Archive for the ‘Rain’ Category

It never rains, but it pours

July 28, 2021

It looks like feckin’ Ireland over by the Menaul trailhead.

We New Mexicans should probably apologize to the Pacific Northwest for stealing their climate.

But hey, you left it unlocked with the keys in the ignition, so. …

Puddles on the Duke City trails are as rare as original thought in government. (See the latest iteration of publicly funded downtown stadiums for privately owned sports teams.) This in a town where we have a six-pack of dudes — half of them part-time — to plug holes in the bike paths along which the homeless pitch their festive tents.

Standing water on a Duke City trail in July? Truly these are dire portents of the End Times.

In DeeCee, meanwhile … well, the less said about that, the better. But can we at least agree that a few more Republicans would be on board the Investigation Train if the treasonous fucks who invaded the U.S. Capitol, pounding a few John Laws along the way, had been socialist, gay, people of color, or any combination thereof? You know: Democrats?

Jesus H., etc. In Hell Mao is all like, “Damn, and I thought I had a cult of personality going on.” But this feels more like the Israelites and their golden calf, only with “Christians” and a plastic pig from the Dollar Store rattle-canned with metallic-gold Krylon.

This sort of behavior failed to amuse either Moses or the Lord, as I recall. Doesn’t do shit for me, either.

Speaking of things that are a monkey or two short of a full barrel, I see we’re back to wearing our face panties.

Bernalillo County is tagged orange, with a “substantial” level of community transmission, so the CDC would like us to cover up when visiting indoor public spaces, shots or no shots.

Oh, good. I was already sick of seeing smiling faces and understanding the speech emerging from same.

The bright side is that in the past two weeks a half-dozen family members from far and wide have been able to visit Herself the Elder before the portcullis drops again, as seems likely. So, yay, etc.. May yis all be in Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you’re dead.

Sweet dreams are made of this?

July 25, 2021

Cyclocross weather. Not just in my head, either.

So last night I dreamed that I was racing the cyclocross national championships, and since I was the only competitor I felt I had a strong chance to podium.

But somehow I was managing to fuck it up.

Everybody’s looking for something.

I was missing some important bits, among them a helmet, a race number, and the faintest idea of what the actual hell was going on. Nobody in the dream seemed any wiser.

And at one point I was having a helluva time making the bike move at all, which is a familiar feeling to anyone who’s ever raced ’cross, but this bordered on the ridiculous, like I was trying to cycle through wet concrete with two flats and a dropped chain while the Klingons had a tractor beam on me.

It seemed increasingly likely that the officials would call the race due to there being no actual racing taking place, and I was looking at a DNF in a one-man nationals, when I saw a shooting star in my peripheral vision and abruptly woke up.

There was more to the dream, and I should’ve written it all down while it was still fresh in my mind, but Mia had somehow slipped into the bedroom and was yowling for my attention and grub, not necessarily in that order. Women were hatching schemes in the kitchen. The day was thrust upon me. Coffee was indicated.

I probably should’ve ridden a cyclocross bike but no. After last night it was the road for me, thanks all the same. And I barely made it home before the rain came. No medals or prizes were awarded.

Looks like rain

July 20, 2021

Isn’t rain supposed to fall down?

“Huh,” sez I, casting an appraising glance at the clouds glowering down at me from atop the Sandias. “Think I’ll mow the lawn.”

Boom. About 30 seconds after I finished and put the mower back in the garage, Thor gave the neighborhood a solid power-washing.

The deluge only lasted a few minutes, but that shit was coming in sideways. It was surf’s up across the cul-de-sac, and the mom next door probably wished she had an airboat to fetch the kiddos home from wherever because Nissan Altimas don’t float like the original VW bugs.

But hey, nobody bitches about rain in the desert. Unless it catches them from behind with the earbuds in, walking the Chihuahua down an arroyo.

Monsoon Weekend

July 7, 2021

The Paseo del Bosque was lush and green, even humid.

That’d be a good name for a band, hey? “Monsoon Weekend.” What kind of music, do you think? Blues? Shoegaze? Emo?

We’ve had a bit of a tuneup for what is supposed to be a dampish Saturday and Sunday, so when I rolled down to the bosque yesterday for the first time in quite a while I was aboard the Soma Saga disc, which still wears its fenders.

