AT THE RIVER--Things go by fast on a bike. Sometimes it is hard to stop and check out that blurred speck in the trees. This is especially true when one is training for a Serious Ride. Even so, here are a couple of things I noticed on the Bosque Bike Trail this week. First off, the Serious Ride I am talking about is the Transamerica Trail, a bike route that starts in Yorktown, Virginia and ends in Astoria, Oregon. I am leaving for Virginia in one month. My bike touring buddy Mike Moye is riding the first 500 miles with me. The other 3700 will be solo. So this requires some serious training right now. The Bosque Trail
This is the Queen of Albuquerque bike trails, 17 miles with plenty of natural and unnatural items of interest. Let me name a few: Bueno Foods, The Garden of Glass, The Tour de Junkyards, Confederate army campsites, an abandoned WWII POW camp, chile and alfalfa fields full of cranes and geese, the Hispanic Cultural Center, Tingley Beach and ponds, the wonderful
bosque itself...and this is just on the south side of Central Ave.
Vista del Enviro-Solve
My favorite spot, however, is a solitary bench at the far end of the south loop. It is exactly at the midpoint of the southern route. I call it Vista del Enviro-Solve. There is not much there and it attracts few visitors. I think that is what is so appealing. It is the ultimate feeling of spacial freedom...like hiding in plain site.
What I like to do is stop at the little store on 2nd street just above the bike trail. I usually buy an egg salad sandwich and a bottle of chocolate milk and take it with me to Vista del Enviro-Solve to eat. What a treat! The sandwiches seem fresh and the choco milk is from a local south valley dairy.
But the best thing is the view. The Enviro-Solve plant is right across the diversion channel from the bench. I love looking at the picture of that guy carrying a barrel on his back! And the rusting drums! Make up your own metaphor here. But I don’t. I just pack up my own trash and ride on.
Lately I have been spending quite a bit of time on the north trail because of the wildlife. In the area between Montano and Paseo del Norte there have been a pair of adult Bald Eagles and a couple of juveniles as well. I haven’t seen them in the last week and assume they have migrated north at this point. Remember them for next winter, however.
There are also quite a few Canada Geese still hanging out around the Corrales Bridge. Ride over the OLD Corrales Bridge and you can see all kinds of things besides the geese, like a pair of Coots swimming next to a submerged jetty-jack near the western shore.
But the biggest surprise for me this year has been the porcupines in the cottonwood trees. These are also to be found between Montano and Paseo...between mile markers 5 and 6. They look like squirrel nests at first. But look closer, many of those dark clumps turn out to be “porkypines.”
This is the last best chance to see them. The cottonwoods where they live are still bare of leaves. Bring a pair of binoculars or a camera with a good zoom. Meanwhile remember to click on these pictures to enlarge them.
Men That Don’t Fit In, Part 2
Some might remember a piece I did last on Frank C. last November. He was getting ready to bike to El Paso through the bosque on his Huffy. Well, let’s not leave Fred Pink out of our thoughts and prayers. I overtook Fred as he rode his tricycle. I noticed a sleeping bag tied onto the back along with a lot of other stuff. We rode together for a while. Here is some of our conversation.
“That’s a pretty big trike,” I said. In fact, it was the biggest and heaviest trike I have ever seen...including those used for the last 50 years in retirement communities.
“Yes, and it weighs over 56 pounds.”
“Are you on your way out of town?”
“No...just training for a ride I’m doing south of Tucson.”
“Aren’t there better road trikes than the one you’re on?
“Sure...the ‘tadpole’ types with the 2 wheels in front. I used to have one. But after I got hit by a car on my way to Savannah, Georgia my wife made me get one where I sat up higher...better visibility. I tried to tell her that getting hit by a car was a once in a lifetime thing, but she insisted on a trike where I was sitting up higher.”
“Well, once is usually enough. How about hills? How’s she do?
“Slow. Real slow. But you wouldn’t believe the gears this trike has: in the lowest gear I can turn the pedal 10 times to go one foot!”
I wasn’t sure I believed that one, but let it go. Btw, there is a journal of his trip published here. He got hit three weeks into his journey. This is an interesting read by one lucky guy.
There are many, many journals of bike tours on this site, called “CrazyGuyonaBike.” Take a look around for answers to the obvious question, “Why?”
The Transamerica Trip
Last night I traced my route through Virginia in our Atlas for MaryAnn to use when I call. Yorktown, Monticello, Roanoke, the Blue Ridge Parkway. I don’t know how much better it can get. I am taking my MacBook and will be posting from the trail on a new blog. My Albloggerque site is having RSS trouble.
The new blog is called JohnnyTransAmerica. In keeping with my nom de blog I was going to name it JohnnyTransaMango, but MaryAnn thought it sounded like I was leaving town for three months to have a sex-change operation.
I decided not to invite that speculation and went with JohnnyTransAmerica. Check it out. Right now all it has is some training stuff and a video of MaryAnn fighting that 50 mph windstorm the Sunday before Easter.
Bookmark it if you are interested in keeping abreast of developments.