Archive for the ‘Spring’ Category

The white-chinned mansplainers of spring

April 22, 2019

Angry old white men are so 15 minutes ago.

Must be spring. Herself has already spotted her first white-chinned mansplainer of 2019.

It was a busy weekend. One of Herself’s pals came to town on family business and on Friday they did an exercise class plus a trail run together. Then on Saturday she wanted to ride the bike for the first time this year, and so the two of us rolled around and about for a while.

Yesterday she joined a colleague and another woman for another, longer ride. And that’s when the white-chinned mansplainer flapped past, screeching its distinctive and decidedly off-key tune.

Like the black-chinned hummingbird, the white-chinned mansplainer is a sure sign of prime cycling weather. But while the hummers enjoy sipping nectar from flowers and feeders, the ’splainer prefers sticking his snotty little beak in your business.

Case in point: As Herself and a colleague were taking five on a Duke City bike path, waiting for the third member of their party to catch up, they spotted a white-chinned mansplainer rolling toward them.

This particular exemplar of the species was a geezer on a recumbent with a Chihuahua tucked into his vest, and Herself anticipated a prime opportunity to coo briefly over a cute little pocket pooch.

Alas, she lost interest after the geezer barked at them: “If you’re gonna stop you should get off the trail!”

Now, I’m told this bird had plenty of room to make a clean pass without threat to life, limb, or Chihuahua. Yet he felt compelled to sing his sour little song anyway, possibly because these were two women who seemed unlikely to slap his beak around to the other side of his head so he could squawk into his own ear and see how he liked it.

As a lifelong student of the bon mot and the righteous riposte I inquired whether they had replied that he should proceed elsewhere with all possible haste to consume excrement, enjoy carnal knowledge of himself, and perish. Herself said no, they hadn’t, but her buddy had flicked a soupçon of snark his way, “thanking” him for his unsolicited and oh-so-helpful advice.

Now, I don’t know much about other sports, but I’m certain ours has too many of these entitled old buzzards flapping around, shitting on everything and everyone in their path. I would not put it past them to drill chickens on the use of crosswalks. They certainly feel free to enlighten their fellow cyclists on a wide range of topics.

I encountered more than a few of these self-appointed bike cops during my Fred period. Happily, years of newspaper work had hardened my hide and I stuck it out instead of abandoning the sport for golf, bowling, or blackjack. By which I mean the use of an actual blackjack. One sap deserves another.

Not everyone is so tenacious. Some folks have a low threshold for gratuitous douchebaggery. Especially on Easter Sunday. I’ll wager Jesus wasn’t nearly so rude to the multitudes when he rode his dinosaur to Sunday school.

And yet we wonder why cycling fails to attract and retain new participants.

At least two of these women are in the market for new bicycles, and have cycling events penciled on their calendars. That’s good news for anyone who makes bikes, sells bikes, or writes about bikes. Just like this horizontal fart in a whirlwind is bad news for anyone condemned to those rackets.

Now, I know nobody in my crowd engages in this sort of appalling behavior. But if you know somebody who does, tell them in no uncertain terms to knock it the fuck off. Yapping at random strangers is the Chihuahua’s job.

Riding the (temperature) range

April 15, 2019

Everything’s growing in the yard, including
the amount of time I spend mowing it.

Yesterday was one of those days when you stare into the kit drawer thinking, “Fuck it, I’ll just take it all.”

The temperature was 33 degrees when I first checked in the ayem, and topped out at 74. That’s quite a range. Had it been a song, not even Roy Orbison could’ve sung it.

Steelman Eurocross No. 1 on the high side of Tramway Lane.

Oddly, it never felt quite that warm; not to me, anyway. El Rancho Pendejo is a dark house, lodged at the bottom of a cul-de-sac, and cool morning air drifts down the hill and surrounds the joint like bad news, delivering an inaccurate perception of the actual conditions outside.

Thus I whiled away the morning serving the cats, performing domestic chores, and shouting at various websites, and didn’t start my ride until noonish.