Good call. I had to surf a few puddles. And the extra weight of themoplastic mudguards, rear rack, and dynamo hub made it good training for … for … for what, exactly? I have no idea. I am neither racing nor touring. Just riding.

Taking a break in the Elena Gallegos Open Space

It was a nice change from my usual loops through the foothills, though. It’s easy to build a 20-mile circuit with 1,500 to 2,000 feet of vertical out here, but you know what they say about familiarity and contempt.

To disrupt the monotony I’ve been switching bikes — Soma Saga disc, Saga canti, New Albion Privateer, Nobilette, Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, even the Bianchi Zurigo Disc, the only alloy-and-carbon steed in the stable — but sometimes an old cowboy needs a new trail.

Speaking of which, I was doing a casual road ride with a couple other guys today. For no particular reason I was on a Steelman Eurocross, and it goes without saying that pretty much whenever a dirty alternative to asphalt presented itself I was on it like a dog on a bone.

I never jumped off and ran, though. That would’ve been rude.

The sky ain’t cryin’

June 28, 2021

Big, and bad, and bupkis.

Waiting for rain around here is like waiting for a Republican to grow a pair.

It huffs, and it puffs, aaaaaaaand … that’s about it.

Nevertheless, the clouds have helped keep us delightfully cool. Unlike the Tour de France, which so far seems to be a searing symphony of skidmarks and blood trails, scored for ambulance sirens.

Some pundits have been calling for a return to an “opening prologue” to mellow everyone out in the early going of Le Tour. Which might be smart, if we overlook that “opening” nonsense. A prologue is a preface, an introduction, a preceding event or development.

Have you ever seen a prologue three stages in? You have not.

Anyway, prologues are far from foolproof. Chris Boardman crashed in the 1995 prologue. Stuey O’Grady did likewise in 2007, as did Alejandro Valverde in 2017.

But it’s true that the carnage tends to be retail rather than wholesale in an “opening prologue.” A racer gets taken out by a tight corner, a slick descent, or a roadside eejit, and a writer gets taken out by the copy desk. Le Tour goes on.

Weather or not

April 28, 2021

The turnaround is at the bottom of that arroyo.

I looked out various windows, considered clothing options, added and subtracted layers, clapped on a sun hat, stuffed a North Face rain jacket into a day pack, then dropped the pack onto a chair, muttered, “Aw, fuck it,” and went out for a walk.

A glance to the north of where Comanche Road NE meets Trail 365 told me I probably should’ve left the sun hat on the chair and taken the pack, maybe given the rain jacket some gloves and galoshes for backup. The sky was blacker than that shrunken chunk of boiled batshit Tucker Carlson uses for a heart.

Too bad, so sad, I thought. Onward.

The view north after my U-turn.

Wasn’t long before I heard an occasional “pok” from the brim of my superfluous sun hat. Pok. Pok, pok. Pok, pokpok, pok. Etc.

I decided to pull a U down by the bridge. And as I turned to face the north without my North Face, I said: “Holy hell. I am gonna get wet.”

Now, this isn’t a long walk. Just under an hour depending upon how I want to do ’er. But all walks are long when it’s pissing down rain out of the north and you don’t have a Gore-Tex shell with hood concealed somewhere about your person. Just a stupid fucking sun hat.

Happily, it wasn’t raining quite yet. So I double-timed it, or maybe time-and-a-halfed it, jogging the uphills and flats. Hup hup hup. Try not to break another ankle, shit-for-brains. This time you’ll have to swim home.

About 30 seconds after I hit the door, boom. It started raining. For maybe a minute.

Shit. I don’t know why I keep holding on to this stupid fucking rain jacket.

Sometimes I have a great notion

September 12, 2020

No, I’m not snorting a line. Not right at that moment, anyway. …
Photo 1981 by Tom Warren | Corvallis Gazette-Times

Somehow I never thought of Oregon as a place that would burn.

I never thought it could burn.

In my mind Oregon remains a damp, dreary place where I spent a lot of time indoors, either working, hammered, or both. The only place I never owned a bicycle. Occasionally I walked, but only if I was too drunk to drive.

