Monthly Archives: November 2014

Biking Around Albuquerque and Sharing the Road

Winter arrived Saturday night and Sunday morning it was snowing!  But true to form for a sunbelt city in the American Southwest by early afternoon the roads were clear and I was ready for a ride.  It was actually perfect, I worked all morning and since this is when I’m freshest I got some work done.  I had a big ride Saturday so was content to take it easy on Sunday.  Sunday I went down Constitution and connected with the Diversion Trail, to Paseo del Norte Trail, to Bosque Trail, to Mountain Rd., Edith, Indian School, and on home again.  The variety of riding accessible in the city is outstanding and makes a Sunday afternoon spin around town engaging.

Skateboarders using the arroyo channel.  My favorite geographer JB Jackson loved improvisational uses of landscapes.  Vernacular culture

Skateboarders using the arroyo channel. Geographer JB Jackson loved improvisational uses of landscapes. Vernacular culture.  Skateboarders are unfailingly friendly on the paths.  One called me Sir today.  I still feel like a kid at heart.

Like most cities Albuquerque is in the nascent stages of realizing a well connected bikeways system.  There are strands of excellence in the bikeways system and we are in the process of tying them together better.  One part is upgrading and building infrastructure and the other part is education for sharing the road.  Here are some things I noticed on my ride, and thoughts on infrastructure and developing that sharing the road culture.

On Constitution there is a bike lane most of the way but at intersections bikes use destination lane positioning.  I'm going straight here so get in line

On Constitution there is a bike lane most of the way but at intersections bikes use destination lane positioning. I’m going straight here so I get in line behind this red GMC Trailblazer.  Wyoming is a big intersection crossing.  It is kind of a mental barrier to cross as well as a physical one.

Bicyclists, do not pass traffic on the right!  This photo illustrates why.  The suv turns right at the driveway once we clear the intersection.  Sharing the general travel lane rather than being position to the side of traffic can help decrease likelihood of "right hooks"

Bicyclists, do not pass traffic on the right! This photo illustrates why. The suv turns right at the driveway once we clear the intersection. Sharing the general travel lane rather than being positioned to the side of traffic can help decrease likelihood of “right hooks”.  For cars, do not pass bike traffic and then turn right in front of them.  This vehicle was first come and this right turn was first serve.  Worked great.  I’m sure they looked for me to be certain I was still behind them.

One thing I did not capture with my camera was the vehicle looking to turn right on red onto Constitution from Wyoming while I was crossing the intersection.  The driver was holding a cell phone to their head (hands free devices while driving are legal here) and inching forward readying to turn.  Since I was positioned in the middle of the general travel lane they had better visibility to me and I had more time to react if they did not see me and began pulling out into the lane.  Sometimes sharing the road raises questions from drivers such as “why are you riding in the middle of the lane?” and bicyclists are presumed to be discourteous when prioritizing safety.  Here is a great article on courtesy within the context of safe riding practices.  Check out the interactive graphic further down in the article on reasons trained bicyclists ride where they do:
http://iamtraffic.org/education/courteous-cyclist/

Most bicycling education groups would have this sharrow sign moved left.

This is further down on Constitution.  Most bicycling education groups would have this sharrow sign moved left.

Bicyclists passing this parked vehicle want to leave clearance to avoid the "door zone," the possibility of an opening door from a parked or standing vehicle

Bicyclists passing this parked vehicle want to leave clearance to avoid the “door zone,” the possibility of an opening door from a parked or standing vehicle

When bicycles are following safe riding practices by riding in the lane that is too narrow to share, often times safe motorists will see an opportunity pass but are afraid to exercise their judgment if this means crossing the double yellow center line.  Austin TX police put out a public announcement helping motorists understand how to exercise good judgment in a circumstance of a narrow lane with slower traffic ahead and a double yellow centerline.  Other groups, like I Am Traffic, lobby for better laws for passing slower traffic on a double yellow.  The key is making the effort to understand the needs of all road users and working together to build a respectful paradigm of best practices.  The article on courteous cycling (also linked above) discusses how bicyclists may help facilitate a pass if traffic is building up behind or having trouble passing.

On second street heading north to get to the prime 313 North riding we have to share the lane and watch out for vehicles entering from side driveways, making certain we are visible.

