Posts Tagged ‘Sam Hillborne’

Off to see the Doc

September 11, 2018

Sam Hillborne, meet Doc Long.

Doc Long, that is.

Dr. William Henry Long, a forest pathologist, lived and worked in New Mexico from 1910 through the 1930s, living in a cabin on the site of the Cibola National Forest picnic grounds that now bear his name. He was a Texan, a Baptist and a Democrat. Feature that, if you can.

It’s pretty much an 11-mile trip from El Rancho Pendejo to Doc Long’s if you leg it up and down Embudito Trail, Trail 365, Pino Trail, and Grand Enchantment Trail, or so says Google Maps. More like 20 if you do it on your Sam Hillborne via Old Route 66, NM 14 and NM 536. You get a couple thousand feet of vertical gain in that 40-mile round trip, too.

Also, moreover, furthermore, and too, wind. Tailwind up, headwind back, as per the rules. Unless you get a headwind both ways, which is not uncommon in New Mexico.

Back in the Day® Doc Long’s old hangout was either the parking lot, the start or the finish for the Sandia Crest Time Trial, one of the countless events at which I failed to distinguish myself.

I was no great shakes on the bike today, either, covering the out-and-back in three hours.

The worst part of this ride, for me, is always the return trip through Cedar Crest. You’d think it would be a fun plummet back to Old Route 66, but it’s not a descent in the strictest sense of the term, because it serves up a few short humps to break your rhythm, spirit and balls. Plus the wind is always in your chops, the shoulder is strewn with debris, and the traffic lanes runneth over with assholes.

If you’re lucky you don’t get runnethed over. I was lucky.

Once at Doc Long’s I was briefly tempted by delusions of grandeur to leave Cedar Crest in the rear view, where it belongs, and soldier on to NM 165 and thence to Placitas, Bernalillo and home via NM 313, Roy and Tramway, making the ride more like 62 miles. But I didn’t have enough food or water for that one.

Now that I think of it, though, I could’ve stopped to refuel at the Range Cafe in Bernalillo. Then I would’ve been full of beans and generating my own tail wind for the remainder of the trip.

Come rain or come shine

July 29, 2018

Whenever it rains this low spot fills up on Juniper Hill Road NE.

Fender weather? In ’Burque? Say it ain’t so!

’Tis so.

SKS keeps Sammy shiny.

Fanta Se got hammered the other day by what the weather wizards were calling a thousand-year storm, and we’ve had a couple doozies of our own.

They left smallish sand dunes and mud streaked across the roads, and the occasional shallow puddle, which never lasts long because this is thirsty country.

Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, because I hate that brown stripe up the keister, on Friday I rode the Sam Hillborne with its silver SKS thermoplastics. And yesterday I hauled out the Soma Saga Disc, which sports a set of black Soma mudguards.

Today we’re back to sunshine and homicide, so I’ll climb back aboard the Bianchi Orso, whose moment in the media sunshine is fast approaching.

It never rains, but it pours.

The path is the way

June 19, 2018

Looking east toward Albuquerque from the 98th Street end of the I-40 Trail.

Today’s ride sort of got away from me.

That fine country gentleman Sam Hillborne and I rolled north on Tramway nine-ish and it was 1 in the peeyem before we got back. Fifty miles is a long way for one of us.

I was thinking we’d roll down Tramway and under I-25 along Roy to 4th, then noodle over to the Alameda open space and thence onto the Paseo del Bosque. And so we did.

Take it to the bridge! The Gail Ryba Memorial Bridge, that is.

But at I-40 I decided on a whim to hang a right and experience the Gail Ryba Memorial Bridge, named to honor the founder of Bike ABQ and the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico. Gail, a former Sandia Lab researcher, died of cancer in May 2010, and Friend of the Blog Khalil S. noted her passing here.

For some reason I’d never headed west on the I-40 Trail, which goes all the way to 98th, and today there was pretty much nobody out there but me. I felt like Magellan after crossing the Rio on Gail’s bridge.

