Vision quest

May 4, 2017

We’re all bozos on this bus. Some of us more than others.

Well, it seems the House is fixin’ to vote on a bill that they’ve not seen, and that the CBO has not scored, and since it only affects, oh, about a sixth of the economy, well, nothing to see here, move along, move along.

There is precedent, after all.

I’m thinking that a sizable portion of the electorate never looked at Ronald McDonald McTrump before they voted for him. 

Meanwhile, here are some thoughts from Charles P. Pierce on what it means to be healthy (or unhealthy) in the United States of 2017.

Map my ride

May 2, 2017

One of the bridges that spares cyclists from more than a few Crossings of Doom in the Duke City.

I got my chores done early this morning, hopped on the rim-brake Soma Saga, and logged two-point-five hours of saddle time in the sun today. Fat city.

Quite a bit of the ride was on segregated multipurpose path. If you’ll have a squint at the city’s bike map you can trace my route:

South on the segregated Tramway Boulevard path to the bike-ped bridge (above), which crosses Tramway and hooks up with the Paseo de la Montañas trail, which parallels a drainage canal all the way to Interstate 40.

Southwest on the P de la M trail to another bike-ped bridge, this one over I-40. After a short run through a pocket park and a residential area you find yourself on the Indian School Road bike lane, an on-street deal.

The view from underneath one of the many bridges crossing the North Diversion Channel Trail.

West on Indian School to the UNM golf course, where I picked up the North Diversion Channel Trail.

North on the NDCT to Balloon Fiesta Park (and with a fine tailwind, I might add).

From the park I headed northeast through a light industrial area and indulged in a bit of lawlessness, riding against one-way traffic on the I-25 frontage road to get to the Tramway Road bike lane. This is a popular stretch with the local road toads; it rises from 5,200 feet at I-25 to 6,120 feet at the County Line Barbecue, and there are only two stoplights, both early on. It’s a nice, steady, half-hour climb that steepens up a bit around the 5-mile marker. Well, a half-hour for me, anyway.

At this point you can get back to El Rancho Pendejo any number of ways, depending upon how the legs feel and what else needs doing once you get off the bike. I chose the least attractive but most direct route — the bike lane on Tramway Boulevard proper rather than the segregated path to the east — and added one last little climb at Manitoba that loops around just below the Embudito trailhead to Comanche Road and home, where the lawnmower was waiting.

Arise ye prisoners

May 1, 2017

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®).

De la lluvia a la nieve

April 29, 2017

Stucco, wisteria, evergreens and snow.

Well, we went from rain to snow overnight — not much of it, it’s true, but still.

I was glad to not be Herself’s librarian pal from Colorado, who popped round for a visit en route to Arizona only to find her auto’s heater had crapped out as the weather worsened outside of Santa Fe. Also, and too, her windshield scraper seemed to have vanished mysteriously.

Good times. Maybe not. Anyway, she probably won’t need the heater or the scraper in Sedona.

We may not need them here much longer, either. Tomorrow’s high is expected to be in the low 60s, with 70s on tap for a few days afterward.

Unstuffed

April 28, 2017

In my last post I mentioned that we live in a desert, by which I meant an actual desert, the Chihuahuan.

Soon we will be living in a consumer desert as well, if Herself has anything to say about it.

Her elder sister and niece have been earning some pocket money hawking items on eBay, and their enthusiasm for the activity has proven contagious. Herself has begun working our overgrown unused-goods orchard like an undocumented immigrant, plucking low-hanging fruit like her unworn Oakleys, my still-functional Flip UltraHD camcorder, and our fifth-generation iPods for sale to the slavering hordes of bargain hunters at large on the Innertubes.

She also required me to drag her old Cannondale R800 down to this weekend’s BikeABQ bike swap at Sport Systems, where the 23-year-old machine is certain to fetch dozens of dollars. If anyone in the vicinity needs a low-mileage, made-in-USA, 48cm road bike, this sucker is the last nickel bargain in America.

There’s all manner of crap cluttering up El Rancho Pendejo, and none of it is safe. Soon, if we’re not careful, we’ll be forced to go out and get … more stuff!

Monsoon season

April 25, 2017

My bucket runneth over.

It rained all day, which is a good thing, and not just because we live in a desert, either.

Nope, I had things to do, and still have, among them a column and cartoon for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News and a bicycle review for Adventure Cyclist.

Thus it was best that I be confined to quarters and required to pay attention.

Elsewhere, the deluge — no, not the rain, but the shit monsoon that is the reign of King Donald the Short-fingered — continues unabated. His family crest should be a tiny hand stirring a golden toilet with the motto, “L’merde, c’est moi.”

So we’ll ignore that fool and link instead to an interesting read from Cormac McCarthy on the unconscious and its distrust of language. Hardly anyone gets killed horribly in it, but I’ll tell you, he makes me feel like a haunted house.

R.I.P., Michele Scarponi

April 22, 2017

The hits just keep on coming. This time it’s Astana’s Michele Scarponi, struck and killed by a van while training near his home in Italy.

The roads are getting scarier by the day, and one wonders whether it’s just the fabled “economic uncertainty” that is kicking the pins out from under the bike biz. Uncertainty about whether you’ll return alive from a ride may be playing a role, too.

Coincidentally, I’ve been practicing the Zen of Grant Petersen lately, occasionally riding the bike on short errands wearing street clothes, sans helmet. Not that a helmet would provide much protection if I got centerpunched by one of the reckless, oblivious assholes who somehow got licensed to drive in Duke City.

The trails look better every day. Out there it’s mostly operator error that does for you. Though I do know one guy who got hit by a truck on a trail once. …

Lights, camera, inaction!

April 19, 2017

The Specialized Sequoia, rigged for bikepacking, en route to a loop around the Elena Gallegos picnic grounds.

I don’t know how a dude with no visible means of support (beyond a wife who works at a national lab) manages to stay too busy to blog.

Somehow I get ‘er done, though. Or not, depending upon whether you enjoy regular bloggery.

The Co-Motion Deschutes, a made-in-Oregon touring bike that won’t break the bank.

Mostly I’ve been playing Quentin Ferrentino again, shooting video for Adventure Cyclist.

In front of the camera:

The Specialized Sequoia, which is a wrap, both print and video reviews having been shipped to the home office in Missoula;

 And the Co-Motion Deschutes, which I’m reviewing and videotaping as we speak, with a deadline of May 1.

The news I have been assiduously avoiding, though it was impossible to evade Orange Julius Caesar’s misplacement of an entire aircraft carrier attack group and his announcement that with his help the GOP triumphed in last night’s election to replace Tom Price in Georgia (one Twitter wag noted that OJC’s confusion was understandable in that the candidate with the most votes didn’t win).

But enough of that shit. Back to bikes.

The Sequoia review will be in the May issue, while the Deschutes will have to wait for the August-September edition. Once that review gets filed I get a break from velo-evaluation — unless Management unearths something interesting at the Sea Otter Classic, which starts tomorrow.

Why, I may even get to ride some of my own damn’ bikes for a change.

The first Noble Truth

April 14, 2017

Another good sit. Not on the cushions, mind you, but still.

All life is suffering.