Archive for the ‘Wind’ Category

Red vs. white

March 6, 2022

March keeps pitching its meteorological curveballs.

It just snowed for a solid 10 seconds, so I guess the drought is over.

Whoops — on its thin white heels comes the red-flag warning. Winds of 25-25 mph, with gusts to 55? Ixnay on the inklerspray, hon’; we’d only be steaming the neighbors’ raggedy-ass cottonwood.

What a fine day to not be towing a rented travel trailer, as the neighbors will be doing directly. Even a bicycle will be too high-profile a vehicle for Your Humble Narrator.

Here in a bit I hope to squeeze in a short run. Got to keep the muscle memory alive in case Voldemort Poutaine decides he’d like to add The Duck! City to his collection.

Of course, the old spook might be having second thoughts about property acquisition given his struggles in Ukraine. And if he isn’t, he should be. To paraphrase Rick from “Casablanca,” “There are certain sections of New Mexico that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.”

“Boris, is this not where we parked the tank?”

“Da, Mikhail, it was right here. Central and Pennsylvania. Remember the friendly lady behind the In & Out who beckoned to us as we passed? She offered to take us around the world and you said, ‘But we just got here!'”

The dust storm we had on Friday would have reminded their fathers of the good old days in Afghanistan. It looked like one of the haboobs that periodically buggers traffic between Tucson and Phoenix. Blotted out the valley to the west and a slice of the Sandias to the east, redistributing portions of the Upper Chihuahuan Desert without need for tanks, aircraft, or artillery.

I didn’t ride or run Friday. But I got out yesterday for a 90-minute ride, and found myself dealing with another sort of Eurasian invasion — trails clogged with tumbleweeds, also known as (wait for it) the Russian thistle.

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!

October 12, 2021

A big ol’ storm gives us a love-tap en route to punching someone else out.

O, ’tis of a class of a wind out there this morning would peel the decals off your down tube.

Yesterday was the first truly chilly ride of this fall. With our weather widget spitting out a wealth of contradictory data I dithered for a while — “What will the style-conscious velo-fellow be wearing this season?” — before finally settling on tuque, short-sleeve jersey over long-sleeve jersey (augmented by arm warmers), long-fingered gloves, bib shorts, some lightweight tights, and wool socks.

Naturally, I was overdressed.

Bell lap.

The arm warmers came off first, followed by the tuque. Knee warmers would have been just the thing — tights were overkill — but the wool socks were spot on.

Still, fashion failures aside, the thing is to get out the fuggin’ door, amirite? Don’t just sit there at the desk, letting the stink-tide of the Innertubes wash over you like a sewer backup, glancing out the window now and again to see if summer plans an encore. Get out there and take your beating.

That being said, I am not a fan of cycling in the wind. I’ve been blown off highway shoulders and rock gardens, spun around like a weathervane while running a cyclocross course, and shot-peened smoother than a baby’s butt while grinding squint-eyed into various gales.

But as you know, I will never be smart, so I went right back out in it again today. Kerchief, long-sleeve jersey over sleeveless undershirt, long-fingered gloves, knickers, and cotton socks.

Naturally, I was underdressed.

The wind gave me a welcome assist on the climbs, but when the rain auditioned for a part in my little passion play I said to hell with it and turned around. All the world’s a stage, but we needn’t be overly dramatic.

Cold deck

March 16, 2021

This little canyon stair-steps up to the north off Foothills Trail 401.
A bit of bouldering is required in spots.

This is why I always shunned the casinos while in Sin City for Interbike.

I gambled on a nice long hike yesterday, betting that today would be better for the old bikey ridey.

Wrong.

Sure enough, something snuck in over the Sandias.

Yesterday was most enjoyable, two hours of up and down and all around, with a bit of light jogging thrown in here and there as the spirit moved. Rolled up the sleeves. Probably could’ve worn shorts.

Today I gnawed on a chilly wind from behind a handlebar for an hour and the nicest thing I can say about that is that I was not indoors. Long sleeves. The knickers and fingerless gloves proved unwise. Airborne allergens caressed my nostrils the way a peeler does a potato.

And now the weatherperson says snow is on the way? Snow? Who dealt this mess?

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

February 12, 2021

Red sky at morning, Mad Dogs take warning.

So much for the days of knickers and short sleeves.

I’ve gotten out every day this week, including two short trail rides — the first on a Steelman cyclocross bike, the second on the DBR hardtail — and one short but luxurious hike on a day so warm I could roll up my sleeves and go bareheaded, get a little vitamin D into the old chrome-dome.

A fella has to make hay while the sun shines, don’t you know. The weather wizards predict a wintry one-two punch this weekend, with the Duke City getting the worst of it on Sunday.

In the meantime, we were treated to a colorful sunrise this morning. A warning if ever I saw one.

 

Wolf at the door, pig in a blanket

January 19, 2021

Low ceiling over Albuquerque.

The Big Bad Wolf must be in the ’hood. He spent the night huffin’, and puffin’, and tryin’ to blow our house down.

At one point I considered getting up to see if any windows or doors had been breached, because who needs deer, foxes, or the neighbor kids in the kitchen at breakfast?

Taking the long view.

But once I’m up, I’m generally up for good, so I just burrowed deeper into the covers and hoped the Wolf was after some other little piggie.

I saw it coming when I was out for a short hike yesterday, up the south side of the Candelaria Bench Trail. I didn’t go all the way up to the bench, because it was late in the day and I didn’t want to give Yahweh a free shot at me if He was thinking about pitching a few electrical fastballs.

There was only one other dude on the trail, a guy and his dog headed down.

