Posts Tagged ‘Tramway’

Mirror, mirror

January 7, 2019

Mirror, mirror, on the bar; who’s the loony in that car?

I got back on the bike on Saturday for a short spin to blow the ol’ carbon out of the cylinders.

The roads were crusty and dusty, where they weren’t wet and/or icy, so I needed something with fenders (the Soma DC) plus winter tights and a truly ancient Pearl Izumi hi-viz jacket. Seriously, this Day-Glo duster must date to 1994 or thereabouts. It’s old enough to be living in our basement (if we had one) while we paid off its college loans. “B.A.” stands for “barista’s assistant?” Who knew?

There were lots of hi-viz jackets and tights traversing Tramway, so I guess everyone was as sick as I was of huddling indoors or shoveling snow. But boom, come Sunday, we were back in the icebox and I decided to go for a squishy run instead of a second ride.

This time we got rain, which was a nice change. Don’t gotta shovel no rain.

Speaking of shoveling, I see Wally O’Steele hopes to lie straight to our faces in prime time tomorrow, eliminating the middleman (the “fake news”).

I don’t believe that the networks’ news departments are obliged to broadcast fiction — that’s the purview of their entertainment divisions — so p’raps the usual filters will remain in place.

Or maybe Comedy Central could air this piece of performance art, with Garrett Morris on a split screen, riffing on an old “Weekend Update” bit from “Saturday Night Live.”

It’d be a two-fer — delivering news for the deaf from the dumb.

• Late update: The networks blew the call, from James Fallows.

Forward, into the past (part 1,672,078 in a series)

June 18, 2018

The road to the clouds. OK, so it’s the road to the tram. But the tram is the road to the clouds, so there, smartypants.

How pleasant to enjoy a respite from summer before its official arrival.

The rain ushered in a brief spell of cooler temps, and I actually considered wearing knee and arm warmers for yesterday’s ride. But the sun eventually came out, and stayed out, so I troweled on some sunscreen instead and got after it.

The Eurocross lacks handlebar tape, but otherwise it’s all set for 1990.

What was intended as a short spin wound up taking a couple hours, and afterward Herself and I slouched on the back patio with refreshing beverages, helping the cats watch the birds.

On Saturday, while it was still raining, I continued my time travels, chucking my favorite Steelman Eurocross into the Wayback Machine for a journey to the era when aero levers and bar-end shifters ruled Velo-earth. That Shimano 600 STI was just too dern modern for me.

While I was about it I added a new, wider bar, a 44cm Soma Highway One, which has less reach and drop than the old 42cm Cinelli Eubios. The Cinelli may be as old as the bike, which says something about Cinelli quality, the luck I was pushing, or perhaps both.

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.

The troll of Tramway

July 6, 2016
"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

“Who’s that tripping over my bridge?” roared the troll.

If you can’t stand the heat, get under the overpass.

The Tour stages cut deeply into the cool morning hours, so we Live Update Guys can’t get out and about until 10-ish most days.

Today it was already 80-something when I finally got rolling, and 90-something when I got home. Drank two bottles and snarfed down a gel but found myself slightly weary for some reason. Go figure.

The only shade to be found on the entire two-hour ride was underneath Tramway, between Manitoba and Spain, so I took a brief photography break before resuming my climb back to the air-conditioned barn.

When I arrived home I saw that Ronald McDonald McTrump was panhandling his Twitter followers, so I graciously offered him the steam off my piss. Haven’t heard back yet. There’s just no pleasing some people.

Self-funded campaign, me arse.

Self-funded campaign, me arse.

Spring, forward!

March 14, 2016
The wide shoulders on Tramway, coupled with its dearth of spotlights (one at the top, one at the casino, and one at the bottom), make it a popular hill with the Duke City peloton.

The wide shoulders on Tramway, coupled with its dearth of spotlights (one at the top, one at the casino, and one at the bottom), make it a popular hill with the Duke City peloton.

