Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Ballad of a fat man

June 21, 2017

I raised up my head and I asked, “Is this where it is?”

And you know something is happening but you don’t know what it is.*

Do you, Mr. Jones?

* OK, so I’ll tell you. It was a short bike ride on my Jones 29er, early in the ayem, before it got too bloody hot (100.5° right now). The one-eyed midget stayed home, where the air conditioning is. I don’t know how Bob Dylan found his way into this post when he couldn’t even make it to the Nobel ceremony.

Hot dog!

June 20, 2017

The Boo keeps his tongue handy because you never know when something edible might wander by.

As the outdoor temperature crept slowly toward the century mark, Mister Boo, sleeping off a medium-heavy solstice snack, gave quiet thanks to Willis Carrier, inventor of the modern air conditioner.

• Late update: Boom. Made it. The century mark. Good times. Maybe not.

Old 97s

June 19, 2017

Somebody has parked a laser cannon overhead.

Hm. ‘Bout time to crank up the ol’ solstice ritual, looks like.

The weatherman says it’s 97 out there at 4:44 p.m. Duke City time, and I believe him, just having taken a lap of the ‘hood on the Vespa to keep the battery topped off.

And it only gets worser as the week drags on. Ninety-seven, 101, 102 … you get the idea.

Nothing like what Pat and Sandy are enduring down in Arizony, I imagine. Shucks, those folks have to get up before they go to bed if they want to get a coolish ride in.

The Boo doesn’t even bother to get out of bed on days like this. He dosses down right next to an air-conditioning vent in the floor and pretty much stays there.

Boiling in the bosque

June 9, 2017

We’re getting a few of New Mexico’s signature puffy clouds late in the day, but mostly it’s blue skies and red hot.

We’re enjoying a stretch of summery weather in the Duke City, and I am ever so glad I chose a career in rumormongery rather than landscaping.

The neighbors have a crew in, reshaping the back yard to make it a pleasant playpen for their anklebiters, and from a safe distance this looks an awful lot like work, especially when the temps inch into the 90s.

See those hills off in the distance? Yeah, I pretty much had to ride back there.

I got a late start on my ride Wednesday and by the time I had climbed back from the bosque to El Rancho Pendejo I was feeling not unlike a rotissery chicken but didn’t smell nearly as appetizing.

Still, it was worth it. The ride was nearly all downhill along the Paseo de las Montañas bike path and Indian School to downtown/Old Town, where I headed west on Mountain (a “Bicycle Boulevard”) to the Paseo del Bosque.

The winds were cooperative — mostly blocked by the bosque’s cottonwoods while riding north and providing a distinct assist on the Paseo del Norte trail and Osuna/Manitoba. Only on the short southbound stretch of the North Diversion Channel Trail did I face a headwind. Life is suffering, as the Buddha has taught us.

That Space Horse may be a tad small at 55cm, but it’s comfy for a couple-three hours. Especially if you get an earlier start and don’t sweat all over the poor little pony.

The troll of Tramway

July 6, 2016
"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

“Who’s that tripping over my bridge?” roared the troll.

If you can’t stand the heat, get under the overpass.

The Tour stages cut deeply into the cool morning hours, so we Live Update Guys can’t get out and about until 10-ish most days.

Today it was already 80-something when I finally got rolling, and 90-something when I got home. Drank two bottles and snarfed down a gel but found myself slightly weary for some reason. Go figure.

The only shade to be found on the entire two-hour ride was underneath Tramway, between Manitoba and Spain, so I took a brief photography break before resuming my climb back to the air-conditioned barn.

When I arrived home I saw that Ronald McDonald McTrump was panhandling his Twitter followers, so I graciously offered him the steam off my piss. Haven’t heard back yet. There’s just no pleasing some people.

Self-funded campaign, me arse.

Self-funded campaign, me arse.

Trail blazing

June 20, 2016
The Paseo del Bosque makes a nice change from riding Tramway.

The Paseo del Bosque makes a nice change from riding Tramway.

Summer has announced itself with some authority here in the Duke City.

