Sunday, July 7, 2019

And Saturday's Attempt at the Darwin Award Goes To...

...the two cyclists who shot down Calle Nopal on Saturday morning and ran their stop sign at West Alameda at high speed, just as I had stopped at the 3 way stop while heading SW on West Alameda. If I had gotten there a couple seconds sooner I probably would have been in the middle of the intersection as they bravely ran the stop or conversely, tried to avoid an endo while doing an emergency stop. Likely results include broken carbon frames as well as broken body parts. Don't ride stupid.

Cyclists wonder why the general public sometimes takes a dim view of Mr. and Mrs. Spandex B. Lycra. The kind of cyclist who, like certain motorists, thinks laws were written for all those other people. Honest mistakes are worth a gentle ribbing but deliberate malfeasance is not good. As a Brit once quipped to me as I confusedly entered my first British roundabout going in the American direction, "we'll get you next time, Yank", and undoubtedly, when the inevitable crash occurs after blatant disregard to safety, the cycling advocacy movement will say the roads are "too dangerous". So it goes.

Free parking at Iconik.
I took a grind up Hyde Park Road on Friday in honor of my impending semi-retirement goal of getting my ass in shape. Almost did my own Darwin Award entry as following a high speed descent down Hyde Park and through Vallecita, I popped my front inner tube just as I got to the intersection of Bishop Lodge Rd. and Paseo de Peralta. It was a spoke hole pinch as the rim strip had moved from its center position. Don't leave a ratty and misaligned rim strip on a front wheel for sixteen years, I guess.

Saturday I took a short and casual ride to run some errands in town. That included a stop at  Iconik to grab a bag of beans and nurse the obligatory free cuppa Joe. And, of course, to enjoy a lovely afternoon. Thankfully, Iconik has bike racks out front of its Lena St. location and this time I remembered my cable lock. Riding home, I was happy to see the city had finally repaved the South end of Placito de Oro where it hits Alameda. That intersection was starting to look like it was being prepped for a reenactment of the Battle of Stalingrad.

La Tierra looking south. 
Hey, O'Grady. Where are you?
 Today was back to the present effort to get somewhat back in shape, so that amounted to a couple hours of fun up on the La Tierra Trails. Those trails never fail to amuse me.

Lots to do this time of year. Be safe out there.

Bored with the trails? Try the Tour de Tano

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Kill With a Car, and Victims Don't Even Get "Thoughts and Prayers"?

Used with past permissions, i.e., this time I didn't ask

  Sent to Mayor Webber and Councilors Lindell, Villarreal, and Coppler

Someone, anyone, please explain this travesty to me. Cruise down the road while allegedly talking on the cell phone and kill someone. Whoopsie! You get what looks like a free pass.

So is Marco Serna running for Congress so he can do as good a job in DC as he is doing in the DA’s office? That’s choice.

And, of course, the guy who got himself and his son killed was, according to this article, doing almost twice the posted speed limit on St. Francis Drive. He isn’t around for charges to be filed and his kid is in the Hereafter rather than late for school. That’s a lesson all parents should think about.

All well-deserved sarcasm towards certain public institutions aside, people (and society) take driving for granted rather than thinking about the risks they are imposing on others. We do so damn little to fight that complacency.

Got yer man card yet?
Back to “thoughts and prayers”. That “Consider Your Man Card Reissued” Bushmaster selling pitch made me want to vomit and has contributed to efforts to ban these "weapons of war". But what about “Closed Course, Professional Driver, Don’t Try This At Home”? Some ads are so bad they have been banned abroad. Driving is serious business done with other people around. Take it seriously.