Daylight-saving time always cleans my mental clock. You wouldn’t think that surrendering just one of 24 hours would be so much of a much, but every year it leaves me a bubble or two off plumb for a few days.

“A few days.” Heh. I hear you snickering out there.

Herself celebrated another lap around the sun on Saturday, so we went out to dinner at Scalo Northern Italian Grill before having our REMs rerouted for … for what, exactly? I forget. Drowsy for some reason.

Then, on Sunday, she ran and vacuumed, and I mowed and rode. With no new review bikes in the Adventure Cyclist queue until St. Patrick’s Day, once again it was Ride Your Own Damn’ Bike Day®, this time the Soma Saga Disc. Nothing special, just a ride down Tramway to the Sandia Resort & Casino and back, with a digression into the honky-chateau ‘hood of High Desert for some light extra-credit climbing.

All in all, a pleasant diversion from the endless goose-stepping through the media by Il Douche, who’s simultaneously expanding and contracting the boundaries of the First Amendment by (a) offering to pay the legal bills of anyone who assaults a protester at one of his Nuremberg rallies, and (2) ordering the laws to arrest not the assailants, but rather the victims.

It’s a wonderful country, to be sure. Last time I saw a big sack of stale air making this much bad noise a red-headed dude in a kilt was involved.

Look at that turkey

November 25, 2015
Your Humble Narrator pretends to be a self-supported tourist on Tramway, about 20 minutes from EL Rancho Pendejo.

Your Humble Narrator pretends to be a self-supported tourist on Tramway, about 20 minutes from EL Rancho Pendejo.

It’s not what it looks like — Your Humble Narrator ripping up the roads en route to someplace sunny, his panniers full of camping gear, bike parts and journalistical accoutrements.

Nope, just shooting a bit of video to tease my review of the Opus Legato 1.0 in the latest edition of Adventure Cyclist magazine. I was out for about an hour, rolling up and down Tramway while taking selfies like all the other narcissists.

Still, it got me away from the Innertubez, where life was busily imitating art again. The Russia-Turkey dick-waving competition was reminding me of the early pages of “Alas, Babylon,” while the GOP pestilential contest was shaping up about like “It Can’t Happen Here.”

These are dire days for fans of apocalyptic fiction and prescient political satire, and my natural misanthropy was on full boil. That is, until a motorist pulled over to ask if I needed any help as I fiddled with my cameras, and a cyclist likewise paused to ask where I was bound, then told me about an actual tour he had wrapped earlier this year, a massive, months-long expedition that basically took him to all points of the compass and back again.

There’s hope after all. Let us be thankful.

Cogito ergo dum

January 18, 2015
The culprit.

The culprit.

I will never be smart.

I’m riding the Soma Double Cross on Tramway this afternoon and on the speedy big-ring drop to Interstate 25 I suddenly hear this high-pitched whine coming from what I’m certain is the front wheel. Sounds like a brake shoe rubbing up against the tire, or maybe Jimmy Olsen’s watch calling Superman. Zee zee zee zee zee.

As this can only end badly on a fast descent, I stop — not once, not twice, but three times — to try to diagnose the problem. No joy. But then, as I turn around at the bottom for the climb back up, the noise stops.

Well, OK, then. Ain’t much bad can happen to me at 10 mph. So on I pedal in blissful ignorance.

Until I shift back into the big ring, get out of the saddle to stretch, and hear it again — zee zee zee zee zee.

A light bulb sputters on, about a 20-watter. I’m running the biggest tires this bike will take, 700×38, and I bet the rear tire is heating up and expanding and rubbing up against the front-derailleur mech. Genius!

Well, maybe not so much.

The Double Cross doesn’t have one of those bulky new Shimano mechs that intrude into the rear triangle the way the NSA does into your life. It sports a svelte old Ultegra model.

And, as I found when I got home, it also has a front-derailleur cable that somehow got itself bent inward, and the cable cap was rubbing the rear tire whenever I shifted into the big ring.