I set out with arm and knee warmers. But while I pulled the arm bits off toward the end, the knee ones stayed on, in accordance with the Bostick Rule, which went something like “Cover your knees under 65 degrees.”

What a beautiful day for a two-hour ride on a cyclocross bike*, though. A little pavement, a little dirt, a lot of laughs. You won’t catch me crying on a day like that.

* Batteries not included.

Another Saga in the books

April 5, 2019

Take it to the bridge.

The Ride Your Own Damn Bike Festival® continues. The Soma Saga (disc-brake model) has been added to the tally, which to date includes the Jones, Sam Hillborne, Voodoo Nakisi, Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, Nobilette, Bianchi Zurigo and Soma Double Cross.

Yesterday we rolled down to the bosque and back via the usual off-street paths — Paseo del Norte, North Diversion Channel, and Paseo de las Montañas, with a stretch of Indian School Road for the fear factor.

It was a gorgeous day, with little wind, and I was able to peel off the arm and knee warmers when I got down to the bosque (it’s about a thousand-foot drop from El Rancho Pendejo). Gotta get that geek-tan going, don’t you know.

For symmetry’s sake I should ride the Soma Saga canti’ bike next. But it has a squeal in the front pads that I need to address, and I feel like riding a bit of actual trail, so it’s Steelman Eurocross No. 1 today.

Meanwhile, props to the guv for vetoing HB 192, a safe-passing measure altered at the final hour by a poison-pill amendment that would have forced cyclists “to the extent practicable” to leave New Mexico’s roads when separate bike lanes/paths are available.

Sayeth the guv: “Although it is vital that we make our roads safer for cyclists, the ambiguous provision added to HB 192 does not give sufficiently clear guidance to cyclists and law enforcement with respect to what conduct by cyclists is or is not permitted.” She urges the Roundhouse to have another go at it. So do I.

Props to Khal for passing the word along.

April drool

April 2, 2019

Yesterday’s air-quality report from the City of Albuquerque.

I lay low for April Fool’s Day. It’s gotten to be kind of like the St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve of comedy — not for serious funnymen. Funnypersons? Persons of funny?

My favorite April Fool’s gag may be the time the Gazette caught the Greeley Tribune napping. It was in the late Seventies, and some wisenheimers on staff faked up a photo of an El Paso County pickle farmer inspecting a bumper crop (reporter Don Branning in a planter’s hat, examining a plump dill tied to a tree across the street from the newspaper).

We ran it on the Metro front, then put it on The Associated Press wire just for giggles. To our astonishment, the Tribune picked it up and ran the shot on its Farm page despite the photo credit, which read something like, “GT photo by Aprylle Foole.”

The desk jockey who made that call clearly was not a local boy with shitcaked bootheels. The Tribune is in Weld County, one of the richest agricultural counties east of the Rockies, the state’s top producer of grain, sugar beets and cattle.

Not pickles, though. El Paso County had all the pickle farms in Colorado.

Here in New Mexico the ash and juniper are providing all the comedy, if your idea of a good laugh involves watching some poor sod’s nose run like an irrigation ditch with a busted headgate.

I pretended to be a runner yesterday afternoon and came home with an enraged snotlocker, a condition that persists this morning. Snot funny, man.

It’s loud and it’s tasteless

March 20, 2019

Sorry, it does not come with fries.

Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry, step right this way!

It’s the first day of spring, and nothing says “spring” quite like a change in wardrobe.

Unless you’re in Colorado, in which case “spring” says “snowshoeing to the liquor store.” Or in the Midwest, where it means “building an Ark.” (The Bible is not particularly helpful here. What the hell is a cubit, anyway? I don’t see any “gopher wood” down at the Home Depot, either. Do I have to go to Hobby Lobby for that?)

Unzip over to Voler to join the team! And no, goddamnit, for the last time, it does not come with fries!

But yeah, everywhere else, wardrobe change. And have we got a deal for you. Mad Dog Media and Voler have teamed up on their first-ever Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter Spring Jersey Sale!

