Archive for the ‘Rain’ Category

Son of a beach

January 15, 2023

“We are not amused.”

Miss Mia Sopaipilla is doing her Queen Victoria impression again, so you know it’s not going to be sunny and fiddy-sumpin’ today in The Duck! City.

Happily, it was sunny and fiddy-sumpin’ the past couple of days, so I was able to get out and about on a two-wheeler, in this case the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff.

My man Chris Coursey, a beach bum and journo who rose from his humble origins to become Santa Rosa’s mayor and then a Sonoma County supervisor, probably longs for the days when he had to drive to the California coast to see a few gajillion tons of water in motion.

Friday and Saturday marked my first off-road rides of 2023, and they were a nice change from running, which I will probably return to today, if I can pull myself together in time to beat the rain to the punch.

Yes, the wizards are predicting rain, and even a small chance of snow, so I guess we’re getting a little spillover from the atmospheric rivers that have been drenching the West Coast.

I’ve never had to contend with weather like that, and I hope to keep that lucky streak unbroken. It makes the occasional four-foot Colorado snowstorm look like a day at the beach with a cold sixer and a hot girl.

It never rains, but it pours

January 11, 2023

We got a drive-by from that cloud over by the Sandias.

Thanks to everyone who has dropped a dime in Charles Pelkey’s GoFundMe tip jar.

As of 8:30 a.m. Dog time the fund was approaching $18,000, which as organizer David Stanley notes represents “a phenomenal level of love, affection, and admiration” for our old Live Update Guy pal.

I’ve added a widget to the sidebar for anyone who missed the memo. And it was delightful to see so many former VeloNews types in the list of donors.

Meanwhile, here in The Duck! City this morning we got a wet little kiss on the cheek from the gods; just enough rain to rinse some dust off the cacti. Thank you, sir or madam, may I have another?

I expect Herself and her pal Leslie are glad they canceled their trip to Southern California, where the rain is washing away the dust, the cacti, the hillsides the cacti are rooted to, and damn nearly everything else. Especially since the FAA developed a hitch in its gitalong, an IT failure of some sort that buggered about 4,600 flights.

That’s a surfin’ safari you can keep, is what. Nobody likes this drought, but who wants to hang ten on their front door while rocketing down a diversion channel to the Rio Grande?

High and (mostly) dry

December 28, 2022

’Tis a fine soft day at El Rancho Pendejo.

Tlaloc is having a wee this morning, and glad we are to see it. It’s been so dry even the cacti have the asthma.

If we’re really lucky this light rain will become snow and maybe stick around a while, soak in a bit. I can see a dusting up there along the ridgeline.

But the odds of any serious accumulation seem poor, on a par with Southwest Airlines returning your luggage (or you, for that matter) before the Fourth of July.

Still, it seems I was wise to get the ol’ bikey ridey in yesterday. Any outdoor exercise today is likely to involve running shoes and rain gear.

It feels weird to be sitting here, mostly high and dry, as an atmospheric river water-cannons the West Coast and the East Coast tunnels out from under a bomb cyclone.

One of the upsides of living in the high desert, I suppose. The downside being that in a couple years we’ll need “Dune”-style stillsuits for the long, hot hike to the farmers’ market.

Rode hard and put away wet

October 17, 2022

The sky was crying as we motored home.

Can a weekend be both long and short at the same time?

The answer is yes, if you’re driving from The Duck! City to Manitou Springs and back again to join some old comrades in honoring the spirit of one who’s gone west.

The friends and family of John O’Neill crowded into Mansions Park in Manitou on Saturday to eat, drink, and swap tales of a grumpy old sumbitch who loved his wife Cindy, dogs, running, the Three Stooges, mountain biking, and margaritas, and who left the party far too early at 69.

Herself and I had to think fast to arrange the 400-mile trip north. Do we drive up the day of the celebration, spend the night, and come back on Sunday? Or the day before, spend the night, and then race home right after the gathering on Saturday? Who’s going to keep an eye on Miss Mia Sopaipilla now that she’s an only cat? We’re short a couple of neighbors, one who’s off with the family on her own road trip and another who just had knee-replacement surgery. Decisions, decisions. …

In the end we arranged a room, engaged a pro pet-sitter to check in on Mia, got up at stupid-thirty on Saturday, and roared north in the recently reconditioned Fearsome Furster, making it to Bibleburg with just enough time to spare for a detour down Memory Lane, which in this case led to Bear Creek Regional Park, where John and I and the rest of the Mad Dogs put on so many cyclocrosses Back in the Day®.

From there we drove straight to Manitou, grabbed a parking spot across the street from the park, puzzled out the robo-meter (Is everything smart these days except me?) and did a quick bit of recon.

The uniform of the day was to be flannel shirts and jeans, and we soon saw one, then another, and another. Many, many of them, as the hour approached. We helped shift a few picnic tables and folding chairs around, but there were not nearly enough of either to accommodate the swelling flannel-and-denim herd, which spilled over the designated parking spots and onto the lawn.

There were tales and tears, laughter and applause, a slideshow and still photos, food and drink. We paid our respects to Cindy and to John’s Colorado Running Company partner Jeff Tarbert, and caught up with a smattering of cycling and running buddies from The Before-Time, when the Mad Dogs had a good deal less gray in their muzzles and more glide in their stride.