“That’s Blue. Blue’s everybody’s friend,” the guy said, and Blue proved it by giving my outstretched hand a generous “How y’doin’?” slurp.

Alone again, I wandered around a bit, watching the clouds roll in, wishing I’d gotten an earlier start. I should really spend more time up here. Pack a lunch, bring a pad and pen, find a quiet spot in the rocks, get all pedestrian and analog for a spell. Flush out the headgear.

But yesterday was not the day. And neither is today. The Wolf is still testing the doors and windows.

TGI(B)F?

November 27, 2020

If the image appears a tad blurry it’s because pretty much everything out there is in vigorous motion.

Well, it’s not what I would call black, but then neither is it exactly a bright, bright, sunshiny Friday out there.

We are presently enjoying a thundering east wind that is extreme even by New Mexican standards, and as a consequence the options for working off yesterday’s holiday feast seem limited.

What a fine day for huddling indoors and bargain-hunting at a Bug®-safe distance! Coincidentally, my in-box runneth over with various pitches, entreaties, and pleas. A cantankerous senior citizen on a fixed income is a target demographic? Who knew?

B&H Photo & Video, for starters. They were first to pound on my digital door, at 4:18 a.m. The early bird catches the worm, don’t you know. They were followed in quick succession by Guitar Center, Brydge, Rudy Project, Brazos Walking Sticks, GoPro, Gore Wear, and Outdoor Research, all before 8 a.m.

And this is just the lot that made it past my extensive network of junk filters, mind you.

They sense my frailty. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute some marketing poge gets a click-through from his email blast, he gets stronger. Each time I look around the walls move in a little tighter. …

Rocket Grrrls

November 23, 2020

Check the speed on the Cateye. I wasn’t that slow all day long,
but I was pretty damn close.

The weather has taken a seasonal turn. Yesterday I waited overlong to get out for a ride and the wind bullied me, getting all up in my grill no matter which direction I was headed.

The nice thing about riding a cyclocross bike on a day like this is that it gives you more options for dodging the breeze. So I swapped pavement for trail and trail for pavement as necessary for a little over an hour, jinking this way or that if the wind or some maskless eejit loomed large dead ahead.

When I got tired of playing meteorological and virological hide-and-seek I headed for home through High Desert. I had glimpsed what I thought was a pair of roadies behind me as I ground along in too big a gear past the Bear Canyon Trailhead, and figured they’d hang a right on Spain, but nope.

It was two women from the Rocket Grrrls squad on either ’cross bikes or gravel bikes, and they passed me on the short climb to Wilderness Estates, where a short connector trail leads to the Embudito Trailhead and the pavement that takes me back to El Rancho Pendejo.

They were on fire, too. Rocket Grrrls indeed. I didn’t bother to get off to check for flats or rubbing brake pads. I’ve ridden with Karen Hornbostel, Mari Holden, Dede Demet, Alison Dunlap, and Katie Compton, if only briefly and without distinction, and I know when I’ve been chicked.

Freedom is slavery

June 10, 2019

The Masi Speciale Randonneur, with a Tubus Cargo Classic rack, up against the Wall of Science.

Herself buggered off for a long weekend starting last Thursday, this time to the American Heartland for a pal’s wedding, so I was at liberty for a few days.

Well, not exactly.

I had to do battle with the dishwasher (!), make my own coffee (!!) and feed and water the cats (!!!).

Also, I noticed that the litter boxes still refuse to empty themselves. When might I expect delivery of my Turd-B-Gon 9000®? Never? Does never work for me?

No, it does not.

But still, yeah, freedom, amirite?

I got to sleep in until 6 a.m. most days, did little cooking and less shaving, and the riding of the bikes continued unabated. The Masi Speciale Randonneur remains under review for Adventure Cyclist, and in honor of Bruce Gordon and framebuilders everywhere I rode my Nobilette and a Steelman as palate cleansers.

Herself got back yesterday afternoon, after a short delay caused by evil weather. Storms beat the snot out of Dallas, where she was changing planes, and ever since she touched down the wind has been flogging us here in the Duke City. Up north, my man Hal Walter reports ice on the vehicles, the canceling of the Hardrock 100 due to historic snowfall and avalanches, and the rerouting of the Leadville marathon.

All in all, it looks like a fine day to stay indoors and push pixels around.

And on the seventh day. …

March 31, 2019

This invisible fella is off for a quick spin. But not me.

March is going out like … like it really, really, really wants out.

The wind is rattling our cage here in the Duke City, and our various mobiles, chimes and ornaments are taking a good shellacking.

I had enough of that bullshit yesterday, flogging the Voodoo Wazoo and its low end of 37.7 gear inches around the southern trail network for an hour. The wind out of the southeast was lionesque, and my legs were lamblike, so today, like the Lord, I shall rest and contemplate my handiwork. Legwork. Whatevs.

And it was good. A 131-mile week ain’t bad for a geezer.

 

Wind and water

March 29, 2019

Wisterical.

You know it’s spring in New Mexico when (a) you have to water the wisteria and (2) the wind is blowing about a jillion miles per hour.

Nonetheless, Ride Your Own Damn Bike™ continues with a vengeance. Since I ran out of review machinery I’ve been on the Voodoo Nakisi, Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, Nobilette, Bianchi Zurigo and Soma Double Cross (this last for a grocery run).

Today it was Sam Hillborne’s turn. Didn’t quite beat the wind home, but in New Mexico if you don’t ride in the wind, you’ll never leave home.

I suppose I should be following the adventures of Douche Baggins in “Lard of the Rings,” but I just can’t seem to warm up to Frodo’s ne’er-do-well cousin and his trouser stains from New Hobbiton. They make the Sackville-Bagginses look like the Kennedys.