See, we figure you’ve put on about 15 percent over this long, cold winter. So we’re helping you take 15 percent off, and the easy way, too, by buying something. It’s The American Way™. And it’s cheaper than snowshoes, liquor, and kitty litter for the bottom of that Ark.

Just pop round to the Mad Dog corner of Voler, deploy the Secret Code — OLDGUYS15 — and surrender your money, personal data, and the final tattered remnants of your self-respect.

G’wan, y’fat bastid, take the plunge. Join the team. You need the kit, and we need the laughs. Also, and too, the money. Don’t make me stop the Internet and come back there. We are the goon squad and we’re coming to town, beep-beep.

Offer good until April 1, when the usual foolery will resume.

Bloomin’ marvelous

May 11, 2018

The daffodils and tulips have come and gone, and now it’s the irises’ turn.

The plant life hereabouts doesn’t seem to have gotten the word about our record heat and drought.

The roses on the back patio are doing as well as ever, and maybe better.

Roses are exploding on their trellis, the irises are going full tilt, and the lawn — well, it actually looks kind of like a lawn.

And those little green apples that God didn’t make? Well, somebody did. We’re gonna have a metric shit-ton of those inedible sonsabitches to contend with here directly.

Good thing we don’t have a Triffid. Judging by the way everything else is coming along, our little cinder-block wall sure wouldn’t restrict its movements any.

Nossir, that sucker would be striding around and about the Greater Comanche Foothills Yacht & Cricket Club, snatching up the neighbors and their pets, lowering property values, and making Republicans of the survivors.

Nasal barrage

April 14, 2018

The backyard maple is greening up, along with pretty much everything else.

Here at El Rancho Pendejo we are spared the cruise missiles but not the snot rockets. Faugh, sneeeerk, hyeeeeenk, auuuughhhhh, hoccccccccck, ptui, etc.

The apple tree next to the garage.

The incoming includes mulberry, ash, juniper, cottonwood and sycamore, fueled by red-flag winds. I haven’t been on the bike since Wednesday. So, yeah. Not bombed, but bummed.

And taking drugs, which I used to enjoy. But these ones are boring. You don’t get to talk to God but at least you can breathe through your nose.

Maybe we should drop a shitload of mulberry bombs around old Bashar’s secure location. If he’s honking his beezer 24/7 he might not feel chipper enough to get medieval on folks.

The wisteria bracketing the front door.

Checking the oldometer

March 31, 2018

The bosque is greening up, no thanks to the weather. New Mexico is nearly 100 percent drought-afflicted, with the Duke City environs classified as in “severe drought conditions.”

Boom! Another birthday ride in the books, just as the month skids to a stop.

Going up: The Saga tackles Tramway.

A few days late, it’s true, but remember, we’re running on O’Grady Standard Time here.

Anyway, today’s entry in the old logbook officially lists 40.2 miles, which is 64.7 kilometers. Naturally, I shall carry the 0.7km forward to next year’s ride, assuming I’m still above ground and not studying The Little Orange Book in re-education camp.

The weather being slightly insane — 63 degrees at the start, 73 at the finish — I rode down to pick up the bosque trail just west of downtown, took that to the Alameda parking lot, and then noodled over via 4th and Roy to the Tramway climb, which always seems to take about a half hour, no matter what bike I’m riding.

In this instance it was the Soma Saga Disc. Which reminds me: I get extra credit for logging my birthday mileage on a 33-pound bike, right? Right?

Spring has sprung …

March 20, 2018

I’ve had to mow twice already. Next up: Replacing the string in the electric trimmer. No, not the one I use on my nose hair.

… and the grass, it has most definitely riz.

I wonders where the flowers iz.

Happy spring equinox.

 

Looks like snow

April 30, 2017

Hal Walter demonstrates the capabilities of the Suzuki SX4 Snowplow Car.

And now, here’s Hal Walter with the weather! (Not brought to you by the Greater Crusty County-Weirdcliffe Association of Realtors®).