’ Category

Cat on a cold gravel roof

October 17, 2018

Last night, when I was up on the roof at dark-thirty in a howling gale, using a headlamp and a handsaw to edit a pine whose flailing branches were making Freddy Kruegeresque noises on our ductwork, I sez to myself, I sez, “What the world really needs right this minute is another cute cat video.”

You’re welcome.

Song of the wind

October 16, 2018

An east wind scours the Sandias (wind not pictured).

I decided against ’crossing it up today, and hoo-boy, was that ever a rare smart move.

The wind had its own idea of a good time, and I found myself grinding into the teeth of it aboard the Voodoo Nakisi, underdressed and overgeared.

If I’d been on a Steelman with its 36×28 low end I’d have turned around, I shit thee not. But the Voodoo has that 22T granny ring, and you bet your ass I was using it, early and often, as the cold wind raged from the northeast.

Working my way around the Elena Gallegos trails I encountered the occasional hiker bundled up like a sherpa summiting Everest. It wasn’t that cold by the numbers, maybe the mid-40s, but the wind was making a liar of the thermometer.

It reminded me of a ’cross I did back in Colorado, with the wind completely off the charts. Occasionally some poor sod would shoulder his bike for a run-up and get spun around like a weathervane.

I was surprised nobody got screwed right into the ground at that race. But it was probably frozen solid, and I remember how hard it was to pound in the rebar while setting up the barriers.

Meanwhile, back in ’Burque, the tailwind was so fierce on the homebound leg that I had to ride the brakes. True fact. I actually got home before I even started the ride and nearly ran into myself coming out the front door.

Here comes the sun?

October 16, 2018

Gimme heat, stat! Thermostat, that is.

Um, not so much.

That’s not Old Sol smiling down upon us. That’s a hallway light shining upon the thermostat, which I was compelled to use this morning to crank up the furnace for the first time this fall.

This unseasonably cool, moist weather is supposed to stick around for a bit, so I may have to do a little solo cyclocross today to roust myself from torpor, get the heart rate up, and avoid the kitchen, where the food is.

Chilly days bring with them the temptation to gobble everything that isn’t under lock and key, and it doesn’t help that Kelli made a pan of delicious banana bread that’s just sitting there on the counter, cooing, “Eat me, fat boy.”

Last night we dined on leftover green chile stew straight out of “The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook,” with massive side salads, tortillas and chocolate. Today I may whip up some pasta al cavolfiore from the “Moosewood Cookbook.” It’s a favorite of Herself’s in just about any kind of weather.

But it is a belly-packer, and so I’d better sweat a little before dinner. The only pudgy white guy Herself lets live indoors around here is The Turk.

Killer diller chiller

October 15, 2018

It was chilly enough down here at the foot of the Sandias. Up at the top, where Herself and friend Kelli were, it was downright wintry. Photo | Herself

The temperature was in the 30s this morning when I decided to go for a run.

Rogue killers trying to shove me off by subtly inflicting a chill that blossoms into pneumonia? Who knows?

I bundled up and got after it anyway. Tights, tuque, the works. A fella can’t burn daylight, however feeble, just chillin’.

 

Soggy doggy bloggy

October 14, 2018

We’ve been enjoying a pleasant off-and-on rain, and by “we” I mean “not the Balloon Fiesta people.”

Welp, the Balloon Fiesta people have another year and a day to get their traffic problems sorted, because their final launch of 2018 got rained out this morning.

What does a balloon aficionado do when there is no ballooning to be had due to inclement weather? Beats me.

I know what a cycling scribe does. He stays inside and blogs.

Well, this one does, anyway.

Fiesta or fiasco?

October 11, 2018

The Kona Sutra at Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park, which sits right on the North Diversion Channel trail (from Feb. 2014).

It seems the best way to get to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is … by balloon.

Or is it?

Motorists and park-and-riders have suffered mightily this year, getting stuck in traffic and/or at bus stops, reports The Albuquerque Journal. With a record 21,000 park-and-ride tickets sold, the problem was “sheer volume,” according to Dennis Christiansen, Fiesta coordinator of traffic and P&R.

Added Fiesta executive director Paul Smith: “We have a limited number of access points to and from the park. We are kind of landlocked here. We have a reservation (Sandia) to the north, a neighborhood to the west, and AMAFCA (flood control) channels on two sides.”

’Tis a puzzler, to be sure. Until one considers that a bike path parallels one of those channels — the North Diversion Channel Trail, which runs straight into Balloon Fiesta Park, where a bike valet service awaits.

Neither the Journal nor the Fiesta mentions this transportation option, though I was riding that trail to that park before I even lived here. I tell ya, we don’t get no respect. …

No laughing matter

October 9, 2018

ABQ Studios. Just take a left turn at Albuquerque.

No joke: Netflix, which seems to have cornered the market on standup comedy, is investing in Marc Maron’s old hometown of Albuquerque.

The streaming service is acquiring ABQ Studios from Pacifica Ventures, with a $14 million economic-development assist from the state and city, and says it anticipates bringing a billion smackers and up to 1,000 production jobs per annum over 10 years to our little corner of the cinematic universe.

Terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed.

Netflix has produced in New Mexico before, of course — there’s “Longmire,” “Godless” and some Adam Sandler vehicle that I will watch just as soon as there’s nothing else on TV and I’m chained to a chair with my eyelids wired open.

