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.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

LANL Awarded Bicycle Friendly Business Bronze Designation

On today's League of American Bicyclists Web site.
Kudos to the LANL Bicycle Safety Committee!

Click to enlarge if you can't read it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Get Gates Belt Drive, Comrades. You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Chains

And Happy May Day to All!

John Allen

The Author

The Originals

Friday, April 5, 2019

Amended 5 Foot Bill Vetoed, Gov Lujan-Grisham Says Come Back Soon and Fix It

Sez it all. Thanks to Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Andrew Oxford for tweeting this out.

Maybe this picture explains the language in that veto letter.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Will She or Won't She? HB 192 Remains to be Signed

And on that note, my conversation on KSFR during this morning's Wake Up Call With Tom Trowbridge.

Direct link.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Gov. Lujan-Grisham Signs Passing Bill, Declares All Roads Will Have Wide Bike Paths and Bikes Are Now King In NM

1 April, 2019. Urgent!

In a startling announcement that caught even the most optimistic bicycle planners and advocates off guard, Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham not only signed HB 192 into law, but issued an executive order, to wit:

"Given that the amended bill asks bicyclists to ride on paths when they are available, I am issuing an Executive Order mandating that the New Mexico Dept. of Transportation will divert all roadway construction and maintenance funds in the state to the building of AASHTO compliant and safe bicycle paths that will traverse the state from north to south and east to west. No state highway funds or Federal pass-through funds will be spent on roads until the bicycle network is superior to that enjoyed by motorists. In New Mexico, bikes will henceforth be king!"

The Governor then signed the E.O. and left the Roundhouse on a Litespeed T1SL Dura-Ace.

Gov. Lujan-Grisham signing HB 192 and her E.O.
And off she goes!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

5 Ft. Bill. Beware of What You Wish For. You Might Just Get It--With A Nasty Spin

Bicyclists have rarely benefited from, and have often been harassed using so called "As Far Right As Is Practicable" laws, and House Bill 192, should it be signed by the Governor, will most likely be no exception.

The League of American Bicyclists believes that cyclists have a fundamental right to the road. --Bike Law University of the LAB

"In legislative debate, a wrecking amendment (also called a poison pill amendment or killer amendment) is an amendment made by a legislator who disagrees with the principles of a bill and who seeks to make it useless (by moving amendments to either make the bill malformed and nonsensical, or to severely change its intent) rather than directly opposing the bill by simply voting against it." -Wikipedia

What was a damn good five foot passing bill (HB 192) that required a five feet clearance to pass a bicyclist in New Mexico, and which also explicitly authorized motorists to cross the double line when it is safe to do so in order to facilitate safe passing, has been seriously modified by additional language stipulating bicyclists must use a sidepath "when practicable". Violation would be a penalty assessment misdemeanor.

Such "practicable" language in the past has been used to get us pesky bicyclists as far off the road as someone else deems "practicable since "practicable" is often left to the judgement not of the rider, but of the police or impatient motorists. Just ask John Vance, who was convicted and fined under a mandatory sidepath law (since repealed) in Rio Rancho. (Note added later: this bill would not create a "mandatory sidepath law" but the onus would be on the cyclist to explain why it is not "practicable" to use a path instead of the road).

State Sen. James White inserted the sidepath language late in the session and both legislative chambers approved it. See the jpeg below. Several of us are therefore calling for Gov. Lujan-Grisham to veto the bill. In its present form, this bill is likely to do more harm than good.

Sidepath laws tend to discriminate against cyclists, who are often better served by the roads and seriously slowed or inconvenienced by heavy multiuse traffic on paths. If you are a fast cyclist commuting to work or just out for an aerobic ride, its simply not safe to ride fast on a busy path used by walkers, joggers, dog walkers, and others. Its often fruitless to argue these fine points in a non cycling culture so "practicable" becomes a blunt instrument. A second issue is whether paths are built properly. Some are unsafe, and can, aside from user conflicts, create potentially hazardous intersections with streets and roads. See John Allen's analysis.

So while the bill would not require cyclists to always use a sidepath if available, the onus would always be on the cyclist to justify using the road, and that is a loss of rights and legitimacy.

