Friday, April 24, 2009

50 mile road bike option for Santa Fe Century?

I was scoping out the Santa Fe Century Ride's "50 mile ATB" route today after getting my Subaru out of the Premier shop, as we might do the 50 mile option on our tandem. I wanted to see how rough the dirt section was in order to plan for the right tires.

There now is about two miles of dirt road left on Rt. 42, on either side of the railroad crossing near the Galisteo end. Most of it did not look too rough, with minimal washboard and deep ruts. Seems like a lot of new paving has been done on Rt. 42, continuing the pavement most of the way from NM 14 towards Galisteo.

Of course, in classic New Mexico tradition, the new paving was done from fog line to fog line, so there is no rideable shoulder, at least for a road bike. Fortunately, its likely that most of the traffic during the Century will be of the two wheeled variety.

Anyone else from Bomb Town considering a half century ride?


Amy said...

Neale and I did the full century on the tandem two years ago - it was a lot of fun. Pack for crazy weather and enjoy the scenery for us! We'll be out of town that weekend, otherwise we'd go...

Anonymous said...

You scoped a bike route in a car? In America a bike is still a toy you put in your car and take some place else to play with.

Khal said...

Bike wasn't even in the car. I wouldn't even have been down there had I not been getting the car its warranty service.

Anonymous said...

So I guess you'll ride down there for the half century?

Khal said...

No, if we do the ride, we will take the tandem down in the car.

I take it you are car-free?

Anonymous said...

Car light. I was just pointing out one of those uncomfortable facts. The carbon footprint of these events is enormous. There were as many cars involved in yesterday's race staged at Pinon as there were bicycles. Despite our best efforts, bikes in America are still a toy and playtime is dependent on cars.

Anonymous said...

Well, of course that's true. But unless and until people start to play with their bikes, they're never going to get comfortable enough with them to actually use them for anything besides play time. I don't see anything wrong with promoting the use of bikes through fun events.

Khal said...

If some of the people who went down to race the biathlon start riding to work, that would be good. Those events in themselves do burn a lot of gas and I don't know how many racers actually ride to work or take utility bike trips--my guess is few.

Its a valid criticism of the race/charity ride crowd, to wit, you see far more bikes on roof racks than in bike racks in front of local businesses. That is, when the local business even supplies racks.

Its actually been seven years since we did the Santa Fe Century. Seems like a nice course so we decided to go ride it. But usually, its tough to rationalize driving somewhere to ride a bike. The rides around Bomb Town are excellent. Last summer I blew off the Red River Century, the only organized Century I usually do, due to four buck a gallon gas, and rode from home to La Cueva and back instead.

Somewhere in the Monitor was a comment from a Councilor suggesting we not do Phase IV of Diamond. I think that would be a huge mistake. Enough people already use the condition of Diamond as an excuse not to bike to work. I'd like to finish Diamond and see more bikes on the road.

Anonymous said...

All that having been said, enjoy the ride.

I don't agree with 11:58 that we have to first play with bikes before we use them for anything else. We start out as kids using our bikes as transportation to get somewhere to play. It's only after we are well past the age of reason that we decide bikes are first and foremost toys.

Khal said...

I did the opposite: started riding my bike to work as a grad student to save money on gas and to improve my health--I was showing premature middle age spread. Then I found myself riding longer and longer rides on the way home, and exploring the Stony Brook/Port Jefferson/Rocky Point (Long Island, N.Y.) back roads on weekends. Riding became play even if it was a utility trip.

Eventually found myself being "car light" and riding to work and the store on a regular basis as well as riding for the fun of it. I actually scored a short-term romance one year when a fellow grad student I was interested in saw me riding my bike to the natural food store with panniers on the bike to "score some veggies". Well, the bike lasted far longer than the romance.

I think what puts a lot of people off is traffic, i.e., you can load up the bike and go for a ride on a Sunday morning on selected quiet roads for play, but have to share the workday road with a zillion motorists in order to ride to work. Its really not that bad once you adjust to traffic, but we also need to do more to make it less hectic for cyclists. I think we should be doing a better job of enforcing laws (on everyone) so cyclists don't feel so vulnerable and creating roads with wide outside lanes or bike lanes in heavy traffic situations. As much of a cycling veteran as I am, its psychologically easier for me to have a bike lane/wide lane while churning up Conoco Hill most mornings than to know there is a line of cars behind me patiently waiting for me to crest the top.