Time is a toll road, and the longer your journey, the more descansos you pass.

We couldn’t find a way to attend a remembrance for our B-burg bro’ Steve Milligan, a sharp wit felled by an aggressive cancer in 2020, at age 73, just as he and his wife were preparing to enjoy their retirement.

I was able to make it to Denver this past July to say a belated adios to my first editor in the cycling racket, Tim Johnson, who worked long and hard to help build VeloNews into the preeminent bike-racing mag’ it became after Inside Communications acquired the title and moved it from Brattleboro to Boulder in 1989. Early-onset Alzheimer’s devoured what remained of Tim in November 2021, at 63, after gnawing away at him for years.

Now, I am not a believer in the Next World. I’m not certain I believe in this one. But I found solace in these remembrances and the sheer number of celebrants they drew. One person can make a difference. The ripples from their passage through our lives spread far and wide, lifting many a lesser vessel.

They say you’re not supposed to make a big wake by the dock, “they” being the slackers bronzing their buns on the boards. The only time those posers get their feet wet is when they piss on their flip-flops.

The big boys jump right the hell off that dock. Make a huge splash, the sort of cannonball into the deeps that will have people talking and laughing and toasting your memory long after you’re gone.

Fall

September 28, 2022

An arroyo upstream from El Rancho Pendejo.

Fall indeed. Some might, when cycling at speed into such a mess.

But not Your Humble Narrator, a veteran cyclocrosser with the “mad skillz,” as the kids mostly don’t say anymore.

Morning temps are in the 50s now that autumn has arrived, with afternoons in the 70s. And last afternoon we got a half-inch of precip’ in about 15 minutes’ worth of rain and hail pelting down sideways out of the NNE.

Not a PNM project. You gonna believe me or your lyin’ eyes?

The sand and gravel from the neighborhood arroyos tend to go walkabout under such conditions and thus I rode a touring bike today, with fat tires and fenders.

Puddles there were also on a few of the foothills streets, one of them stretching from curb to curb, if the road had had curbs, which it did not.

The fat tires make short work of sloppy streets and the mudguards help keep the dread Brown Stripe off one’s bibs.

I might need them both again tomorrow. There is a sound of thunder. Could be the rumble of heavy equipment from the power project PNM says it’s not doing in our ZIP code, despite all evidence to the contrary. But I’m betting on more rain.

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.

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.”

It’s June, and soon the monsoon

June 21, 2022

You can’t spell “monsoon” without “soon.”

It’s the summer solstice, and when I arose at stupid-thirty to make breakfast for Herself it sounded like a Tarzan movie outside.

No rain overnight, unless you count the deluge of evil tidings from far and near. Chama is out of water. “The Sedition Show” continues in DeeCee. And the less said about Texas the better. (There’s actually very little that’s new in the outrage du jour, as Texas Monthly reminds us. Molly Ivins could I.D. this crowd with her eyes closed, which they are, more’s the pity.)

But the North American Monsoon is expected to resume here directly, which, yay. It may not be ideal for cycling, but I have bikes with fenders. And the trees drink that stuff up like my people hitting a pint of the black. Even the federales have a hard time setting you on fire when you’re soaked to the core.

Gata gallivant

June 19, 2022

The patio gets power-washed.

What a difference a rain makes.

At 9:15 a.m. the temp was just 60 degrees. A few days back the overnight low was higher.

The official precip’ tally for the past two days is 0.58 inch, or about half again what we had received all year long before the monsoons kicked in. Our widget shows 0.71 inch.

And it was still raining when we got up. Might keep raining for a while, too, if you believe the Wizards, who have greatly improved their batting average lately.

I rode a bike with fenders yesterday, and yes, I needed them. Not often, but still, glad I had ’em. Cyclists in the desert look askance at a bike with fenders until they’re sporting the chilly Brown Stripe up the backside of their bibs. Then they’re all like, “Hm, good idee,” as they’re doing the laundry and hosing the grit off their drivetrains.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla celebrated the change in the weather with a fine gallivant this morning, launching off the furniture, rocketing around the house, and diving in and out of a paper bag in my office, before finally tunneling under our bedspread and curling up for an extended snooze.

A nap sounds like an even better idea than fenders. But I haven’t had my gallivant yet.

Aqua fina

June 18, 2022

We might get another water delivery from this lot.

Yesterday’s clouds moved beyond the decorative for a change.

The official tally was a quarter-inch of precip’, but out here in The Duck! City Foothills our widget recorded 0.36 inch. We’ll take it.

One of the little girls from next door came bounding over as we stood in the driveway, soaking up a welcome bit of drizzle, and announced that she had “prayed to God” to lay a little rain on us. We thanked her for her service and wondered why we hadn’t thought of that. Probably better to send the kid on that errand, I thought. Cuter, with a shorter rap sheet.

Up north, Fanta Se moved quickly to reopen some trails shuttered by fear of fire, according to The New Mexican. Down to here, the press pivoted to other concerns: the potential for flooding at burn scars and/or homeless people surfing the arroyos down to the Rio, that sort of thing. Every silver lining must have a dark cloud.

We threw open doors and windows and let the cool morning breeze wash over us. Took a few deep, cleansing breaths. We’ll be sweating things again soon enough.