Posts Tagged ‘Paseo del Bosque’

Off to (not) see the Wizard

May 15, 2018

This picture won’t prove it, but the bosque trail seemed pretty busy for a Tuesday.

Seasonal temps, blue skies, a tailwind for most of the homebound leg … what’s not to like?

It being the birthday of L. Frank Baum, himself a scribe of some small renown, I decided this morning to embark on a journey.

Didn’t make it to the Emerald City (that derned yellow brick road doesn’t appear anywhere on my map), but I did reach the bosque, which has greened up nicely. Standing in for tin men, scarecrows and cowardly lions were cyclists, skaters and joggers.

Temps were seasonal, which is to say in the 80s, and the wind was favorable, pushing me back uphill toward home. No tornado, no balloon, no ruby slippers — just the breeze, the bike and those old black Sidis.

And neither wicked witch nor flying monkeys impeded my progress. I guess they’re all busy in DeeCee.

 

 

Treed

April 25, 2018

The acequia just south of Interstate 40 and the Paseo del Bosque.

Chihuahua. I thought I was past the worst of the seasonal allergies until yesterday afternoon, when the ol’ snotlocker went haywire on me again, streaming like autoplay video.

I blame the mulberries, and perhaps the cottonwoods. Though it must be said that doing a three-hour ride down to the bosque and back was probably not exactly what the doctor ordered.

I enjoyed it, though. And it sure beat being reminded yet again that our government is a whorehouse without piano players in which a select few get laid while the rest of us get screwed.

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?

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.

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.

Rain, rain, go away. …

May 10, 2017

We drove out of that to ride the Paseo del Bosque and whaddaya know? I didn’t even need knickers, much less the rain jacket.

Yesterday I laid down my hammer and sickle and took time out for a refreshing spin with Friend of the Blog™ Pat O’Brien, who with his lovely bride Sandy popped round to see what’s what in the Duke City.

I didn’t document this major tourism event with photography, because frankly I didn’t think we’d get ‘er done. It was raining when Pat arrived in his manly Toyota Tacoma to pick me up for the drive to the Paseo del Bosque’s Alameda trailhead, and the forecast was grim indeed.

But my iPhone photo above depicts the worst of it. Down by the Rio the weather was warm and windy, and we did the full lollipop, riding south, then curving in a northeasterly direction to Rio Bravo before returning to the bosque trail for a (mostly) tailwind-supported return.

We were both aboard Somas, naturally. Pat rode his Saga whilst I piloted the old Double Cross, freshly equipped with SKS fenders just in case. This, and the fact that we both carried rain jackets, is almost certainly why the clouds didn’t open up during the ride.

Back at El Rancho Pendejo I learned that a deluge had struck DeeCee, washing away the stain on democracy that was Jim Comey. King Donald the Short-fingered, alas, remains perched atop his golden throne, his personal roll of Constitution toilet paper close at hand. Here’s hoping it’s a harder rain gonna fall on his crooked highway before much longer.

Threescore and three

March 27, 2017

The clouds were creeping in over the Sandias come afternoon.

Got the birthday ride in — did 63 kilometers, not miles, for anyone keeping score — and it looks like I picked the right day for it, because the weather seems to be taking a turn for the worse. I’ll be running tomorrow, if I get out at all.

A powerful tailwind added a couple miles per hour to the usual slog back from the Paseo del Bosque, and glad I was to have it, too. One of these days I need to acquire one of them comosellamas all the Kool Kidz have, whatchacall your e-lectronical whizbang that tells you how much vertical gain you’ve logged over the course of a day’s cycling. My educated guess for today’s little outing is “a right shitload.”

Anyway, pizza for dinner and a couple episodes of “Fargo” for dessert. It’s a weirdo, just like its daddy the Coen brothers movie of the same name. But you can’t go wrong with the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Bob Odenkirk, y’know. Yah, real good now.

 

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).

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.

 

 

Dig it

April 8, 2015
A stretch of the Paseo del Bosque trail, south of the zoo.

A stretch of the Paseo del Bosque trail, south of the zoo.

There are times — even when my eyeballs feel sandpapered and my snout is clogged like the Paseo del Norte at rush hour — when I think I was pretty smart to let Herself take that job with the Military-Industrial Complex here in Duke City.

A recently resurfaced section of the Bear Canyon Arroyo trail, just west of Tramway.

A recently resurfaced section of the Bear Canyon Arroyo trail, just west of Tramway.

Like today, when I read in the Albuquerque Journal that Duke City just broke ground for a project to create a 50-mile bike loop around town.

About 80 percent of the “Activity Loop” trail already exists, and I’ve ridden quite a piece of it. Mostly it’s a matter of linking up and sprucing up all the various bits and pieces. Bike-ped bridges, on-demand signals, striping improvements, and what have you. The project will take years — the work is to be done in nine phases, as money becomes available — and cost about $20 million.

This sort of thing is not a panacea for problems like violent crime, trigger-happy cops, chronic long-term unemployment, and a sluggish economy. But it can help make a town a better place to live, which in the long term might help address at least a few of these issues.

I did most of my 61-mile birthday ride on separated bike path. The rest was on streets that were designated bike routes or had bike lanes. Not bad for a place where Bugs Bunny was always missing that crucial left turn.