On Second street heading north to get to the prime 313 North riding we have to share the lane and watch out for vehicles entering from side driveways, making certain we are visible, and also watching for right edge hazards like gravel

This bent guardrail and the double level pavement on the shoulder on 313 North create right edge hazards

This bent guardrail and the double level pavement on the shoulder on 313 North create right edge hazards

On 165 to Placitas the left hand turn lane reduced the usable shoulder to practically nothing creating a shared lane (these last three photos are from Saturday's ride)

On 165 to Placitas the left hand turn lane reduced the usable shoulder to practically nothing creating a shared lane (these last three photos are from Saturday’s ride)

Even our best cycling routes are fraught with hazards!  Think critically, ride cautiously and look out for one another.  Anticipate conditions that necessitate sharing the road well in advance.  Use a shoulder check and/or your mirror to be sure it is safe to move into the travel lane prior to moving left.  Yield to any traffic in the lane or that is readying to pass you and do not move over until it is clear.  Be predictable and visible so traffic has time to adjust to and react safely to your presence.

What else can we do to help Albuquerque become a platinum level bicycling town, and New Mexico a top State?  Participate in the ABQ Bikeways planning process.  Right now the plan is showing a continuation of the Diversion Trail to meet Roy Road under the “critical links” section in the plan.  That will be a great access point for connecting the city to riding east on Tram and north on 313.  But it is not listed under the “current projects”.  On the “proposed facilities NW quadrant” link Second Street is shown as having a bike lane.  One question is when and how can we secure funds to implement enhancing the infrastructure connectivity.  Another question is how ambitious we’ll be in envisioning the possibilities for empowering bicycles as a tool for smart development.  Right now for free we can all educate ourselves and one another on sharing the road and understanding our rights and responsibilities.  It is also fundamental to understand where we are coming from and the ripple effects of marginalizing bicycle traffic.  Most of all I think we can take positive action by riding safely and being ambassadors to the world that is and acting to help usher in the change we want to see in the world.  It is a good time and season to be a bicyclist in Albuquerque promoting good will.  I thoroughly enjoy these late Fall early Winter rides where I’m free to explore and get to know my city.  It is such a joy to be a human being ranging freely on a bicycle.

Tijeras Blues: Center Barrier Discussion

Update (11/17/14):  NM DOT confirmed this morning that the dotted lines pictured at the bottom of this post are not for center barrier installation, but “were layout lines of the final wheelpath so the smoothness measurement vehicle could evaluate the proper place in the pavement“.  So the barrier is only in place underneath the I-40 underpass, the same as it was before this repaving project began.  Thank you for NM DOT for responding to my concern and taking the time to explain the project.  Credit must go to the dialogue the New Mexico Coalition for Bicyclists initiated with their engineering committee for effectively voicing the bicycling perspective in roadway design and project implementation, and to all the local bicycling support.  I hope we can make and celebrate a sequence of continuing project success stories.  Let’s throw a bicycling party for Tijeras when it is done and completed.  The new shoulder is generous & smooth.  World class bicycling here, folks.
http://www.bikenm.org/action/engineering
_______________________

Old Route 66 and the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro are the new Mother Roads for cyclists!  Old Route 66 through Tijeras Canyon has a center barrier going up that seems to have the consequence of putting a squeeze on space for multi modal traffic along the side of the road.  The barrier is being constructed underneath the I-40 underpass right now.  But I also noticed dotted lines recently painted from the Albuquerque city limits eastward for the first few miles of the canyon apparently indicating there is a plan for a center barrier there too.

the barrier appears a few miles west of the Village of Tijeras on the I-40 underpass

the barrier appears a few miles west of the Village of Tijeras on the I-40 underpass

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2014.11.15 around and up 162

In areas where there is a guard rail to the right it feels tight

In areas where there is a guard rail to the right it feels tight

The center barrier prohibits faster traffic from moving left to give clearance to the slower traffic (like bicycles) they may want to pass.  With the center barrier on the left and guard rail on the right there is no escape route.  One easement might be to move the guard rails further to the right edge of the pavement to provide more lane + shoulder width.   Check out the lane width interactive graphics here to visualize how much lane width is required to provide safe clearance for different types of vehicles passing bicyclists:
http://iamtraffic.org/resources/interactive-graphics/

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the guard rail cantilevers out some at the exit point.  When I look at the metal rail I see a fall hazard for bicyclists

the guard rail cantilevers out some at the exit point. When I look at the metal rail I see a fall hazard for bicyclists

Further towards town there are markings painted for a two mile stretch apparently indicating where the center barrier will be situated.  Yikes!  I don’t think a center barrier would make for a nicer road, and definitely not a safer one for bicyclists.  It feels so confining and narrow, especially when there is a guard rail on the other side.

