Archive for the ‘Albuquerque’ Category

Ballad of a fat man

June 21, 2017

I raised up my head and I asked, “Is this where it is?”

And you know something is happening but you don’t know what it is.*

Do you, Mr. Jones?

* OK, so I’ll tell you. It was a short bike ride on my Jones 29er, early in the ayem, before it got too bloody hot (100.5° right now). The one-eyed midget stayed home, where the air conditioning is. I don’t know how Bob Dylan found his way into this post when he couldn’t even make it to the Nobel ceremony.

Hot dog!

June 20, 2017

The Boo keeps his tongue handy because you never know when something edible might wander by.

As the outdoor temperature crept slowly toward the century mark, Mister Boo, sleeping off a medium-heavy solstice snack, gave quiet thanks to Willis Carrier, inventor of the modern air conditioner.

• Late update: Boom. Made it. The century mark. Good times. Maybe not.

Old 97s

June 19, 2017

Somebody has parked a laser cannon overhead.

Hm. ‘Bout time to crank up the ol’ solstice ritual, looks like.

The weatherman says it’s 97 out there at 4:44 p.m. Duke City time, and I believe him, just having taken a lap of the ‘hood on the Vespa to keep the battery topped off.

And it only gets worser as the week drags on. Ninety-seven, 101, 102 … you get the idea.

Nothing like what Pat and Sandy are enduring down in Arizony, I imagine. Shucks, those folks have to get up before they go to bed if they want to get a coolish ride in.

The Boo doesn’t even bother to get out of bed on days like this. He dosses down right next to an air-conditioning vent in the floor and pretty much stays there.

Short and … sweet?

June 17, 2017

It’s a long hard road.

Not even dinner and a movie first?

Boiling in the bosque

June 9, 2017

We’re getting a few of New Mexico’s signature puffy clouds late in the day, but mostly it’s blue skies and red hot.

We’re enjoying a stretch of summery weather in the Duke City, and I am ever so glad I chose a career in rumormongery rather than landscaping.

The neighbors have a crew in, reshaping the back yard to make it a pleasant playpen for their anklebiters, and from a safe distance this looks an awful lot like work, especially when the temps inch into the 90s.

See those hills off in the distance? Yeah, I pretty much had to ride back there.

I got a late start on my ride Wednesday and by the time I had climbed back from the bosque to El Rancho Pendejo I was feeling not unlike a rotissery chicken but didn’t smell nearly as appetizing.

Still, it was worth it. The ride was nearly all downhill along the Paseo de las Montañas bike path and Indian School to downtown/Old Town, where I headed west on Mountain (a “Bicycle Boulevard”) to the Paseo del Bosque.

The winds were cooperative — mostly blocked by the bosque’s cottonwoods while riding north and providing a distinct assist on the Paseo del Norte trail and Osuna/Manitoba. Only on the short southbound stretch of the North Diversion Channel Trail did I face a headwind. Life is suffering, as the Buddha has taught us.

That Space Horse may be a tad small at 55cm, but it’s comfy for a couple-three hours. Especially if you get an earlier start and don’t sweat all over the poor little pony.

And now for something completely different

June 5, 2017

This is how a tech editor and former WorldTour mechanic rigs a bike for a 3,000-mile ride. Photo liberated from Nick Legan’s blog, Rambleur.

Adventure Cyclist tech editor Nick Legan is fixin’ to start the Tour Divide.

In case you were wondering, this is entirely unlike logging two-hour rides on loaner bikes around Albuquerque.

As we speak, Nick’s headed to his start in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. But before he hit the road, he posted a peek at the bike he’ll be riding and some of the gear he’s taking along.

Me? I’m still doing those two-hour loaner-bike rides around Albuquerque, thanks. This keeps me within cellphone range of Herself in case I augur in or stroke out; ensures that my food and water will be served hot and cold, respectively; and spares me the humilation of rolling up to the Tour Divide start only to drop to my knees and squeal: “Do I gotta? Maaaaaammmmmmaaaaaa!”

Watermelon at sunset

May 14, 2017

Looking south from Trail 365.

As the weather warms up, picking a time to walk Mister Boo becomes something of a crapshoot (haw).

The auld fella doesn’t like the heat, so mornings would be ideal, if he didn’t enjoy sleeping in after a medium-heavy breakfast. Evenings would be second best, but with only the one headlight he doesn’t see the road any too well.

Yesterday we walked him pretty much right at sunset, and it being nearly 80 (!) outside he was something of a sluggard on the way up the road to the foothills, but on the way back he let ‘er rip, running a full block back to El Rancho Pendejo.