There are a couple screwy multilane-thoroughfare crossings — none of your fancy-schmancy bridges there, bucko — and one poorly marked U-turn under Coors at Ouray Road, just past the Walmart. That double-left leads to a narrow stretch of trail by a storage concern that looks like a lovely place for a quiet killing.

But once past that, it’s smooth sailing. In fact, a touring cyclist westbound from, say, El Rancho Pendejo, armed with a working knowledge of the city’s bicycle trails, wouldn’t have to spend more than a dozen minutes riding on actual streets while traversing the Duke City.

Of course, once the bike path runs out by 98th, you’ve got I-40 to deal with. Weed, whites and wine, etc. Just stay willin’ … to be movin’.

The Rio, as seen from Gail’s bridge.

Everything’s rosy

September 3, 2017

Winter may be coming, but it ain’t here yet.

We’re getting a burst of late roses here at El Rancho Pendejo. Red, pink, yellow. The works.

The four-day (!) Labor Day weekend has been a rousing success so far. Herself and I went for a short trail run on Friday. On Saturday she performed yoga while I did 90 minutes of hills on the Bianchi Zurigo. Afterward I burned a couple slabs of defunct bovine and served ’em up alongside some spinach fettuccine topped with smoked salmon and asparagus in a shallot cream sauce. Herself provided a refreshing green salad. Teevee was watched, and chocolate eaten.

Today there was more yoga and cycling (the latter on the Sam Hillborne, just rolling around eyeballing some of the top-shelf real estate over by the tram). Afterward the neighbors popped round with baskets full of homegrown goodness — tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers — that went nicely in a salad alongside the leftover moocow from yesterday, plus some mashed spuds. Also, and too, ice cream.

We are neither on fire nor under water, are unlikely to be deported, and there are no inbound missiles of which I am aware.

Is this the winning we’ve heard so much about? If not, why, then, it will have to do.

What in the Sam Hill?

May 7, 2017

The Sam Hillborne recovers from its efforts in the sunny entryway at El Rancho Pendejo.

Yesterday was a Rivendell kind of day. The trails are usually crawling like anthills on a weekend, and the roads were busy, too. Plus I didn’t feel like doing anything of a serious nature, having chores on the schedule.

So Sam Hillborne and I pooted around on side streets and the Tramway bike path for a spell, just keeping the legs loose.

Some nitwit impatient to make a right turn honked at me as I proceeded through an intersection, with the light and pedestrian crossing signal working in my favor, and I reflected once again how concealed carry is a bad idea on a bicycle, if only for the sag a Ruger Model 3701 puts in a jersey pocket.

Afterward I mowed the weeds and retrieved some video from the old Canon ZR500 MiniDV camcorder, which Herself is eBaying along with a few metric shit-tons of other lightly used and heavily forgotten items cluttering up the nooks and crannies at El Rancho Pendejo.

The process of acquiring video from an old cassette camcorder is time-consuming and irksome, but proved rewarding in this instance. I unearthed some ancient footage of an elderly Chairman Meow and a very young Turkish, back when we still thought he was a she. So stay tuned for a short video trip down memory lane.

The news just repeats itself

August 19, 2016

Now and then I miss working in a newsroom. This is not one of those times.

Most days, daily journalism is like any other gig, only more so. Hours of tedium interrupted by moments of pandemonium.

But news in the era of what Charlie Pierce calls He, Trump, is a whole other ballgame. It’s like trying to sip delicately from a fire hose hooked to a septic tank. It can’t be done, and nobody should have to try, not even for money.

And certainly not for free.

Instead I’ve been trying — and mostly succeeding — in paying attention to the bicycle, may God save her and all who sail in her.

There’s Bicycle Retailer‘s big 25th-anniversary celebration, for example. I need to dash off a column and cartoon on that topic, which shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, seeing as I’ve had 25 years of practice.

And I’ve ridden four different bikes in four days — Sam Hillborne, Steelman Eurocross, Soma Saga, Jones Steel Diamond — and loved every minute of it. Well, not every minute — the Steelman’s low end of 36×26 is a tad tall on steep, sandy single-track for an auld fella — but still, it beats perching in front of the Mac, letting the shit monsoon wash over me.