All my people were back in Colorado or in California, where I spent some months trapped in a Simon and Garfunkel song:

Asking only workman’s wages I come looking for a job

But I get no offers

When an offer finally came the job was in Corvallis, in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley. It was good to be working again instead of sponging off friends and family, but the baggage I brought with me held more than T-shirts and jeans.

I made some friends, most of them on the job, your typical newsdog. And we had some laughs, catching Andy Irvine and Paul Brady in concert at a tiny venue downtown, or motoring to Portland to hear Johnny and the Distractions.

Occasionally I’d meet my old buddy Merrill in Seattle, a change of scenery for us both. He was trapped at a newspaper in eastern Washington, which was another sort of hell altogether.

But I spent a lot more time slouched in Squirrel’s Tavern or in my tiny apartment, huddled with my dogs next to the wood stove, or taking aimless solo drives out to the coast, places like Newport or Depoe Bay.

Mostly I remember rain, damp, the kind of cold that a Colorado winter doesn’t prepare you for, the sort that settles right down into your bones and makes itself at home. I got fat in self-defense, trying to make my bones harder to find.

If you’d told me the place would burn I’d have laughed out loud and poured another one. But I don’t drink anymore, and I’m not laughing, either.

• From Oregon Public Broadcasting: How you can help.

’Round about midnight

September 9, 2020

The dread Crusty County Snow Spiral of Doom. Photo by Hal Walter

A wind-driven rain blew us right out of bed last night about three hours after lights out.

I say “last night” because it was still dark. But it was just after midnight. And it sounded as though Poseidon was power-washing the house, or maybe shot-peening it, which probably doesn’t do much to harden stucco against the elements.

As I will never be smart, this was about the time it occurred to me that I probably should’ve taken down the various bird feeders hanging around and about El Rancho Pendejo, maybe cinched down the cover over the gas grill, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

But this morning, all the feeders and the grill cover remained in place. The only damage was to the plastic footlocker we use to store the cushions for our patio furniture; that sucker got blown over and one of the gas struts FUBARed.

The cushions, as you might deduce, got wet.

I estimate that we got a foot or two of rain, but since it was coming in sideways at warp 5 it only amounted to a quarter inch or so. We can expect more of the same later today, it seems. And with the weather widget showing 43° at 8:48 in the ayem it’s about as warm as it’s going to get.

About 12,000 Burqueños lost power last night, and the problem persists this morning. Khal S. reports that he and a few thousand of his fellow Santa Feos were back to kerosene lanterns, wood heat, and carrier pigeons too. Up north my man Hal Walter was likewise back to a traditional mountain lifestyle (freezing to death in the dark), and woke up to snow; the icing on the cake, as it were.

All in all, it seems a good day to stay indoors and listen to Miles Davis. Even if it’s not ’round about midnight.

Wash and rinse

September 1, 2020

Arroyo, with a side of agua fria, coming up.

I had just turned into the cul-de-sac when it started raining.

My timing couldn’t have been better. I had left El Rancho Pendejo 90 minutes earlier for a brisk morning march along various foothills trails, because the weather wizards were predicting thundershowers. And when I turned around, up by Embudo Dam, I saw that they did not lie.

The Sandman cometh.

So I cranked up the pace a bit as the skies darkened, and then darkened some more. The wind sprang up, as it will, out of the north. Onward.

Finally, just past Candelaria on Trail 365, I broke into a run. Or what I call a run, anyway. A runner might disagree, or perhaps just laugh out loud.

And then, boom, just as I got home, the skies opened up and pissed rain … for a solid minute. Maybe two.

Oh, well. In the desert, two minutes of rain is better than none.

Fender amped

July 27, 2020

It was cloudy around the Crest, but the real action was behind me down below, as I found out when I headed for the barn.

The monsoons have draped themselves over us like a soggy cotton shirt.

It would be nice if the Universe would rearrange its watering schedule. A little bit here and a little bit there instead of all at once, like emptying a thundermug out of a second-story window onto a warbling drunkard.

But nobody in his right mind snivels about rain in the high desert. Not when rivers are drier than a popcorn fart and even the cacti are panting.

I’ve switched bikes — from the Soma Saga (canti) to the Soma Saga (disc) — because the latter still has fenders. I pulled the mudguards and racks off the rim-brake model to make it more of a daily driver than a touring machine.

But the daily driving is different now, so, yeah. I got rained on today. Fenders are your friend.