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If a center barrier is installed here then obviously the white fog lines (“edge lines”) will have to be repainted effectively reducing the shoulder width

 

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with a barrier on the left and guard rail on the right this seems like a trap

 

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Please email me with ideas for remediation.  I contacted the District 3 engineering office this Friday and bike advocates with GABAC and Bicycle Coalition of NM.  District 3 indicated plans could be reviewed for a second look.  I hope we can discover an end result where Tijeras Canyon is a world class road for bicyclists for years to come.  Thanks, Mark bikeyogi (@) gmail.com

“Building infrastructure to support active transportation is an investment in the state’s future”.  From the NM DOT Long Range Planning document Fall 2014 http://www.bikenm.org/images/nmdot_long_range_plan-mtgs_fall_2014.pdf

NM DOT, advocates and enthusiasts are working together to protect the safety of bicyclists and improve the quality of experience for everyone on our fine roads that preserve the character of what makes New Mexico unique.  Back roads like old route 66 offer access and mobility for all kinds of travelers and keep the New Mexico True experience open and alive for residents, tourists, and active recreationalists.  These roads are important to our sense of freedom and identity as New Mexicans, Americans and global citizens sharing our uniqueness with the world.  Bicycling like music connects us across cultures.

Around & Up the Crest

I took over 200 photos today with my seven year old Canon A530 and most of those ended up being photographs of infrastructure.  I’m creating a new category on the blog called “bike sense = design + education” to help convey a better sense of the challenges bicyclists face on the roadways to help us evaluate and analyze riding situations so every road user can think critically and employ best judgment to make safer decisions.  But first here’s my post on today’s ride around the Crest through Placitas with a full ascent to the top.

Yeah!  After I post pics like this with skin glowing dermatologists send me "future customer' mailings

Yeah! After I post pics like this with skin glowing dermatologists send me “future customer’ mailings.  Let’s see, today I weigh probably 81kgs.  I took a couple days off this week.  That was terrible!  Today is the first day of training 2015.

The Sandia's look so rugged from Placitas.  I would live here but Mai says we don't have a million dollars

The Sandia’s look so rugged from Placitas. I would live here but Mai says we don’t have a million dollars

 

Off the Sandia Pueblo road (aka 313) toward Bernaillo.  I love horses.  Buffalo and horses.

Off the Sandia Pueblo road (aka 313) toward Bernaillo. I love horses. Buffalo and horses. Elk and Cranes.  And pizza.

From Bernalillo the climb to the top of the Crest gains over a mile of vertical elevation.  That’s a lot!  Although I miss the camaraderie of group rides I also enjoy following my whims and just exploring.  And taking my time doing it.  Luckily this counts as “base” training.  I had a big pocket full of food including orange, apple, golden raisins, almonds, a sprig of salt over it all.  Water.

the funky intersection of diversion trail and I-40 trail.  When they finish the I-40 trail that will be a gem to get across town in a non-motorized fashion

the funky intersection of diversion trail and I-40 trail. When they finish the I-40 trail that will be a gem to get across town in a non-motorized fashion.  I like the contrast of beginning the ride in the city, chilling out through town, then pulling out into the country side, up the grand mountain, then winding around the back way home again.  Nice mix.

looking up toward San Ysidro from the Crest

looking up toward San Ysidro from the Crest.

looking west from the Crest with Sandia Casino and golf in foreground, river in middle, and Mt. Taylor (San Mateo Mtns) on horizon.

looking west from the Crest with Sandia Casino and golf in foreground, river in middle, and Mt. Taylor (San Mateo Mtns) on horizon.

Sangre de Cristo with their white caps above Santa Fe.  After tonight's storm we may see a lot more white.  It's pretty.

Sangre de Cristo with their white caps above Santa Fe. After tonight’s storm we may see a lot more white. It’s pretty.

I am grateful my legs, lungs and heart work together to let me make today’s ride.  When I get home and look up at the crest of the Sandia Mtns and recall what it felt like to be on top up there earlier in the day it gives me a fine satisfaction.  I’m alive in this wonderful world.