And ABQ Studios, which opened for business in April 2007, has hosted everybody’s favorite Duke City drug drama, “Breaking Bad,” along with bits of Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise, according to Variety.

“Our experience producing shows and films in New Mexico inspired us to jump at the chance to establish a new production hub here,” said Ty Warren, Netflix veep for physical production.

“The people, the landscape and the facilities are all stellar and we can’t wait to get to work — and employ lots of New Mexicans — creating entertainment for the world to enjoy.”

This has to be considered good news, which we so rarely discuss here, and I’ll look forward to learning more of the deets once the cheerleaders drop their pompoms and the joyful noise abates somewhat.

In the meantime, if you don’t have a Netflix subscription please acquire same with all possible speed. We need to make that $14 mil’ back before all these Netflix execs get their cars stolen.

Sailing over the Sandias

October 3, 2018

It was a warmish, slightly humid day, which must be fine for flying.

I was running through here earlier in the day and never thought to look up. Mostly I look down, for tarantulas, buzzworms and drunken Republicans.

This afternoon I cranked up the Vespa for a short runaround, just to keep the battery topped off, and as I putt-putted toward the Menaul trailhead I noticed orange windsocks fluttering in the parking lot.

Looking up, I saw a hang glider cutting didoes over the foothills, so I pulled over and snapped a couple pix with the old Canon S110.

Looks like fun, doesn’t it? But so does riding a cyclocross bike on Sandia singletrack, until you have that unexpected get-off.

There are lots of pointy bits down here on Planet Albuquerque, and as luck would have it I found one while running through this very area this morning.

A terrorist shrub stabbed me in the left shoulder blade with a broken limb as I lumbered through a rocky patch on Trail 365, my gaze focused on the water-scoured trail, which is studded with toe-grabbers, ankle-twisters and face-planters.

Maybe I would have been safer aloft. We’ll never know. I don’t even get big air on the bike.

Night moves

September 27, 2018

I call this one “Bored Man at Sunport with iPhone Camera.”

You don’t even have to be on the plane for air travel to suck.

Herself was wheels down at the Sunport around 10 in the peeyem last night, and her luggage took a while to show up, as it will, which meant we were motoring home around the time I usually devote to inspecting the inside of my eyelids while beered-up Burqueños cap each other over right-of-way issues.

I saw one helmetless eejit on a crotch rocket thread various needles at about 20 mph over the posted limit, using all the eastbound lanes on I-40, without signaling, right in front of two cops working a traffic stop. I’m surprised the backup officer didn’t shoot him. Hell, I wanted to shoot him myself.

Anyway, we weren’t lights-out until midnight, morning comes early with a pair of cats in the vicinity, and a darkly comic opera is anticipated at the Senate Judiciary Committee, so if I were you I’d be prepared for all manner of outré behavior in this space today.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!

• Late addendum: Jaysis, it’s worse than I had feared. To call this hearing a shitshow is to libel shitshows. Primate houses have a keener sense of the distinction between order and ordure. They’re quieter, too.

Shiny side up, please

September 9, 2018

The Bianchi Zurigo, with its oversized alloy tubes, 30mm V-section rims and broad-bladed carbon fork, catches a little more wind than some of the other bikes in the fleet.

The bike was moving around on me in the crosswind as I swept down Tramway Road toward Interstate 25, and I was starting to think that the Bianchi Zurigo Disc, with its fat alloy tubes, broad-bladed carbon fork and skinny 700×35 adventure tires, might not have been the right tool for today’s job.

There’s nothing out there to keep the wind off you, except for the cars passing too close and too fast, and the Bianchi is both a little small and a little stretched out for Your Humble Narrator, who is too lazy to give it a stem more appropriate to his wizened, shrunken carcass.

So there I was, bowling along at speed, thinking back to the time I got into a death wobble on a long, smooth descent at the Air Force Academy, when I noticed three brother cyclists off their machines just ahead, and taking up a not insubstantial portion of the shoulder, too.

I slowed down to ask if they needed anything, and that’s when I noticed the irregular black stripe leading off the shoulder and into the terra not so firma.

“Everything OK?” I asked, coming to a stop.

“I don’t know yet,” replied rider No. 1, the one wearing the fresh road rash. “I hit my head pretty hard.” At that, No. 2 inspected No. 1’s helmet while No. 3 checked the victim’s bike. There was a divot in the lid and a big oval hole in the rear tire, as though some strong fellow had taken a Magnum potato peeler to it. There was some discussion of “shimmy.”

The gent with the dent had that look on his face, the one that says, “This has fucked up my Sunday, and it’s starting to hurt, but at least I went off into the weeds and not out into traffic, where a helmet would have been tits on a bull, or more like tits on a bumper, now that I think about it, which I’d rather not.”

I asked if he needed a phone, but he had one, and dialed up the wife for a dustoff.

“You guys seem to have this under control,” I said to the others, and off I rolled, dialing my sensor array up to maximum. “Wind from the SW, roger. Land yacht off the port stern, check. Does that rear tire feel a little soft?” That sort of thing.

I haven’t had a good high-speed getoff in a while, not even when I got into that death wobble on the AFA, and I’d like to keep it that way.

What we like and what we get are often two very different things, though. So let’s all be careful out there. The world is full of hard surfaces and sharp edges.