Albuquerque, we have a problem

April 27, 2015
Herself and I finally got around to organizing the garage so I can actually park a car inside. A neighbor took one look and nearly took an infarction along with it.

Herself and I finally got around to organizing the garage so I can actually park a car inside. A neighbor took one look and nearly took an infarction along with it. Not pictured: Herself’s three bikes, which are on the other side of the garage.

Hoarder? Me? Y’think? Naw. Y’think?

The Gorge of Eternal Peril

April 26, 2015
"Ask me the questions, bridge-keeper. I am not afraid."

“Ask me the questions, bridge-keeper. I am not afraid.”

“What … is your quest?”

To ride Highway 68 between Velarde and Taos? Uh, not so much.

Every time I drive it, I think, “Damn, this would be a fun ride.” And then I remember how people who are not me drive that stretch of highway, and I reconsider.

I’ve ridden bits and pieces of it, but that was decades ago, when I was young and fearless instead of aged and querulous. Likewise I’ve done some of the High Road to Taos, but never the entire ride.

MD, Khal and I have been talking in comments about giving the High Road a go sometime in June. Anyone else interested? Give us your thoughts in comments. Also your name, favorite color, and the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow.

Property rights (and wrongs)

April 24, 2015
The weather wasn't all that welcoming, despite the sign.

The weather wasn’t all that welcoming, despite the sign.

Rather than chance being mistaken for Helen Collins and Doug Bruce, Herself and I decided we (meaning Your Humble Narrator) should dash up to Colorado to check on our vast real-estate holdings, make sure they hadn’t been turned into meth labs, crack houses or empty, boarded-up, Collins-Bruce-style blights on the community.

The back deck needed a few new boards.

The back deck needed a few new boards.

This I did, earlier this week, and I’m happy to report that the only boards involved were the three replaced in Chez Dog’s winter-ravaged back deck by Senior Executive Dude With Tools and Skills Dennis “Heavy D” Collard, who had a few uncommitted moments in his busy schedule that I was happy to fill for him, knowing from experience that idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

The weather did a number on the back sidewalk, too, so I asked a local concrete merchant to estimate the cost of repairs. I checked in with our friend and tenant Judy, comfortably ensconced in The House Back East®, and chatted up a couple other members in good standing of the Patty Jewett Yacht & Cricket Club.

And finally, I did a quick inspection tour of the interior of Chez Dog, the operative word being “quick,” as a certain somebody had rented the joint out from under me and the paying customers would be checking in the next day.

Chez Dog is still standing ... and, thanks to Herself, still earning.

Chez Dog is still standing … and, thanks to Herself, still earning.

I had planned a rather leisurely stay in The Old Home Place®, catching up with friends and neighbors while performing my slumlordly duties, then fetching a few more bikes home to Duke City.

But when money comes a-knockin’, Herself is always right there at the door to greet it. So instead of chillaxin’ in the ‘hood for a spell, I blew 40,000 Hilton points on two days at the Homewood Suites.

The Hilton it ain’t. Shit, it ain’t even Chez Dog. Feeble coffee, punk grub, and I was reminded once again why we don’t pay for television. The bed was comfy, though.

After two days of that I was burning up the road back to Rancho Pendejo, with a short stop in Taos to take on sustenance at Orlando’s New Mexican Cafe. Their Los Colores platter is a marvelous restorative.

 

Lord, I'm southbound.

Lord, I’m southbound.

Evangelists

April 20, 2015
Meena and Khal are at left, Jim Sayers of ACA is the rangy dude in red, Stephen Newhall is wearing the nifty Rob and Charlies kit, and some ugly old man is pretending he's me.

Meena and Khal are at left, Jim Sayers of ACA is the rangy dude in red, Stephen Newhall is wearing the nifty celeste-and-white Rob and Charlies kit, and some ugly old man hiding behind Stephen is pretending he’s me.

The Adventure Cycling Association Bicycle Route 66 Tent Show and Revival came to Duke City this weekend to preach the gospel of bicycle travel, and Khal, Meena and I were among those saved.

Being a relative newcomer to Albuquerque, I helped get us good and lost a couple of times on the 30-mile ride; I’ve done portions of the north and south stretches, but generally choose other east-west connectors. Happily, we got dialed in once Stephen Newhall from Rob and Charlies in Santa Fe caught up with us downtown to show us The Way.

Khal and Meena were on their Co-Motion tandem, while I rode Soma the Lesser (my Double Cross, outfitted with Arkel Dry-Lites to catch all the layers I peeled off as the day warmed up). It was the first chance the three of us had to ride together after years of online correspondence, so now the rest of y’all will have to catch up. You’re already one ride behind.