Finally, do we really know how cyclists are killed and if this law would make a difference? I've yet to hear from cyclists in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or Los Alamos, where laws are already in place, that drivers pay attention. The Legislative Fiscal Impact Report says in part:

The Department of Transportation reports that preliminary data show that from 2015 to 2018, there have been 26 bicyclists on non-motorized bicycles killed on New Mexico roads. The most current data available shows that from 2012 to 2016, over 1,300 bicyclists were injured in a crash. The most current data shows that in 2016, 38 percent of all bicyclists in crashes were between 15 and 34 years old. Driver inattention and failure to yield, together, account for over 40 percent of the top contributing factors in bicycle-involved crashes.

Granted, being hit from behind at speed is likely to get you killed but while passing a feel-good bill saying to provide five feet, the partial shoulder paving continues to be practiced at the state and local level (including East Jemez Road), which means cyclists often cannot use a paved shoulder and are therefore put at risk by design. And an inattentive driver might not notice you. And a cop may not even ticket the motorist after he or she hits or sideswipes you.  So will a law do some good? Only if vigorous enforcement, engineering, and education go with it.

If you want to send a message to the Governor on this, here is the link to do so.

I'm appending Jennifer Buntz' letter to the governor too, since she posted it to the BikeABQ listserve.

Governor Lujan Grisham, 

Please consider vetoing HB192, the 5 fee to pass bicycles bill. The bill was given a last minute amendment before it went to the Senate Floor, which I believe transformed the bill from one that was positive for bicyclists into one that could have very negative, if unintended, consequences for cyclists.

The amendment puts cyclists right to use roadways into an ill defined space that is not where the State should go with regard to supporting alternative forms of transportation.  The amendment states that "To the extent practicable, a person shall not operate a bicycle within a vehicle lane if a separate posted or painted bicycle lane or pathway is provided within or adjacent to the roadway."  It is the use of the word "practicable" and its ambiguity that is objectionable to cyclists who routinely use roadways.

Take the example of Tramway Boulevard in Albuquerque.  The north-south portion of Tramway Boulevard has a path adjacent to the roadway, the Tramway Recreation Trail.   While this is a fine path, it is not a path dedicated to the use of bicycles.  Many different users can be found enjoying the Tramway Recreation Trail..  Due to the variety of users, many cyclists, myself included, prefer to ride on the shoulder of Tramway Boulevard.  This choice allows groups of cyclists to ride together, and more importantly, avoids conflict with the walkers, runners, children, dogs, rollerbladers, and slower cyclists who choose the Tramway Recreation Trail.  Riding the shoulder makes this route much more expedient if you are a bicycle commuter too.  The amendment to HB192 puts this choice in jeopardy, taking it out of the hands of cyclists and leaving it up to the discretion of law enforcement and judges.  It is also likely to add to motorist/cyclist conflict.  

I was very disappointed that Senator Wirth and Representative Rubio allowed the bill to advance to the Senate Floor with this amendment.  Please do not let this bill become law.  The benefit of the 5 feet to pass component is not worth the difficulties that the amendment creates.  Cyclists already face many barriers.  I urge you to veto this bill so that another barrier is not added.

I had the pleasure of meeting you twice when you were our US Representative.  I traveled to Washington D. C. during the League of American Bicyclists annual Washington lobbying week.  It was great to meet you and I appreciated your support for transportation bills that supported cycling.  I am also one of the people from Duke City Wheelmen who places ghost bikes for cyclists who die while cycling.  

My objection to this amendment comes from years of advocacy work for safer cycling.  I would welcome the opportunity to speak with someone in your office about this matter, and to delve deeper into how New Mexico can be made a better place for cyclists as well as other forms of alternative transportation.  Cycling in New Mexico really should be supported as a form of recreation and as a health promoting activity too.  

Although this HB192 might look good at first glance, I do not believe it supports or promotes safer conditions for bicyclists in New Mexico.  Thank you for considering this opinion.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

With highest regards,
Jennifer Buntz

Here is the League of American Bicyclists position on sidepath laws.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Where Is the New Mexicans to Prevent Car Violence When You Need Them

Scene in front of our house yesterday as a motorist came sailing down our street, hit my wife's car, and flipped her own upside down. Please drive carefully. The life you save may be your own, even if you don't care about mine.

