Archive for the ‘Albuquerque’ Category

Happy trails, or the slime’s best inside the tires

January 28, 2020

Blue skies above, brown trails below.

It’s not all politics, podcasts, and posole around here. Some days I actually get outdoors to ride the bike.

But lately a bitter north wind has been whistling down our cul-de-sac, making the weather surrounding El Rancho Pendejo seem worse than it actually is.

The sun spends its mornings skulking around behind the Sandias, burning its daylight where I can’t see it. The trails seem a little muddier than usual for this time of year. And the streets are curb to curb with the usual multitasking mutts who think “hands-free” refers to their use of the steering wheel, not the cellphone.

Back when I was a man instead of whatever it is I am now, I’d ride wherever, whenever, in all manner of weather, fair and foul.

But that was then. And this . …

This is another thrilling episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

On the road again. …

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Shure SM58 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder, then edited in Apple’s GarageBand on the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. The pigpen belongs to zecraum at Freesound.org. Shovel and pickax courtesy CameronMusic at the same joint. The Dubliners gave out with “Poor Paddy Works On the Railway.” Tom Cotton and Alan Dershowitz address us through the holes in their lying arses. All other sonic enhancements are courtesy of Your Humble Narrator and his handy, dandy little Tascam DR-05 portable audio recorder.

Get outa my Waymo(fo)

January 23, 2020

Phantom 309 gets a phantom Big Joe.

Oh, good. Waymo is bringing its self-driving minivans and trucks to New Mexico.

The Duke City’s drivers can’t wait to take their hands off the wheel for real. Then they won’t have to steer with their knees while texting, smoking meth, swigging hooch, spitting out the fire in their laps (spilled hooch and pipe sparks), and shooting at the punk-ass bitch who gave them the side-eye at the last stop light they ran.

Get out

January 15, 2020

First trip up this rocky little slope my wind jacket slid out of my
handlebar bag. Good thing it didn’t wind up tangled in the spokes
or I might have lost some psi from my head.

Speaking of flats, I went out looking for some today.

I was actually shooting some video of the Cannondale Topstone 105 for Adventure Cyclist, but you never know. Sometimes you shoot the cycling, and sometimes the cycling shoots you.

But not this time. Not this time. The tires, in case you were wondering, are WTB Riddlers in 700×37, and I’ve already flatted the rear once.

Today’s ride also served nicely to flush out the old headgear. We watched some of the Democratic “debate” last night, and this morning brought more impeachment drama, so, yeah, definitely time to get moving, preferably away from all news sources.

Didn’t hurt that the temps were in the mid-50s. Dude grinding past on a mountain bike sez to me, he sez, “What a perfectly terrible day.”

“Awful,” I agreed, adding, “Try not to suffer too much.”

The suffering will arrive tomorrow, in the form of a winter storm. Happily, I have video to edit, which should distract me from whatever befalls us, from the skies or the scribes.

Unreal estate

January 10, 2020

I like to do my camping in slightly more forgiving conditions.

Not exactly a prime morning to be homeless, kipping in a cardboard condo in the arroyos south of Central.

But then, when is it?

Nevertheless, the Albuquerque Journal says a bunch of New Mexicans are doing just that, or something very much like it. Citing a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report, the Journal says our state’s double-digit surge in homelessness from 2018 to 2019 led the nation.

The numbers are all over the place, depending upon who’s giving them out. The New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness says we have 1,524 sheltered and unsheltered people in the Duke City. Albuquerque Public Schools says there are twice that many, just counting children alone. And Danny Whatley, executive director of the Rock At Noon Day, a day shelter and meal site, estimated the number of homeless in Albuquerque at between 4,000 and 4,500.

Still, we’re No. 1, amirite? We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!

So. Much. Winning.

Dear diary

January 7, 2020

Dear diary, what a day it’s been. …

I never know where this blog is going to wander.

Some days it wakes up late, isn’t where it should have been. On others, it strolls about, looking at the shops. It rarely buys anything, but occasionally posts a letter on its way home.

On still others, it examines the news, roots through a pile of old journals and training logs, hears an old tune in its head, thinks it’s made some tenuous, possibly spurious connection, shambles into the studio, and cranks out a podcast.

Yes, yes, yes, it’s time for a literary edition of Radio Free Dogpatch, the first of 2020.

 

P L A Y    R A D I O   F R E E   D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with an Shure SM58 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. I edited the audio using Apple’s GarageBand on the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. The background music is “As Time Passes,” from Zapsplat.com, which also supplied the sound of a pen scribbling furiously on paper. Yeah, I know, I could’ve handled that myself, but I was on the threshold of a dream. Speaking of which, The Moody Blues supplied bits from “Dear Diary,” from “On the Threshold of a Dream.” Finally, “Remember, thou art mortal” was lifted from “History of the World, Part I,” by Mel Brooks.

Adios, Cycle Cave

December 21, 2019

Cycle Cave, soon to be but a memory. Photo from the Cycle Cave website.

