Archive for the ‘Bike stuff’ Category

Possibilities

August 10, 2022

Possibly rain.

Partly to mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible.The Weather Underground forecast for The Duck! City

The gods are pulling my chain again.

Actually, they may be peeing on it.

We just got more than a half inch of possibility in about 15 minutes and Your Humble Narrator beat the deluge home by the chromoplastic skin of his mudguards.

I hadn’t intended to go for a ride. The original idea was to drive to Dick Missile’s Galaxy O’ Grub for a couple hundy worth of disco vittles.

But about halfway there I realized I was short one wallet (mine). So I pulled a U and in a cloud of blasphemy motored home, where I swapped the Subie for a Soma.

Some explanation is in order. I like to buy my groceries early, when most people are working, schooling, or riding their own damn’ bikes. This has the effect of broadening product availability, widening aisles, and shortening lines at checkout.

By forgetting my wallet I had squandered my chronological advantage over the Little People, so I thought I might as well go for a ride instead. Which I did. And it was very pleasant, thanks for asking.

About an hour in I noticed the clouds bunching up and darkening. As I looped around High Desert en route to El Rancho Pendejo things looked positively moist down by Four Hills.

“No worries,” I thought. “It never rains before noon, when it rains at all. Plenty of time.”

Uh huh. I felt the first few drops just off Tramway at Manitoba, and on Glenwood Hills Drive they were bucketing down in quantity. I had fenders on — all the Somas have fenders — but I had to mind my manners in the corners as I slalomed home at a quarter ’til noon, just in time for lunch, if I had any food.

“If only we had some ham we could have ham and eggs, if we only had some eggs.” You said a mouthful, brother.

Black and white

July 7, 2022

White Nobilette, black Privateer.

I was compelled to go to the Dark Side today.

The plan was to roll down toward the Rio and climb back up again, but I got no further than Tramway and Montgomery when the rear tire on the Nobilette went pssssshhhhhhht.

No biggie. In fact, it was my first flat since January. So briskly I relocated from the highway shoulder to the nearby bike path and effected repairs.

But this left me with just one spare tube for a 25-mile loop through goat-head country on a sunny July day in The Duck! City.

Well. Shit. Back to the ranch. Not to stay, mind you, but to grab another bike.

The New Albion Privateer was off its hook and leaning against the Subaru in the garage. Bingo. There were two tubes and tools in the saddlebag and a frame pump slung under the top tube. Moved the headlight and taillight over and off we went.

It’s not so bad, the Dark Side. Just a horse of a different color. Who’s your daddy, Luke?

Optimism

June 26, 2022

Hm. Looks like rain.

It’s a gloomy day here, and not just because we have an Ivy League theocracy legislating from the bench.

The monsoon has settled in like a jurist with a lifetime gig, and while the moisture is more than welcome, it is something of a wet blanket as regards the old training program.

Exactly what I’m training for remains a mystery. But still.

Yesterday, with the forests having reopened, I took a quick ride between rains to La Cueva Picnic Site. It’s a nice, steady, milelong climb that reminds me of the road to our old hillside hacienda outside Weirdcliffe, only the La Cueva road is paved, kinda, sorta.

It’s a great road for hill repeats, though the coarse chip-seal makes for some bumpy going, especially on the descent.

But yesterday was a one-and-done, because I wanted to get back to El Rancho Pendejo before Thor started limbering up his pitching arm. Fenders are nice, but they won’t keep the lightning off your Lycra.

Anyway, I’m stopped at a red light with the clouds circling round and this motorcycle dude thunders to a stop next to me. He looks like Dennis Hopper from “Easy Rider,” only without the hat, astraddle this low-slung hog.

I give him the old head-wave, and he does likewise, then says with a grin, “We ain’t got rained on yet.”

Rolling boil

June 6, 2022

Getting steamy out there.

It’s warming up right smart here in The Duck! City, and will stay that way for the foreseeable future, with nothin’ but 90s in the 10-day forecast.

Could be worse, though. Here’s Pat O’B with the Southern Arizona weather!