River Access: It’s for the Birds

Friday evening we watched the cranes and geese fly out from their feeding grounds at Los Poblanos in the heart of Albuquerque down by the Rio Grande.  The Cranes come from Alaska, Canada and Siberia to spend a milder winter here in the Southwestern desert.  Open Space and fields of Sorghum and cut corn are quite inviting to these feasting birds.

you can walk up close to the Sandhill Crane.  The mixed use lands are balanced between farming, housing, and open space

you can walk close to the Sandhill Cranes. The mixed use lands are balanced between farming, housing, and open space

It was a cloudy evening but looking east from the fields the Sandias alighted momentarily at dusk

It was a cloudy evening but looking east from the fields the Sandias alighted momentarily at dusk

Cranes blend right in with the fields and Sandias

Cranes blend right in with the fields and Sandias.  The river is just west and these fields are irrigated from acequias

Rush hour traffic was thick on Montaño with long lines and stop and go.  There are few roads that cross the river to the West Mesa and this is a central one.  The stress and uncertain travel times heavy traffic creates are quality of life issues. No one deserves to start their weekend in bad traffic.  Let’s change it.

birds and people seek out places like these

birds and people seek out places like this.  Lots of folks were walking with their friends & dogs soaking up the ambience

When we are careful to pay attention to aesthetics when tending places we can produce impressive results

When we are careful to pay attention to aesthetics when tending places we can craft impressive and fertile results

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redevelopment may mean increasing local agriculture for humans. We can grow more fresh and delicious food locally and lighten our carbon footprint by reducing shipping of foods that come from outside States and countries

 

 

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There is some development surrounding Los Poblanos such as these houses and accompanying power lines that make you realize the urban area is encroaching on the open space.  But much of the development is done with good taste and seeks to blend in personal gratitude with the patchwork of land.  One of the legacies we’ll leave is how we put together lifeways that coincide with and conserve the natural abundance inherited.

Volcanoes to the West glow furnace like

Volcanoes to the West glow furnace like

the birds fly out of the fields at dusk and fly in to the river for the night.  We'll take a look at the fly in soon!

the birds fly out of the fields at dusk and fly in to the river for the night. We’ll take a look at the fly in soon!

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Peter Sagan’s Taking it to the Streets

Peter Sagan’s game of bicycling is as creative and dominant as Michael Jordan’s basketball artistry, or Muhammad Ali’s boxing prowess.  I don’t usually toot the horns of famous people, but Sagan is only 24 and animates his sport with an easy smoothness and deft moves characteristic of genius.   His originality of movement and grace make him stand above the rest.   Instead of slam dunks like Jordan Sagan ignites his domination through frenzied sprint finishes.  Sagan combines magnificent style with explosive power, beautiful form with technical brilliance in ways that it is hard to imagine could exist where it not manifesting before our eyes.

He’s a mountain biker to begin with although he currently dominates on the road.  “I like downhill.  I like to be free.  In the forest its better.”  He crosses over his mountain skills to the pavé and seems very at home on the road.  Sagan has the skills to universalize the appeal of bicycling by reaching bmx’ers, freestylists, downhillers, in addition to the followers of the world tour road scene.  I think this is possible through his transcendent affinity for the bicycle.

Sagan’s venue is the beautiful global sport of road racing where everyday roads and villages suddenly become electrified as sporting venues when the world’s fastest roll through  on two wheels.  Most of the guys in the world tour know multiple languages.  Teams and schedules cross cultures and travel the globe.  It is a true world sport that glorifies local communities on every continent.  It is fun watching Sagan on this great stage.  Here’s a highlight real from his 2014.  Will he ever win the tour?  I don’t know but I am going to watch and see.  Underneath Sagan the bicycle suddenly becomes articulate and capable of new expression through its unity with an original human being full of exuberance.  Way to represent.

Bicycle Expressways

The most direct way to incentive bicycling is to make it easier and more convenient by building in advantages to encourage folks to ride.  Just as the freeway revolutionized how we live based on extending the advantages of using cars, an expressway designed for bicycles would optimize the power of the human powered vehicle and naturally create a stronger rationale for people to make active transportation choices.  Most of America’s cities are big enough to benefit from some form of bicycle expressway to get people where they want to go more smoothly, safer and faster.

Albuquerque is certainly large enough to merit looking into the impact a bicycle expressway system could have on how we live.  The current east-west and north-south bike routes are convoluted, indirect, and incomplete, so much so the New Mexico Touring Society has a detailed webpage devoted to “Crossing Albuquerque, or how to traverse ABQ w/out getting lost” here.  It is not easy to get across Albuquerque on a bicycle.  Mayor Berry’s excellent 50-mile activity loop plan does a lot to encourage fitness and active tourism and recreation but does not provide much relief for laying out more direct routes across town.  The best thing we can do is build on the immensely successful examples of the Diversion Channel and Bosque Trails which have designed out the most dangerous part of bicycle travel, at grade intersections with motorized traffic, increasing safety, efficiency, and the pleasure of the bicycling experience by providing a more continuous flow of bicycle traffic, just like the freeway does for cars.

