The rise of fall

Some new color in the trees

The season is changing with a vengeance.

Hello, autumnal equinox. I didn’t expect you quite so soon. Still, there’s something to be said for lows in the 40s and highs in the 70s, especially for those of us who like to spend a lot of time outdoors.

Indoors, the evening libation is shifting gradually away from ice-cold beer to blood-red wine, and we need an extra blankie come bedtime. Occasionally the furnace clicks on. Perfect sleeping weather, if you don’t mind a snuffling mutt periodically rearranging himself around your ankles.

It’s cyclo-cross season, of course, but I don’t think I’ll be seeing much racing in person since I work the weekends for VeloNews.com. Looks like there’s only one local ’cross, too, on Nov. 19. All the action’s up north these days, which is one of the many reasons I no longer race. Who wants to drive for five hours to race for 45 minutes? Not this old dog.

Speaking of racing, it seems VN.com doesn’t have the wherewithal to pay Charles Pelkey for live updates from Sunday’s elite men’s race at road worlds, so I’m going to try to embed the code on this site for your viewing pleasure. If for one reason or another it doesn’t work, you can always visit CP directly at Live Update Guy.

10 Responses to “The rise of fall”

  1. Khal Spencer Says:

    Driving a couple hundred miles to go for a bike ride seems increasingly silly, Patrick. Esp. given the nice roads around here. I’m still meaning to ride the High Road to Taos.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      K, I’ve ridden parts of it … from La Puebla past Truchas to I forget where. It’s a beautiful ride. Never got all the way to Taos, though. Best get up there quick before the snow comes. Never know what La Niña is up to.

  2. md anderson Says:

    Last summer I rode the HIgh Road from Pojoaque to Taos. Very nice day’s ride. The kind folks at the Penasco Valley Food Store will fill your bottles or Camelbac with ice. I continued on to the Taos Ski Valley as that’s where we had hotel reservations that night. There have been major improvements to Hwy 76 from Chimayo to Truchas, new pavement and wider shoulders which makes the ride more enjoyable traffic wise. The 10% grades are still there though.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      MD, I remember that long-ass climb from La Puebla to Truchas all too well. Also the fast descent without much shoulder. Glad to hear things have improved in the intervening two decades.

      We used to run our club-championship road race up that way — I don’t have a map handy so I can’t name the actual route, but we veered south off the High Road just past Chimayo and did some nifty climbing on a narrow goat path of a road that looked like something out of the Tour, or maybe the Vuelta, speckled with adobe casitas and throngs of cheering fans (not).

      There were fast descents and cattle guards and all that good stuff, and I never did worth a damn until we shifted the championship circuit to a loop around PNM. Go figure. My peeps inside must have been sending me positive energy.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        I wonder if you took 503, aka Cundiyo Road. I’ve driven that, if its what I think it is east of Santa Cruz Lake, and it really looks like something out of a European classic. Very narrow, steep climbs and descents, and a lot of rustic scenery. I expect to to around a curve and see the ghosts of Coppi and Bartali hammering it out.

        Been meaning to ride it as a loop out of Pojoaque to Truchas and back. Gotta get off my ass, as you say, O’G.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        County Road 98, Juan Medina Road, has a lot of cattle guards. Might have been that one, Patrick. We take that road up to Taos through Nambe and Chimayo instead of driving through La Puebla.

      • md anderson Says:

        Yeah, 503 thru Cundiyo is one of my regular routes. It’s absolutely beautiful in the spring, lots of blooming fruit trees. Short steep hills in both directions. I usually ride it from south to north. Descending into the village of Cudiyo itself is a 90 deg left bend between the houses. If you don’t make it you will end up going through someone’s dormer window.

        Juan Medina Road just got and “upgrade.” They widened it but only to put a shoulder on the west side for the Easter season pilgrims to the Santuario. They tried to save money by not repaving any of the existing road, which could really use it. We have already seen a vehicle try to use the new shoulder as a passing lane. quite the cluster you-know-what.

        Khal, anytime you want to do some riding around here off the Hill let me know.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        Thank you, MD. I may take you up on that offer.

  3. matt Says:

    Hey now MTB is still alive and kicking this time of year right in the ‘springs, no reason to drive to the land of the liberal (i.e. the republic of boulder). Last weekend was the Sand Creek Palmer 50 mile with a pig roast no less and next weekend is the 24 hour nationals in Palmer. Even an old guy like Patrick could do ok with a 4 rider team–the course is even rideable on a cross bike……well kind of.

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