This morning I got up, grabbed some coffee, and when Herself went out to walk The Boo, I shut off NPR’s “Morning Edition” and started playing some John Prine instead. Sometimes a fella needs a little country to restore his faith in a bigger one.

Miles to go

August 15, 2016
Holy bike-ped bridge, Batman! This one crosses I-25 near Paseo del Norte.

Holy bike-ped bridge, Batman! This one crosses I-25 near Paseo del Norte.

The last month has been mildly productive, cycling-wise. I’m actually logging something like mileage.

(Cue the sound of frantic knocking on wood.)

The North Diversion Channel Trail as seen from the saddle of a Rivendell Sam Hillborne.

The North Diversion Channel Trail as seen from the saddle of a Rivendell Sam Hillborne.

Despite the liberal application of SPF-30 sunscreen I’ve developed one of the ugliest farmer tans in Christendom. And I’m thinking about adding another bike to the fleet just because I can.

More riding means less news-reading, although some bits are unescapable, as is the notion of having my next bike built by General Dynamics Land Systems. I’ll need a few more miles under the bibs to pedal an Abrams touring bike, though.

I’m not going anywhere — just spinning my wheels, as per usual, doing laps around Albuquerque. But if the weather holds it would be nice to do a bike overnight to Santa Fe, along the Turquoise Trail.

All I need to do is wire a rear-facing GoPro to a dynamo hub and then wi-fi the video to a bar-mounted iPhone. They say you’ll never see the one that gets you, but it sure would be nice to have some exciting footage for the funeral.

 

Not the campaign trail

August 2, 2016
The Joe Appaloosa enjoying a bit of dirt time north of El Rancho Pendejo.

The Joe Appaloosa enjoying a bit of dirt time north of El Rancho Pendejo.

How’s your August so far?

Mine’s been great. I got 90 minutes of trail time on Rivendell’s Joe Appaloosa today, and two and a half hours on their Sam Hillborne yesterday.

The Sam Hillborne rolls northbound along the Paseo path.

The Sam Hillborne rolls northbound along the Paseo path.

This is loads more fun than waiting for Ronald McDonald McTrump to shit out of his mouth again. Dude erupts more consistently than Old Faithful. But if you keep the iPhone locked away in a Ziploc bag, and stuff the bag into a jersey pocket, you don’t get drenched until you get home.

Speaking of drenched, the weather wizards advise that a “sustained monsoon moisture plume” is working itself into a Trumplike frenzy, which is good news in a place that just wrapped up a scorcher of a July and was seeing its third-driest year ever.

It would be nice to see less rain more often — flash floods are about as much fun as droughts, as the homeless dudes hunting for their belongings along the I-40 trail will tell you — but like the GOP, we’ll take whatever we can get.

Wreck on the highway

July 2, 2016
Say hi to Sam Hillborne.

Say hi to Sam Hillborne.

The first day of what appears to be a very long Tour de France is in the bag. Thanks to everyone who joined us at Live Update Guy. And chapeau to Mark Cavendish, who avoided a last-kilometer pileup — one of several on the day — to win the stage and take his first yellow jersey.

Too, a special “ow, wow, yow, zow” goes out to everyone who hit the deck on Stage 1. The body count would seem to include — well, just about everyone except for Cav’, me and Charles Pelkey (office furniture and road furniture rarely become entangled).

Alberto Contador in particular looked like he’d been attacked by a deranged chef with an assault cheese grater. One wonders whether he’ll have to be strapped onto his bike, El Cid-style, in order to start Sunday’s stage.

I wasn’t strapped to a damn thing when I rolled out for my own ride, aboard a brand-spankin’-new Rivendell Sam Hillborne (see pic above). No clipless pedals on that bad boy, not even toeclips and straps — just flats. So I rode in street shoes, baggies, an emblem-free Pearl Izumi jersey and a Rivendell cap unencumbered by helmet, just to make the Safety Nazis crazy. Took ‘er out on the highway, too.

I wish I could change this sad story that I am now telling you. But there is no way I can change it. For somebody’s ride is now through.