A Bicycle Expressway may look different from the excellent Diversion and Bosque Trails by being engineered for higher speeds and designed to better accommodate group bicycle travel.  The common ground is all are free of motorized traffic.  An expressway for bikes would be wider with better sight lines and visibility, in a fashion similar to the way interstates are modified from regular roads.  Racing wheelchairs, inline skaters, hand cycles and other non-motorized wheeled travel might have more room to maneuver on the bike express.  Can you imagine if you lived above Tramway in the Northeast Heights or in Four Hills, and entering a bicycle expressway and latched onto the UNM bound morning peloton (group of bicyclists) to glide into town?  With the drafting benefits of working together bicyclists can increase speed while decreasing energy expenditures, not to mention group rides are tremendously effective activities for community interaction and mixing.  I’ve forged so many strong friendships with people I’ve met through mixing in with a diverse group riding bicycles together.  With bike express, commuting could double as a community building exercise, not to mention an awesome workout built into an otherwise very functional and practical task, getting from point a to point b.  That’s smart.

We need to do more to make bicycling more attractive and safer.  Why not be known as the best and catapult our quality of life forward, increase our national rankings for bike friendliness, and create a legacy of healthy living generations to come can enjoy?   If we get serious about treating bicycling as a first class transportation device by incentivizing this mode with facility designs that unleash bikes from stoplight gridlock and jampacked and sometimes crazy streets , we’ll increase ridership many times over, and make the riders we have very happy.  The accident data indicates major streets like Central Avenue that offer the highest efficiency for bicycles and most direct route across town are also the most dangerous.  We owe it to bicyclists to design better facilities to help them get to where they need to go, just like everybody else.  In the process, we may find ourselves minting many new bicyclists, and increasing access to freedom of movement for everybody.  If we want to experience the full charge of everyone’s enthusiasm for active transportation including bicycling we must be brave and act as visionary leaders in our planning efforts to embrace the whole breadth and scope of possibilities the bicycle offers as a transportation device.

Pecos Walks

Mai and I took a trip to Pecos National Historic Park on Veteran’s Day to learn more about old traditions in this bright land.  We kept a simple agenda so we had a healthy budget for quality time to explore our two main destinations, Pecos NHP and the upper Pecos river valley.  After the winding drive oh Hwy 41 through Galisteo and over Glorieta Pass, we had a picnic at an outdoor table and set off to explore Pecos on foot.

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an old Spanish church sits at this cultural and geographic crossroads

so much history here.  10,000-12,000 years of human history.  we are latecomers

so much history here. 10,000-12,000 years of human history. we are latecomers

The last Puebloans farmed corn and traded here where the mountains and mesas meet the great plains

The last Puebloans farmed corn and traded here where the mountains and mesas meet the great plains

The homecoming story of horses is an incredible mix of natural and human history.  The Spanish reintroduced the horse in New Mexico around 1600 after a 10,000 year absence.  Horses had evolved on American grasslands and migrated globally over the Bering land bridge to all over the world.  Horses went extinct in North America around 8000 BCE and returned with the Spanish.  Maybe the intense love for horses has some roots in this absence for so long.  They are making up for lost time here.  They completely transformed the lives of native peoples living in America who integrated horses into their lifeways very quickly.  Horses certainly look at home on the American landscape even though they’ve been back only a few hundred years.

This kiva has been restored so visitors may enter it

This kiva has been restored so visitors may enter it

Sitting near the Sipapu, the figurative emergence point from the earth and accessway for communion, is a calm place to be

The Sipapu, the figurative emergence point from the earth and accessway for communion, is a calm place

It is nice to experience the feeling of these structures from a closer point of view

It is nice to experience the feeling of these structures from a closer point of view

The Pecos Puebloans eventually moved back to the Jemez Pueblo with ancestors nearby the Rio Grande valley.  This place remains sacred.  The layers of history at Pecos are remarkable.  From the ancient ones to the incredible mixing of cultures during the Age of Discovery to what is taking place right now, the history is deep and multistoried.

