Posts Tagged ‘North Diversion Channel Trail’

Fiesta or fiasco?

October 11, 2018

The Kona Sutra at Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park, which sits right on the North Diversion Channel trail (from Feb. 2014).

It seems the best way to get to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is … by balloon.

Or is it?

Motorists and park-and-riders have suffered mightily this year, getting stuck in traffic and/or at bus stops, reports The Albuquerque Journal. With a record 21,000 park-and-ride tickets sold, the problem was “sheer volume,” according to Dennis Christiansen, Fiesta coordinator of traffic and P&R.

Added Fiesta executive director Paul Smith: “We have a limited number of access points to and from the park. We are kind of landlocked here. We have a reservation (Sandia) to the north, a neighborhood to the west, and AMAFCA (flood control) channels on two sides.”

’Tis a puzzler, to be sure. Until one considers that a bike path parallels one of those channels — the North Diversion Channel Trail, which runs straight into Balloon Fiesta Park, where a bike valet service awaits.

Neither the Journal nor the Fiesta mentions this transportation option, though I was riding that trail to that park before I even lived here. I tell ya, we don’t get no respect. …

Trail of tiers

March 22, 2018

The Paseo del Bosque hasn’t leafed out yet, but it’s still a nice change, snotlocker-wise, from the juniper-heavy foothills.

Spring? Meh. Don’t talk to me about spring. We got summer down here, dude.

Yesterday I did a nice little two-and-a-half-hour ride that took in a number of the local bike trails — Paseo de las Montañas, Paseo del Bosque, Paseo del Norte, North Diversion Channel — and finished with the Tramway climb.

This is a really good ride for letting the mind wander alongside the body. The first hour is mostly downhill with a few tense moments — a couple dicey multilane-thoroughfare crossings, too much time on Indian School Road, and a narrow, stop-and-go, pain-in-the-ass stretch of Mountain skirting the north edge of downtown — but after that it’s smoove like butta, yo.

The bosque trail is flat as flat can be. The Paseo del Norte rises a bit to North Diversion. And Tramway is a pleasant steady-state, half-hour climb. There’s a little suffering at the bottom, near Interstate 25, and a little more at about the six-mile mark, but mostly it’s a matter of picking a gear you like and turning it over.

Mid-50s at the start, mid-60s at the finish, what’s not to like? When I got home I ate everything worth eating and then set about making some more — tacos, pico de gallo, spuds and turnips roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper. There were leftovers so I can eat it all over again today.

Then this morning I arise to learn that Il Douche and Uncle Joe are barking from a safe distance about throwing hands. Jesus H., etc. Can someone give these noisy old farts a couple of bikes, turn ’em loose in the desert sun for a couple of hours?

The only thing they’ll want to pound on afterward is a taco platter. But I ain’t cookin’ for ’em.

The path is the way

January 30, 2016
The bike paths in these parts are better than the roads in some of the towns I've lived in.

The bike paths in these parts are better than the roads in some of the towns I’ve lived in.

Yesterday I decreed it would be Ride Your Own Damn Bike Day, and so I dug out the Nobilette, which has been neglected lately, aired it up, and took it out for two and a half hours of delightful sunny goodness.

The sprinkler system is A-OK.

The sprinkler system is A-OK.

No biggie — easy pace, just 32.5 miles on rolling terrain — but still, it’s refreshing to ride one of my own damn bikes* for a change, and for more than 90 minutes at a stretch, too.

There was only a little bit of old snow and ice hiding in the shady bits, mostly toward the end of the ride on the Paseo de las Montañas trail.

I’m guessing that’s where I picked up whatever flattened the front tire, probably a goathead thorn, though the culprit could have been some errant glass from earlier in the ride. Swear to God, it looked like someone chucked an entire case of Heineken out the car window on Tramway between Manitoba and Spain. There was so much green glass scattered around I wondered whether Ted Cruz had been practicing his carpet-bombing techniques in the Duke City.

It's a beautiful morning.

It’s a beautiful morning.

Today the weatherpersons are predicting a high of 62 (!) so I decided to power up the sprinkler system for the first time in quite a spell. Nothing exploded. This is what we sprinkler-system owner-operators call “a good thing.” Because nothing makes so much sense as a nice green lawn in the Southwestern desert.

Indeed, the forecast proved so enticing that Herself declared herself ready for her first bike ride of 2016. And just in time, too. There’s rain and gloom predicted for Monday and Tuesday.

* Incidentally, in case you’re wondering, it’s still possible to ride a steel bike with cantilever brakes and come to a stop without Flintstoning or caroming off cars, trees and light stanchions. I know, it’s against the conventional wisdom, but you can rely upon me. I’m in the media.