They are predicting record heat down here later this week. Friday’s high predicted to be 101 here and 107 for Tucson. Saturday and Sunday will be 109 in the Old Pueblo. Night temps above normal too, entire period. The grid will be tested Thursday through Sunday.

Chillin’ like a villain.

We’ve resisted the temptation to deploy the refrigerated air, instead strategically adjusting blinds, curtains, and fans, and so when Miss Mia Sopaipilla feels a nap coming on she seeks out the cool spot of that particular moment, flattening out like a Russian-blue rug.

On today’s geezer ride one of my fellow graybeards interrupted the traditional jawboning at a High Desert trailhead to suggest we generate a little wind chill lest we melt into colorful puddles of fossil-fuel garb, sunscreen, and boner pills. And so we did.

You could call it a “rolling boil,” if only for headline purposes.

Strictly for the birds

April 29, 2022

The hummers and quail are lightening the mood around here.

The hummingbirds are back. And this looks just like an Audubon photo of one, the same way I look just like Jason Statham if you see me backlit at sunset, from the other side of a four-lane street with a sizable median. It’s possible that you left your specs in the pub after a half-dozen boilermakers, a vicious beating, and perhaps a stroke.

The grasses in Elena Gallegos Open Space are an ominous shade of tan.

It’s been a quiet week around El Rancho Pendejo. Herself just got her second Plague-B-Gon booster and is recovering nicely after enduring a sore arm and some drowsiness.

As for Your Humble Narrator, despite relentless seasonal allergies exacerbated by smoke-laden afternoon breezes I found the weather stellar for cycling. Actual tan lines are in evidence. I managed 105 miles last week and would be on track to repeat that this week if I hadn’t veered off road three times, twice on the bike and once on foot.

When riding trail I strive mightily to avoid nicking any trailside rocks with a pedal. One good spark in these dry, windy conditions and we’ll be grabbing the go-bags and cat carrier and hightailing it for … for … for where? Is there anyplace that isn’t on fire and/or out of water?

Hot lap, señores!

March 28, 2022

On your mark, get set — go!

Zoom, off we go for another circuit of Old Sol. Here’s hoping it’s not the bell lap. If it is, I don’t think I’m gonna finish in the money.

The birthday bash was low-key. A couple of phone calls and texts, a few choruses of “Happy Birthday,” and a great big ol’ green chile cheeseburger with bacon, white cheddar, and fries at the Range Cafe. This is something I’d never cook for myself, so yay, etc.

That’s a lot of comics rat there, Skeezix.

Herself, knowing my history with comics, scored me the collected “Watchmen,” by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins. I was a superhero fiend early on, starting with DC and moving on to Marvel, then diverted to the underground comics for some years before losing track of the medium for an extended period.

When “Watchmen” came along in the mid-Eighties I was into changing newspapers like underwear and racing bicycles, and never heard a peep about it. I found Zack Snyder’s movie incomprehensible — Terry Gilliam had been tapped to direct but deemed the comic “unfilmable” and bailed — but I loved the HBO miniseries, so I’m looking forward to examining the original source material.

Got the 68-minute bike ride in on the trails around Elena Gallegos Open Space, and was lucky to escape unscathed for another lap of the sun. It looked like the Big I at the cocktail hour on Friday, is what.

Of course, back when I was still a man, instead of whatever it is that I am now, I would’ve ridden my age in miles, not minutes. But the rides were shorter then, and didn’t burn quite so much daylight.

Hell, I didn’t get my burger on until 2 in the peeyem as it was. If I’da gone for 68 miles I’da been having it for breakfast this morning.

The luck of the Irish

March 17, 2022

A wee bit monochromatic for the wearin’ of the green.

O, ’tis a fine soft day we have here so.

The rain awakened Herself, but not me. I thought she was selling me a bill of goods when she said it rained during the night, until I glanced outside this morning.

There’s a dusting of snow just up the hill, and the cul-de-sac is dampish. This wee sprinkle will do a fine job of tamping down the sand in the arroyo I’ve been riding lately. I’ve only seen one other cyclist in there and he was riding a mountain bike; also, down, not up.