Wheel shattered and driven into the chassis, control arm looks like it is toast, not sure what else underneath is damaged, in addition to the obvious.

Cars are not supposed to be upside down. I was told by a witness that the motorist was taken to the ER after being helped out of this vehicle.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Roundhouse Rally is Upbeat as Safety Bills Move Through Committees

There was good news today as bicyclists and motorcyclists rallied at the Roundhouse. Both HB 109, the careless driving enhanced penalty bill and HB 192, the five foot passing bill, made it through the House Judiciary Committee with flying colors. We need to keep pushing those bills forward.

Thanks again to all who attended, and especially to the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization for their annual sponsorship of this rally and their warm welcome to bicycling interests. Also, thanks to all the bicycling interests that pitched in, including Duke City Wheelmen, Bike Santa Fe, BikeABQ, LA Bikes Blog, Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico, New Mexico Touring Society. A special thanks to Tony Farrar and NM Bike-N-Sport for again hosting the pre-rally staging and lunch.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Get Ready For This Year's Roundhouse Rally

Hear ye, hear ye! I'll post any changes here as I hear of them.

New Mexico Motorcyclist
Rights Organization
16th Annual
Saturday February 16, 1pm – 2pm
Bicyclists will rally from NM Bike N Sport (Thanks, Tony!)

We will have lunch, then ride or walk to the NM Round House Rotunda, State Capitol Building, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. This annual event draws attention to bicycle and motorcycle safety on NM streets and highways. The New Mexico Motorcyclist Right Organization is the main event sponsor.

Duke City Wheelmen, Bike Santa Fe, BikeABQ, LA Bikes Blog, Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico, New Mexico Touring Society & New Mexico Bike Summit are joining with NM Bike-N-Sport to provide transportation support, hosting, and LUNCH for cyclists.

Albuquerque Bicyclists: You can meet at 8:10 am at Downtown Railrunner Station: Ride Rail Runner to Santa Fe. Email: to have the fare paid!! If you will be getting on the Rail Runner at another station, please let us know ahead of time. Departs 8:30am

10:10 am - Bicyclists can do a 20 mile ride with Chris Marsh starting from the Santa Fe Depot Station and joining the lunch at Bike N Sport at Noon.

11:00 am - NM Bike N Sport (504 W Cordova Rd): Meet for LUNCH and then walk or bicycle to the New Mexico State Capitol Building (bring a bike lock - No bicycles in the Capitol)

1:00 pm - Rally starts. New Mexico State Capitol Building (490 Old Santa Fe Trail): The rally will pay tribute to 2018 victims of crashes who were motorcycling or bicycling in New Mexico. Ongoing advocacy efforts to improve road safety will be highlighted, including current legislation under consideration.

Albuquerque cyclists. Return to Albuquerque: Rail Runner will depart from Santa Fe Depot Station at 3:15, 8:10 & 10:14pm & South Capitol Station at 3:20, 8:15, & 10:19pm.


House Memorial 10 is a recognition of the importance of bikepacking to cultural resources, physical activities, conservation, and tourism. It points out the importance of road and trail connectivity to bikepacking and forwards the memorial, should it pass, to the secretaries of economic development and tourism. It has no other action item involved in it.

House Bill 109 is a bill that increases the penalties for careless drivers who injure or kill. It moves the sentencing of careless driving that kills or injures from the traffic code (66-8-7) to what looks like the criminal code (31-19-1).

House Bill 192 is the safe passing bill. It requires a bicyclist to be given five feet of clearance when passing and also allows a motorist to cross the double line to pass a bicyclist when it is safe to do so. I think the combination of those two points is important.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Martin Luther King Day

Its a lunar eclipse and Martin Luther King Day Weekend. Sometimes these things come together. My doctoral program was in serious part funded by NASA's lunar program. But in the sixties and seventies, cities were burning and a lot of Americans had it worse than I did and never had the chance to head off to a great graduate program. So here goes.