 

Return of Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

April 17, 2015
Out near El Malpais National Monument on a shoot for the Adventure Cycling Association.

Out near El Malpais National Monument on a shoot for the Adventure Cycling Association.

The New Mexico Touring Society, New Mexico Bicyclist Educators and the Adventure Cycling Association are throwing a hoedown on Sunday at Balloon Fiesta Park, right here in Duke City, to celebrate the new Bicycle Route 66 with presentations and speechifying, New Mexican grub and (of course) a bit of cycling.

In honor of the ACA’s visit to my little ciudad, I have been empowered to arrange a number of free six-month trial memberships to the beautiful and talented people who follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or lurk around this blog waiting for me to pull my thumb out and get caustic, funny or both.

Members get discounts on maps, access to special organized tours, and Adventure Cyclist magazine, wherein one may discover glistening pearls of wisdom from cycling authorities who are not me. But I’m in there too.

Click the link and saddle up. See you on the road.

Here comes the sun

April 15, 2015
It's all right.

It’s all right.

One of these days I’m bound to get tired of the view out the back door. But not today.

My mood may be extraordinarily light because we’re actually getting a refund from Uncle instead of having to forward the usual duffel bag full of tear-stained greenbacks to the Eternal Revenue Service.

I’ve lobbied heavily to direct this windfall toward consumer spending, in order to jump-start the economy going into the 2016 elections, but Herself just chuckles and tells me to get back to work. I think she’s a closet Republican.

Perro-Roubaix

April 12, 2015
Never did find the damn velodrome, though. I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque.

Never did find the damn velodrome, though. I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque.

Them’s what y’call your free-range, grass-fed, humanely raised, non-GMO, gluten-free, all-American, New Mexican pavé, cuate. I bet you even John Degenkobble would have a few misgivings about riding this lot.

Got my Apple Watch

April 10, 2015
I  might have to get back into the gym if I'm gonna wear this thing. Also, I'm gonna need pants with bigger pockets.

I might have to get back into the gym if I’m gonna wear this thing. Also, I’m gonna need pants with bigger pockets.

It’s bigger than I expected, but what the hell, first-gen product, right? Herself says she picked it up for a song. And it’s the easy-to-read Senior Citizen Edition, too.

Dig it

April 8, 2015
A stretch of the Paseo del Bosque trail, south of the zoo.

A stretch of the Paseo del Bosque trail, south of the zoo.

There are times — even when my eyeballs feel sandpapered and my snout is clogged like the Paseo del Norte at rush hour — when I think I was pretty smart to let Herself take that job with the Military-Industrial Complex here in Duke City.

A recently resurfaced section of the Bear Canyon Arroyo trail, just west of Tramway.

A recently resurfaced section of the Bear Canyon Arroyo trail, just west of Tramway.

Like today, when I read in the Albuquerque Journal that Duke City just broke ground for a project to create a 50-mile bike loop around town.

About 80 percent of the “Activity Loop” trail already exists, and I’ve ridden quite a piece of it. Mostly it’s a matter of linking up and sprucing up all the various bits and pieces. Bike-ped bridges, on-demand signals, striping improvements, and what have you. The project will take years — the work is to be done in nine phases, as money becomes available — and cost about $20 million.

This sort of thing is not a panacea for problems like violent crime, trigger-happy cops, chronic long-term unemployment, and a sluggish economy. But it can help make a town a better place to live, which in the long term might help address at least a few of these issues.

I did most of my 61-mile birthday ride on separated bike path. The rest was on streets that were designated bike routes or had bike lanes. Not bad for a place where Bugs Bunny was always missing that crucial left turn.

 

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

April 6, 2015

Join Charles Pelkey, the Man On the Scene (MOTS), The Old Guy Who Gets Fat In Winter, some other old fat bald guy, and the proverbial Cast of Thousands this Sunday when Live Update Guy will follow the 2015 edition of Paris-Roubaix as it happens.

That’s why they call it a “live update,” in case you were wondering.

Paris-Roubaix will be something of a test drive. Consigliere Pelkey, being an attorney and freshly elected legislator, is busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, but he’d still like to keep a toe in what we like to jokingly call “cycling journalism.” If all goes well, we’ll consider doing all three grand tours again, as has been our practice for the past few years.

It’s a public-radio-style deal, dependent upon financial support from the audience, so if free-range, grass-fed, gluten-free, humanely raised, organic-hemp live coverage is something you find marginally valuable, pop round for a heaping helping of our patented Non-Race-Related Blah-Blah-Blah (NRRBBB)™ come Sunday and consider dropping a copper or two into our beggars’ bowl as we cover the queen of the cobbled classics.

I would not feel so all alone. Everybody must get stoned!


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