Jimbo said...

I took up bike riding at the ripe old age of 40. I am a big bike fan, but not a zealot, even though I am sometimes zealous about riding.

To expect people to always ride their bikes is not practical, and, in fact, is what I think scares some people from taking up bike riding in the first place.

When I first started riding, it was painful, bloody and really not that much fun. Fortunately I had a lot of encouragement from people. It eventually became fun, which I think led to me riding more and more. Now I commute to work on my bike frequently during the riding season (hah, hah! Flame me for that now....)

So I agree that bikes need to be allowed to be playtime to a degree. If not, they are work, especially for people who haven't had the joy of riding their bikes all their lives. If it's work, people aren't going to do it. God knows we work enough already. I like to ride because it's not work.

I'll get off my own personal soapbox now.

Khal said...

My guess is that to many people, riding on roads like Diamond during morning and evening commute hours is WORK. Then again, not sure driving on it is less onerous than cycling.

Jim is right, though. You get more flies with honey than with vinegar. The cycling purists who come across as the anti-car Taliban (I'm not including any present company in said description) may be pure of soul themselves, but not sure they attract too many converts. Seems the only way the real Taliban get many converts is at the point of the sword.

Its gotta be fun. Taliban don't believe in fun.

Anonymous said...

There's a difference between treating something as a toy and having fun. Our culture treats bikes as toys. This is true from government planners to private sector marketers.

We simply cannot just get on a bike and ride it to the store. Proper clothes. Proper route. Proper training. Proper this. Proper that. Riding on Diamond or at night or in traffic is viewed as WORK by most Americans because culturally we treat bikes as toys. Every toy has its proper place. Basic transportation in everyday clothes in the course of daily life is no place for a toy.

I'm not a jihadist. I just think we've aloud traffic engineers and Madison Ave. to take away something. If you want to play on a bike, great. However, if you just want to ride to the store in jeans and ball cap, fine as well.

My original point was only that bikes consume an awful lot of fossil fuel in America.

Khal said...

It should be possible to have more than one vision and not exclude riding to the store in a baseball cap and everyday street clothes or exclude me riding to work in my silly outfit. No caste system here. When we market cycling as Buycycling does, its really about selling crap, not about encouraging people to ride their bikes.

There should be no reason one should have to use a car or lycra to ride from those Oppenheimer apartments (or from most places in Los Alamos) to Smiths. They ride like normal humans in places like the Netherlands and Germany. They also have great racing cyclists. The culture doesn't treat the bicycle as merely a recreational vehicle, but as a variety of vehicles for different purposes.

I think we need to get to a place where my advisor was at in Muenster. He rode a real commuter bike to work, and he makes some good distinctions as you do between that bike and his play bikes back on Long Island.

(excerpt from Gil's site)

"...These are photos of the 5-speed Gazzelle bicycle I used in Muenster. It is quite different from the 15-speed road bike and the 18-speed hybrid bike I use on Long Island which are really recreational vehicles. The bicycle shown here is a commuting bicycle. The handle bars are set high so that the rider is more upright. To prevent spray from getting on the rider, there are fenders on both wheels, a mud flap on the front fender, a plastic covering on the rear wheel and complete covering of the chain . The bicycle also comes with a front wheel generator that supplies electricity to a halogen head light and to a red rear light. The front wheel brake is an enclosed disk brake. The rear wheel has a coaster brake. Also, it has a built in lock on the rear wheel..."

That is not to say a recreational vehicle cannot double as a serious commuter. Somewhere is a picture of a 'cross frame I purchased, festooned with fenders, lights, etc. Only thing missing that I would need to ride in street clothes would be a chain guard.

Khal said...

Agree that the carbon footprint of bicycles in the U.S. is ridiculously large (as I said somewhere, I see too many bikes perched on large motor vehicles rather than under their owner's own power), and this vision has been promoted by a lot of people inside and outside government. LANL/DOE is a shining example of how to get it wrong.

We need to change our attitudes and stop treating the bicycle as a recreational toy but rather as a serious means to mobility that is entitled to resources designed to encourage its safe and efficient use as an equal partner in transportation. For too many decades, anything other than a motor vehicle has been considered as an afterthought or a sign of poverty. To some degree, that is the current fight about Trinity Drive. Car is still King.