The temperature was in the 70s at El Rancho Pendejo before I finished my morning java, and hit the 80s before I left for the daily ride at 9-ish.

This little fella was trying to make the irrigation ditch before some earbudded triathlete did him in.

This little fella was trying to make the irrigation ditch before some earbudded triathlete did him in.

Too late, you say? Yep. ‘Cause I was enjoying 90-something in hour three of today’s little outing, which took me down to the Paseo del Bosque Trail, through downtown, and then home via the North Diversion Channel and Bear Canyon Arroyo trails.

It was an eventful day. I saw bison grazing on Sandia land along Tramway; a small tortoise trying to cross the bosque trail (I gave him a hand); ducks paddling underneath the Interstate 40 bridge over the Rio; and a dude on a skateboard pushing a canoe on wheels.

I am not making that last part up.

“Interesting way to get around,” sez I.

“Hey, it works,” sez he. And so it did.

I should’ve snapped a picture, because I’m not entirely sure I actually saw it. It was hot out there.

• Addendum: I’m not sure I saw this either. I can’t wait to hear the good constitutionalists out there screeching about activist judges (cue the crickets).

Happy solstice

June 21, 2015
What this sucker needs is a sprinkler system that comes on when you cycle through.

What this sucker needs is a sprinkler system that comes on when you cycle through.

It’s the longest day of the year, and is it ever a scorcher. Ninety-nine in the Duke City at the moment. A tip of the sweatband to Willis Haviland Carrier, who gave us air conditioning.

Got a couple nice rides in recently as part of a concentrated effort to (a) not read every word written online about the Charleston massacre, and (2) not apply for emigration to Mars.

On Friday, Adventure Cyclist contributor Merrill Callaway and I rode down to Two Wheel Drive on Central to chat a while with owner Charlie Ervin. If you’re ever in Albuquerque make sure you pop into Charlie’s shop. Lovely people, a friendly dog, and bike stuff, too. If TWD had a taqueria, bar and swimming pool the place would be perfect. But then pretty much anyplace would be, que no?

On Saturday Herself and I rode out to Tijeras and back. She claimed afterward that she would have ridden faster without me. I proposed that she get in line with all the other people who are faster than me.  That would be quite the paceline.

The underpass above is about the only shade between here and there and back again, so it seems that I must become an early riser if I’m to be cycling up to Madrid, Santa Fe and points north in this brand-new summer.

But I’d have to get up very early in the morning to even come close to thinking about maybe, possibly, approaching the marker that our most recent guest at Chez Dog has laid down.

First, he cycled from Las Vegas to Bibleburg for a nephew’s wedding. Then he rode up Pikes Peak.

 

An .85 Magnum Opus

June 1, 2015
The Opus Legato and I on the way back to El Rancho Pendejo from the bosque.

The Opus Legato and Your Humble Narrator on the way back to El Rancho Pendejo from the bosque.

That was a long three weeks. Know how I can tell? Because I just absentmindedly hand-coded the italics for “That,” the way we have to while posting at Live Update Guy during the grand tours, the first of which finally skidded to a halt on Sunday.

Don’t gotta do that shit here, yo. Got buttons for that italics shit here.

Anyway, with the Giro d’Italia finally in the can, no deadlines of any sort barking at me like a double Hound of the Baskervilles, and Herself finally (!) done with road-tripping for a while, I enjoyed a nice quiet morning for a change, one in which I didn’t have to be funny and/or focused before breakfast. It’s a far cry from ditch-digging, but some days it’s definitely harder than it looks.

Around 10 I got out for a spin on the Opus Legato, one of three review bikes on deck for Adventure Cyclist. It started out as a fairly standard out-and-back but at some point mutated into a “let’s see where this road goes” kind of ride. I found a scenic new alternative to 4th Street (Guadalupe Trail) when heading down Tramway with the bosque in mind, and on the way home checked out a couple of bike routes that were new to me.

By this time it was noonish and in the mid-80s, which added a degree of difficulty to the climb back up to El Rancho Pendejo. And then I remembered we have air conditioning. So, yeah, bonus. Now I seem to be hungry for some reason, so I’m gonna whip up a mess of Rick Bayless’s tacos de chorizo con salsa de aguacate.