Scrooge’s famous retort in Christmas Carol is getting to be one of my favorites after reading the morning paper: I’ll retire to Bedlam,

Khal Spencer

Current Member, BTAC and longtime Transportation Board Chair in Los Alamos, speaking for myself Santa Fe, NM

Friday, May 31, 2019

Last Gasp of Bike Month

Get out and ride two wheels. Any two wheels.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

"Do Epic Shit"

Patrick O'Grady from Albuquerque, Pat O'Brien from Tucson, and Pat's nephew Andy from Florida wandered up this way to do the Santa Fe Half Century today. Mind you, Andy lives at sea level and had been up at 7000 feet all of one day, after spending two days at Pat's home south of Tucson, which is bit lower than our nosebleed altitude here. But Andy started the fifty miler with yellow "Do Epic Shit" socks.

Climbing to the top of the climb on US 285 coming into El Dorado, I guess Andy asked Pat "is this epic shit?". I think for a first timer on his first long ride, doing it on no altitude training at 7k feet, yep, it qualifies.

Nice day, if a bit cold and windy. But it is, after all, spring in Northern NM. At least it didn't snow.

Patrick, Pat, and Andy (left to right) suiting up for the start

Obligatory pictures at Galisteo rest stop

More obligatory pics at Galisteo
l. to r. Pat, Patrick, Yours Truly, and Andy

Vintaage UK bike at Galisteo
Note the half step plus granny gearing!

The "Mad Dog" finds a road named in his honor on the climb to El Dorado

Coulda used a few more porta potties at Galisteo!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Nice Little 20 Miler in North Santa Fe

For those days when there is a lot else to do.

Start out in Casa Solana or DeVargas Mall. I crossed St. Francis on Camino de las Crucitas and got on Paseo de Peralta. Turn East on West San Francisco towards the center of Old Santa Fe. Turn right at the cathedral onto Cathedral Place. Turn left onto East Alameda. Head east along the Santa Fe River. Turn left onto Gonzales Rd. This is the only tough climb in this little loop. Turn Rt. on Hyde Park Road. Go about 100 ft and turn left onto the continuation of Gonzales Rd. Veer left staying on Gonzales and it will turn into Vallecita Drive. You can add what looks like a mile by turning rt. and taking Paseo del Sur on a loop to where it hits Vallecita (if you do this loop, you will turn rt onto Vallecita). In either case, follow Vallecita west. It zigzags and turns into Valley. Turn left at Valley and take it west to Bishop Lodge Rd. Turn right onto Bishop Lodge Rd. and take it to the Tesuque Village Market. Turn left onto Tesuque Village Rd. and head south back towards Santa Fe. Cross under the highway and turn left onto Opera Drive. Take that south. It will turn into Tano Rd. Follow Tano west-northwest. Turn left onto Camino de las Montoyas. Take Montoyas south across State Rt. 599--be careful when crossing 599 as it is a high speed divided highway. Montoyas merges with Buckman Road and Paseo de las Vistas to become Camino de las Crucitas at the dog park and you are back in town again.

Lots of loops and options once you know the area. I have to explore these. A visitor at one of our downtown hotels could start and finish near the plaza and have the same route.

My start/finish here.,-105.9522326,17z

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Fred Meredith, 1941-2019, Will Ride With the Angels

Back around 2005, I took the League of American Bicyclists League Cycling Instructor class and became a newly minted LCI. The rider/coaches were Preston Tyree and Fred Meredith. Today I assisted with this weekend's LCI training class in Santa Fe, where one of the Houston based rider/coaches informed me that a couple weeks ago, Fred passed away. The obituary is here.

 Fred was, in addition to a gifted teacher, a great all around guy who was active in the League's governance, as you can read in the obit. That was in addition to all the other stuff he did. Back over a decade ago Fred's graciousness in governance came in handy when I got into a verbal brawl with a former LAB board member. One can guess what happens when two opinionated, ego-driven males get into "mansplaining" things to each other over e-mail, a medium which can be easily misused even on a good day. Fred interceded and saved me from what probably would have been a mutually acrimonious divorce from the LAB.

The world will miss the Fred Merediths. We could all learn a thing about teaching, listening, learning, and being a good citizen from folks like Fred. So when you are on your bike this weekend, catch a wheel in the shadow of that rider who is now riding up in the heavens.