Another one bites the dust: After 46 years of bicycle retailing, Albuquerque’s Cycle Cave is selling through its inventory and calling it quits.

The father-and-son business wasn’t struggling, according to the Albuquerque Journal. But Hervey and Bob Hawk have been working long hours for the better part of quite some time, and they feel they’ve earned a rest.

Says Bob:

I plan to get back in shape and do some of the bike rides I’ve listened to everyone talk about all these years. I think my first trip might be to Moab. As for Hervey, he has a lot of projects around the house to do. I’m sure his dog Jose’ will be happy he is home all day.

I’ve visited Cycle Cave a time or two. And though I can’t call myself a regular, I’m sorry to see the Hawks fly away.

I don’t know much about ART, but. …

December 5, 2019

Once again, tragedy strikes Albuquerque.

Albuquerque Rapid Transit has been on the road less than a week, and already three of its 20 buses have been involved in collisions that left two of them knocked out of service and in need of repairs.

All three crashes occurred while motorists were attempting left turns. In two incidents the motorists apparently mistook the bus lane for a left-turn lane, because that’s what it would be pretty much anywhere other than ART’s nine-mile route down the center of Central Avenue.

That there was a giant garishly colored bus in the way did not deter the motorists from attempting to seize the lane. Burqueños, who get their driver’s licenses for free with their first six-pack of convenience-store lager, know that in the Duke City the first driver to acknowledge another vehicle’s presence surrenders the right of way. Plus, you take your eyes off your phone, you risk missing a text.

It’s not clear whether any of the drivers spilled their beers.

Figures lie, and …

December 1, 2019

Roll the tape.

Ho, ho. It seems the Albuquerque Police Department has copped to a few “inaccuracies” in its crime stats.

As pictures go, this is on a par with Leonardo da Vinci admitting that Mona Lisa was actually a dude, and a car-stealing serial killer to boot.

In a chat with the Urinal, Mayor Tim Keller spake thusly:

“The mirror doesn’t lie and the mirror says violent crime is up, and that’s a huge problem, but it also says that property crime and auto theft are down. I don’t think it’s about people believing one thing or another, I think it’s just what your definition of crime is. And we have always said that crime is the biggest problem in our community and that continues to be the case.”

Boy, I’ll bet he’d like to walk that one back now that it’s limping down the street with a bullet wound, trying to find its stolen car.

The good news: It can take the bus! And for free, too. If you overlook the $133 million startup charge, that is.

White Thursday

November 28, 2019

The view from the Main Portal at stupid-thirty.

… the well-known precursor to Black Friday.

‘It’s stupid not to bike.’

November 9, 2019

Grandpa John whiled away his retirement making miniature pianos, replicas of JFK’s rocker, and other lovely bits of woodwork instead of riding a bicycle. For transportation he preferred a stately maroon Cadillac with a cream interior.

I don’t care to live in Copenhagen. The climate seems ill-suited to a worshipper of Tonatiuh who knows why his bog-trotting, ring-kissing, pub-crawling ancestors invented the uisce beatha.

My stepgrandfather on my mother’s side was a Dane, but he didn’t want to live in Copenhagen either. He lived in Sioux City, Iowa, where he was retired from the railroad and whiled away the hours drinking beer and smoking cigars, maintaining a medium-heavy vegetable garden in the back yard, and making lovely bits of this and that in a basement full of woodworking tools.

I don’t recall ever seeing Grandpa John aboard a bicycle, though he certainly had the leisure time for cycling. He drove a stately maroon Cadillac with a cream interior, because that’s what a fella did in America.

Which is a shame, really. Because if we hadn’t built our cities around Grandpa John’s stately maroon Cadillac with cream interior, The New York Times might be writing stories about Albuquerque, the cycling capital of the Southwest, where the residents neither own cars nor care to, because the bicycle “is typically the easiest way to get around.”

Albuquerque probably has Copenhagen beat when it comes to cycling weather. Today, for example, we’re looking at mostly sunny conditions with a high in the low 60s, and more than 10 hours of daylight, while Copenhagen can expect a high in the low 40s, rain, and less than nine hours of daylight.

But if you think I’m gonna ride my cargo bike to the Sunport to fetch Herself home when she jets in from Florida, well, think again, Jens old scout.

First, the Sunport is a 25-mile round trip from El Rancho Pendejo, with a thousand feet of vertical gain. Second, Herself travels about as lightly as Hannibal crossing the Alps. And third, the roads seem to be full of cars for some reason. Not stately maroon Cadillacs with cream interiors, mind you, but suburban tanks about the size of Hannibal’s elephants. And their mahouts are all inattentive, impaired, or insane.

Anyway, I don’t have a cargo bike. Because for better or for worse, Albuquerque isn’t fucking Copenhagen.

And until we rethink our cities and how we get around and about in them, we’ll have to settle for reading about Paradise from our parking lots.