It will save me from the raking of the lawn as well. No point in busting my hump corraling all those soggy pine needles now. Wait until they dry out and lighten up.

Ditto for the trails. Never ride ’em wet. After a rain the knuckleheads in Bibleburg would slash the gooey singletrack into something that looked like Rodan the Flying Monster’s landing strip. The ruts would set up harder than times in 1929, and riding them on a cyclocross bike meant taking a hot lap on Satan’s Slot Car Track.

The ground here in The Duck! City is mighty thirsty, though. Getting it wet enough to damage with bicycle tires might require the sort of deluge that made a sailor of Noah.

Spring, forward!

March 13, 2022

Them ol’ Sandia Mountains blues.

Today we take our text from the Gospel According to the Rev. Ken Layne of Desert Oracle Radio:

“Despair eats away at our souls. The most Orwellian thing we can do is wake up in the morning and say to ourselves, “I wonder how the war is going today.’”

I woke up this morning and said to myself, “I wonder where I should ride today.”

Yesterday was Herself’s (mumble-mumblest) birthday, and we celebrated with Herself the Elder, sister Beth, and pal Sue. The eating was medium-light and required assembly, not cookery: smoked salmon and shrimp, various cheeses and crackers, guacamole and chips, and a selection of desserts from the Range Cafe. I slapped a candle in a slice of key lime pie, lit ’er up (the candle, not the pie) and we all sang “Happy Birthday.”

Today, I feel like springing forward on a bike of some sort. The weather is supposed to be stellar and if you miss one of these days you’ll forever be one behind.

Weather, or not

March 10, 2022

Looks like weather. Whether we get weather remains to be seen.

The best thing about riding trails on a cool, gloomy Thursday is that you will not have much company.

Herself’s elder sis and one of their longtime pals flew into town yesterday for a weeklong visit. I whipped up too much grub — turkey enchiladas in red chile, turkey tacos with homemade salsa fresca, and Mexican rice — and this morning I felt the need to balance my caloric budget. So I kitted up, grabbed the Voodoo Nakisi, and rolled out.

Water you doing up there?

The forecast called for wind and snow, which is why I decided to log a little dirt time on the Elena Gallegos trails, just in case they turn into ice rinks, mudslides, and/or drainage channels. The NWS did not sound particularly confident in its prediction, but hey, even a blind dog finds a Milk-Bone now and then.

I exchanged compliments with a couple cheerful hikers early on as we took different routes around the same rockpile. A third reluctantly stepped aside for me as I cranked cautiously up a sketchy bit of Trail 341 that most double-boinger types ride as a descent.

Putting a foot down and waving her through, I explained that I hadn’t ridden this section in a while and was likely to intercourse the penguin right about where she was standing. She complied and trudged on down the trail, mumbling something about having been denied “a little entertainment.”

She didn’t miss much. I cleaned that sumbitch right up to the rock garden just below where 341 intersects with the Pino Trail. That obstacle has me completely buffaloed. I nearly rolled the dice but figured that I’d been lucky so far and didn’t need to break any bones with the womenfolk off raiding The Duck! City’s thrift stores for their eBay empires.

Made it home without incident, tossed a light lunch down the gullet, and started a pot of posole for the evening meal, when Herself the Elder joined the throng.

I am seriously outnumbered here. Why, I can hardly hear the voices in my head.

Pumped

March 8, 2022

I found a bargain at my neighborhood station.

The gas is mostly $4.19 in these parts, up from $3.59 a week or so ago.

Still not nearly enough. But it’s a start.

Based on what I could glean from a brief, unscientific survey this morning, the rising prices haven’t stopped Burqueños from speeding, running red lights, or idling away a few minutes (and gallons) in various fast-food drive-through lines.

This last is why I restrict my motor trips to grocery-shopping. Once you bring home the bacon, you don’t gotta go nowhere else, watching your fuel and patience needles march toward “E” as you endure some faux redneck’s loudly farting diesel. You cook it up and eat it.

And once the weather settles down, who knows? I may leave ol’ Sue Baroo in the garage even more than I already do, invest a portion of my beans and rice in getting more beans and rice. There seems to be a lot of bicycles around here for some reason.