Maybe he was inspired by the view? Looks like the boonies, but it’s all of two blocks from the house.

Rain, rain, go away. …

May 10, 2017

We drove out of that to ride the Paseo del Bosque and whaddaya know? I didn’t even need knickers, much less the rain jacket.

Yesterday I laid down my hammer and sickle and took time out for a refreshing spin with Friend of the Blog™ Pat O’Brien, who with his lovely bride Sandy popped round to see what’s what in the Duke City.

I didn’t document this major tourism event with photography, because frankly I didn’t think we’d get ‘er done. It was raining when Pat arrived in his manly Toyota Tacoma to pick me up for the drive to the Paseo del Bosque’s Alameda trailhead, and the forecast was grim indeed.

But my iPhone photo above depicts the worst of it. Down by the Rio the weather was warm and windy, and we did the full lollipop, riding south, then curving in a northeasterly direction to Rio Bravo before returning to the bosque trail for a (mostly) tailwind-supported return.

We were both aboard Somas, naturally. Pat rode his Saga whilst I piloted the old Double Cross, freshly equipped with SKS fenders just in case. This, and the fact that we both carried rain jackets, is almost certainly why the clouds didn’t open up during the ride.

Back at El Rancho Pendejo I learned that a deluge had struck DeeCee, washing away the stain on democracy that was Jim Comey. King Donald the Short-fingered, alas, remains perched atop his golden throne, his personal roll of Constitution toilet paper close at hand. Here’s hoping it’s a harder rain gonna fall on his crooked highway before much longer.

What in the Sam Hill?

May 7, 2017

The Sam Hillborne recovers from its efforts in the sunny entryway at El Rancho Pendejo.

Yesterday was a Rivendell kind of day. The trails are usually crawling like anthills on a weekend, and the roads were busy, too. Plus I didn’t feel like doing anything of a serious nature, having chores on the schedule.

So Sam Hillborne and I pooted around on side streets and the Tramway bike path for a spell, just keeping the legs loose.

Some nitwit impatient to make a right turn honked at me as I proceeded through an intersection, with the light and pedestrian crossing signal working in my favor, and I reflected once again how concealed carry is a bad idea on a bicycle, if only for the sag a Ruger Model 3701 puts in a jersey pocket.

Afterward I mowed the weeds and retrieved some video from the old Canon ZR500 MiniDV camcorder, which Herself is eBaying along with a few metric shit-tons of other lightly used and heavily forgotten items cluttering up the nooks and crannies at El Rancho Pendejo.

The process of acquiring video from an old cassette camcorder is time-consuming and irksome, but proved rewarding in this instance. I unearthed some ancient footage of an elderly Chairman Meow and a very young Turkish, back when we still thought he was a she. So stay tuned for a short video trip down memory lane.

Map my ride

May 2, 2017

One of the bridges that spares cyclists from more than a few Crossings of Doom in the Duke City.

I got my chores done early this morning, hopped on the rim-brake Soma Saga, and logged two-point-five hours of saddle time in the sun today. Fat city.

Quite a bit of the ride was on segregated multipurpose path. If you’ll have a squint at the city’s bike map you can trace my route:

South on the segregated Tramway Boulevard path to the bike-ped bridge (above), which crosses Tramway and hooks up with the Paseo de la Montañas trail, which parallels a drainage canal all the way to Interstate 40.

Southwest on the P de la M trail to another bike-ped bridge, this one over I-40. After a short run through a pocket park and a residential area you find yourself on the Indian School Road bike lane, an on-street deal.

The view from underneath one of the many bridges crossing the North Diversion Channel Trail.

West on Indian School to the UNM golf course, where I picked up the North Diversion Channel Trail.

North on the NDCT to Balloon Fiesta Park (and with a fine tailwind, I might add).

From the park I headed northeast through a light industrial area and indulged in a bit of lawlessness, riding against one-way traffic on the I-25 frontage road to get to the Tramway Road bike lane. This is a popular stretch with the local road toads; it rises from 5,200 feet at I-25 to 6,120 feet at the County Line Barbecue, and there are only two stoplights, both early on. It’s a nice, steady, half-hour climb that steepens up a bit around the 5-mile marker. Well, a half-hour for me, anyway.

At this point you can get back to El Rancho Pendejo any number of ways, depending upon how the legs feel and what else needs doing once you get off the bike. I chose the least attractive but most direct route — the bike lane on Tramway Boulevard proper rather than the segregated path to the east — and added one last little climb at Manitoba that loops around just below the Embudito trailhead to Comanche Road and home, where the lawnmower was waiting.