Seems the recipe is no longer on his website, but there are plenty of others. Pick one and use it to take the taste of a Lindsey Graham presidential campaign out of your mouth.

Fryday

September 6, 2013
A section of the Edna Mae Bennet Trail, which leads to the Templeton Trail.

A section of the Edna Mae Bennet Trail, which leads to the Templeton Trail.

Man, it got hot again all of a sudden.

We went from a pleasantly damp monsoon season straight back into summer, no matter what the calendar says.

This is good news for Manitou Springs, whose residents get a chance to chisel all the dried mud out of their basements, autos, and nostrils, but it makes for some steamy afternoons here in the office, which sits on the hot end of the house.

A little rain might help keep me in that office, which is where I need to be, having a few deadlines to beat before toddling off to Interbike. But the rule is that when the sun shines, vigorous exercise shall be taken, and outdoors, too.

By the time that’s over and done with, I feel a tad fatigued for some reason and crave a frosty beverage, a nosh and perhaps a nap. Thus work suffers. No wonder the economy is in such a parlous state.

Looking upward from the Templeton Trail, just east of Union and Austin Bluffs.

Looking upward from the Templeton Trail, just east of Union and Austin Bluffs.

Lately I’ve been alternating rides with hikes, generally in Palmer Park. I used to run the trails there quite a bit, but the knees don’t seem interested in that sort of thing anymore. So I hike instead, which is an acceptable substitute. I seem to trip and fall down a good deal less, anyway.

And if you pick the right trail, you can get plenty of vertical gain, as you can see from the pix. I can’t believe we used to ride these things back in the day.

And when I say “we,” I mean, “somebody else.” I was walking them even then.

• Late update: Herself and I did our part to rein in the idiots this afternoon by voting not to recall state Sen. John Morse, who fell afoul of the gun nuts. Lord, single-issue fuckwits give me a brain cramp with their political temper tantrums. You don’t like the way the man works, vote him out in the next regularly scheduled election — that’s why we have ’em. These pissants remind me of a toddler screwing up his chubby little mug right before spitting out the creamed spinach.

Hot time in the old town

August 20, 2013
Fountain Creek Trail

In the trees at the southern end of the Fountain Creek Trail.

We missed a temperature record today, but not by much — the official high was 89, just a few degrees short of 2003’s record of 93. I can hear Patrick chuckling (“You call that hot?”) all the way from Arizona.

Naturally, being a sluggard and a knucklehead, this mad dog was out in the noonday sun with the Englishmen, riding the Voodoo Nakisi down and back along the Fountain Creek Trail. One of these days I’ll start rolling out of the sack bright and early, like Herself, who is up and at ’em at the crack of dawn.

Yeah, right.

The recent heavy weather has done something of a number on the trail surface in spots. Ordinarily it’s no big thing to ride a cyclo-cross bike on the Fountain Creek Trail — hell, most days you could handle the 37-mile round trip on a road bike — but the recent rains have scoured it pretty good in places, stripping the trail down to hardpan gullies here and piling sand up there. Happily, I was riding 700×43 Bruce Gordon Rock N’ Roads, which could smooth out the bumps on the highway to Hell.

And the greenery! You never see Colorado this green, not this time of year. The far end of the trail, where it peters out near some dude’s hayburner hotel just west of Fountain, was strangled half to death with the same weeds that have been clogging snotlockers here at Chez Dog. The irrigation ditch at trailside by Fountain Creek Regional Park was running high, too, the water nearly level with the trail.

Up north, meanwhile, the big boys were riding the Tour of the Northern Colorado Ski Ghettos, but I wasn’t paying attention. I dislike ski towns so much I won’t even visit one to ski, much less to watch someone else ride their bikes.

It’s a shame the race won’t visit some lesser hamlets, burgs and whistle stops that could really do with a tourism bump, but then the organizers don’t put these things on out of the goodness of their hearts, eh? Them that’s got shall get, as the old song goes.