Because I have no cohesive narrative in mind...

One thing I hate: Making a sangwich and squeezing the mustard bottle to get an ejaculation of mustard water. That's just disgusting. Yeah, I was in a hurry and didn't shake well.

*****

Who loves tumbleweeds? I love tumbleweeds. On the drive home from work last week I was very nearly broadsided on Jefferson by a swarm of 'em surfing a great gust of wind across the roadway. The wind alone was cool (I may be alone in this opinion), but the tumbleweeds added a dimension that had me wishing for a camera. Iconic things, tumbleweeds. I was suddenly dissatisfied with sitting in a car as I rolled effortlessly on asphalt. I felt I should instead be astride a horse, big iron on each hip and a broad-brimmed hat firmly set on my brow (well, I actually did have the hat), as I aimed my square jaw (just work with me here) at the setting sun. As I ruminated on this fantastical scenario, I conveniently shoved to the back of my consciousness the fact that the one and only time I attempted to ride a horse, the resentful brute tried to dump me onto an electrified fence. I was ten and somewhat girthsome for my age, and obviously this animal had some very definitive opinions concerning acceptable height/weight proportions.

ANYWAY, I've always loved tumbleweeds from afar and now I get to see them all the time. Rustling in the brush. Rolling in spasmodic jerks across a field. Gathering at chain-link fences. Really, I do love them, but they're spooky! That's what I get for watching “The Outer Limits” as a kid.

*****

I am looking forward to my first-ever in-person bicycle race event! The Roadrunner Classic takes place Saturday April 24th, and the missus and I plan to attend. Needs: Two lawn chairs and enough cash to buy some unfortunate-but-tasty foodstuffs. Wants: A 4-pound bicycle and a set of Albuquerque-grown lungs. I know I'll sit by the side of the road telling myself “I could do that! Really, what would it take? Discipline, shmiscipline.”. Then I'll recall how grateful I always am for the first stop-light on my route to work. What I should do is find those paths I keep hearing about in the foothills and see if I can manage to train up into something like reasonable shape without inverting my ribcage. That would make a jolly spring/summer project.

Bicycling is my favorite sport to watch. Actually, it's the only sport I watch (except for expedition racing such as the Eco Challenge, and when was the last time you saw one of those broadcast? Oh, we have puh-lenty of “reality” shows featuring woefully over-sprayed, over-muscled, over-funded, foul-mouthed doll-people, but adventure racing? Crickets, crickets). Pure athleticism astride elegant sculptured machines. Writhing veins and tendons and ground-down molars. Grace and danger. That's a bicycle race.

The only other sports I can think of that match bicycle racing are long-distance running and rock-climbing. I'll watch those too. Do them? Are you effing kidding? Instead I'm considering another project, mainly walking every path and trail in the city, and once done, doing the same on my bike. That would be a terrific way to see the whole of the city, and surely beats the heck out of driving. I'm in love with the idea, actually.

*****

I'm curious. Did anyone ever resolve this mystery? I know it wasn't an extraterrestrial craft (no offense to the Art Bell crowd), but I'd like to know if anyone definitively identified it. I'm guessing balloon. It is Albuquerque, after all.

*****

That's it and that's all. Except I'm gonna go see Kick-Ass no matter what the critics say or whose sense of propriety is assailed.

Hasta.

Views: 10

Comment by Granjero on April 18, 2010 at 4:10pm
People, mostly yankee's and movie studios, will actually buy tumbleweeds. Weird for those of us who grew up in the south and west. But eh, northerners have always been a bit odd.

As far as that mystery goes, i dunno. I did spot a white weather balloon floating up from the direction of the base this morning.
Comment by hettie on April 18, 2010 at 4:24pm
kick-ass, um, kicked ass, for lack of a better description. violent and potentially offensive to some. highly entertaining to me and my sweetie.
Comment by Lahjik on April 18, 2010 at 5:00pm
I had a great time in Albuquerque on my bike. Used to do 5-10 miles at a time in the NE Heights during the week then do 40-50 mile rides on the weekends. Starting out with the long (seeming) climb up Osuna by the Arroyo Del Oso golf course I'd proceed to snake through neighborhoods up to Tramway and then head North on the path. If I was feeling really energetic I'd climb up to the base of the Tram which was a killer though the view (and the chance to sit with my bike and watch tourists complain about the elevation while getting out of their cars) made it well worth it. Usually I'd head further North and work my way back in towards town from Tramway as it dropped back toward I25. I could put together a nice long ride with plenty of rest stops and some good down hills plus find refill spots for my water bottles though Tramway North of town could be tricky with traffic (got brushed off the road by a redneck's pickup mirror at one point; it had to be intentional). This was when i was only a couple years out of college and used to 15-20 miles a day on the bike and several miles on foot too, so it wasn't too lung-busting but in the Duke city there's no such thing as a level ride; you're either climbing or descending. One of my favorite descents was Candelaria from Tramway; I could easily keep up with traffic and given sufficient clear space could hit 45-50mph on the bike. Of course things would get hairy when a clapped out Buick didn't see me coming and turned left onto E-bound Candelaria across my bow... Another fun ride was working my way down to Rio Grande in the North Valley then following it South towards downtown sprinting against buses from bus-stop to bus-stop. Unfortunately I've been too many years in Texas which not only kills your high-altitude lungs but also kills your desire to ride a bike anywhere that motor vehicles are allowed. Thanks for the post, though, cause I'm needing motivation to go tune up my roadie and tighten the cleats on my old riding shoes.
Comment by Rob Creighton Garrison on April 18, 2010 at 5:23pm
@ Granjero: I agree. I've lived the last eighteen years among Yankees. These were Western Yankees, though.

@ hettie: Yay! Thanks for the micro-review!

@ Lahjik: I'm trying to motivate myself too, man. Been too easy to talk myself out of riding. Watching really skinny people half-kill themselves might do it.

Thanks, all!
Comment by Rob Creighton Garrison on April 18, 2010 at 5:44pm
@ Uncle Jess: Really? Didn't know about the stickers. Dang.
Comment by cathyray on April 19, 2010 at 7:16am
I like tumbleweeds. I'll never forget some yankee visitors headed home with a big one tied onto the trunk of their car so they could show it to their friends. I was rolling on the lawn laughing. I had never seen a tumbleweed stuck to a car on purpose. Hahahahaaaaaa. They do hurt like heck when they crash into your bare legs, I do know that!
Comment by Rob Creighton Garrison on April 19, 2010 at 4:47pm
@ Samantha: Isn't science grand? AND humanity's capacity to eat just about anything in a pinch? LOVE the song, too.

@ cathyray: Do you think the 'weed survived the trip? I sort of hope it shredded it's bonds and escaped.

Thanks for the comments!
Comment by Pat O. on April 19, 2010 at 9:52pm
#@%^^&%& Tumbleweeds. When we had a house in the Heights, tumbleweeds would grace us with their seeds on a regular basis during windstorms, rainstorms, whatever. A few days later I'd have to pull the new tumbleweed seedlings, or they would take root and grow stickers. Pulling those seedlings required leather gloves and perseverance. And then there are goatheads, which are worse.
Comment by Rob Creighton Garrison on April 20, 2010 at 6:34am
So far the much-dreaded goatheads have failed to festoon my bicycle tires, but I'm led to understand it's only a matter of time. :o/
Comment by Pat O. on April 20, 2010 at 11:59am
Wasn't there stuff some people called "gorilla snot" that mountain bikers put in their tires? It was supposed to close goathead punctures. Never tried it, as I had a road bike that didn't normally have that problem.

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