So if you’re ever riding with me and wonder what the funny noise is, don’t worry — it’s just the air leaking out of my head.



Moving in, on, and around and about

October 9, 2014
The main living area at Rancho Pendejo. A couple Brangoccios will soon adorn that far wall.

The main living area at Rancho Pendejo. A couple Brangoccios will soon adorn that far wall.

Rancho Pendejo is coming together, bit by bit, inch by inch.

The Pink Room is now Livable Green, as is the master bedroom. The living room is likewise livable, but not green, with the furniture more or less arranged, some works from my old college pal Michael Brangoccio on the walls, and the home-theater setup ticking along nicely, serving up Blu-Ray, streaming video via Mac Mini, and KUNM-FM. And the kitchen is open for business whenever I’m inclined to cook, which lately is not often. Folks actually make edible grub here, and it’s been fun playing culinary explorer.

The bike stops here: Just east of Rancho Pendejo sits the Cibola wilderness.

The bike stops here: Just east of Rancho Pendejo sits the Cibola wilderness.

We’ve also been exploring the local trails, which are abundant, eclectic and accessible pretty much from the front door.

The excellent Tramway bike path can be found just a couple blocks west on Comanche Road. And there’s a bike lane on Comanche itself that runs most of the way west to the North Diversion Channel Trail. The Paseo del Norte trail will get you there, too, but there are a few hiccups along the way.

Just a couple blocks east is Foothills Trail 365, a short stretch of which makes a nice out-and-back run for Herself. I’ve been hiking around and about there, jogging the uphills to see how the knees feel, and yesterday I took the Voodoo Nakisi out for a short exploratory ride on the trails that fan out from 365 and stumbled across the entrance to a bit of local wilderness, all of three miles from Rancho Pendejo. Fat city.

We got a light rain last night, and there’s more of the same in the forecast, so I’ll probably give the trails a rest today, maybe have a whang at the Tramway instead. It goes without saying that neither of the two bikes I brought from Bibleburg sports fenders. Duh.

Bienvenido a Nuevo México

September 26, 2014
The view from Tramway, on the descent to Interstate 25.

The view from Tramway, on the descent to Interstate 25.

I managed to squeeze in my first ride as a born-again resident of New Mexico yesterday.

Nothing special, just an hour or so riding the Tramway bike path north from Rancho Pendejo, peeping out the terrain, getting a feel for things. We’re just a couple of blocks from the path, which links up neatly with the Paseo del Norte trail about 20 minutes up the hill. Other east-west feeder routes abound, and I hope to explore them directly.

I think this is Sandia Peak, as seen from the base of the road to the tram.

I think this is Sandia Peak, as seen from the base of the road to the tram.

Lots of folks on bicycles out and about, most of them roadies, though there’s also some class of mountain-bike trail network in the area that I’ll inspect at some later date. Right now, the old plate is full to overflowing with chores and annoyances.

For starters, we have no Innertubes at the new place, and won’t until Oct. 3. This forces me to play “Hipster In the Coffee Shop,” a role for which I am far too unhip.

Also, and too, the cell service is only slightly evolved beyond the log drum, smoke signals, or two tin cans linked by a waxed string, so using the iPhone as a mobile hotspot is right out. One bar on the iPhone does not a data connection make. Coupled with the dearth of Innertubes this renders communications a bit, shall we say, spotty.

Likewise, we have almost none of our shit — the movers won’t show up for another four days or so, so we’re getting by with some stuff we bought from the previous owner and whatever we could cram into the rice-grinders.

Speaking of which, two of our three critters have more or less successfully made the transition via Subaru to new quarters. The lone holdout, Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), spends the wee hours walking the battlements, inspecting the perimeter, and issuing challenges to foes only he can see.

As did Herbie Goldfarb in “The Milagro Beanfield War,” I find my brain going all foamy, like a vanilla milkshake, from lack of sleepzzzzzzzzzzz. …