The Spanish seemed to desire the elevation of the church above all else, though they lavishly pursued material riches

The Spanish seemed to desire the elevation of the church above all else, though they lavishly pursued material riches

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I like the heritage of Spanish language but I think we also must trace the history they missed with their hubris & greed

 

the humbling perspective of bare ruins in this vastness of enduring earth

the humbling perspective of bare and wasted ruins in the vastness of the enduring earth and sky

Once you stop and get out the car this place begins to work on you right away.  The whisper of wind through piñon trees sets you to listening closely.  A walk through the ruins trail along the remnant walls shorn by the elements over a long time send your imagination traveling.  You can intuit and receive some of the wisdom that sits in these places.  History comes forward as you walk and spend time here.  After touring the ruins the Park Visitor’s Center has excellent interpretive resources to help us locate history through studying the landscape and exercising our historical imaginations.

Walking through here conveys a sense a long sense of time and changing landscapes through a diverse history of human contacts

we put together strands of stories to build a narrative like Puebloans assembled these rocks to build this wall

Spanish power was conveyed in part by fancy costumes.  Humans still dress to impress, and our vehicle are very much a part of our props

Spanish power was conveyed in part by fancy costumes. Humans still dress, both ourselves and our mounts, to impress

Where is all this going?

Where is all this going?

It was quite extraordinary to learn about human interactions in these lands that go beyond our usual span of remembrances, but most certainly are as much a part of our history like everything else.  We took the latter part of the day to drive up river into the mountains from where the water comes from and to do a little walking up there.  It was cold.

A deeper blue the higher you go.  It was a dusty day with southern winds blowing up from the deserts

A deeper blue the higher you go up the Pecos. It was a dusty day with southern winds gusting up from the deserts

The Pecos river canyon  is not unlike Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona, but at higher elevation

The Pecos river canyon is not unlike Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona, but at higher elevation

Next Fall we have to visit here

Next Fall we have to visit here for the colors.  This place where the Rockies meets the Sudoeste (Southwest) is amazing

I've wanted to visit Pecos for a decade or so.  To finally be here with the love of my life was glorious.  Wow!

I’ve wanted to visit Pecos for a decade or so. To finally be here with the love of my life was glorious. Paz!  (Peace)

 

Ghost Bikes

The Duke City Wheelmen make monuments for fallen cyclists called ghost bikes.  On almost every ride I go past one.  They are sobering and startlingly poignant reminders what is gone is gone forever.  I am of the mind the best way we can honor fallen cyclists is to ride on with our full humanity reflected in the way we ride: carefully and defensively and unafraid (with caution not fear), with honor and civility and unashamed, with remembrance and kindness while living the life before us.  Here are positive reasons to ride and celebrate.  Who knows maybe we have angels among us now urging us forward with courage to live the life we want.

Rethink mobility
Include the ancient ways of walking and human powered wheeled vehicles in daily living.
Restart your imagination
Would a human centric mobility paradigm look any different than the current transportation system?
Reencounter youthfulness
Active movement is a sure way to get us feeling better and younger.
Restore the environment
Lightening the impact of our living is a gift to children.
Rebuild community
Engage with the place you live and the neighbors you share it with on a down to earth level.
Redefine the character of your city
Be the change you want to see by living it.  Your life is a creative enterprise.
Reinvent American transportation culture
The vitality of the country has always depended on reinventing ourselves for the better, responding well with enthusiasm and with simple ingenuity to the need for changes.
Redesign how you get to work, school and shopping
Make active transportation belong in your life where it may fit in well.
Reengage your body
When we try we find out we are capable of much more than we might have expected.
Re-Lease your life
Biking and walking is a great way to get moving towards your life’s goals.  Go for it.  Take out a new lease on life.  Doesn’t matter how old you are or what you’ve been through.  You’re alive!
Rediscover diversity
The places we live are infinitely varied and interesting, and walking and biking helps us refresh our view.
Revitalize your spirit
Biking and walking more helps us feel better, see and know more, and be more while taking less.  Oh yeah, and its FUN!  Don’t be afraid to feel good and take pleasure in the basics.

Check out Albuquerque’s Biking and Walking resources to help you get started, or check with your local bike shop to connect into the support you need to get moving forward.

Credits: I borrowed the structure for the rethink and restart your mobility life theme from a publication called “Locally Grown: New Mexico’s Guide to Local Food” Summer 14-15 edition published by http://www.farmersmarketsnm.org/

Thank you for the inspiration

Paseo de la Mesa

Music for this ride is Cocomo’s

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Sunday afternoon Mai and I took a spin on the West Mesa’s Paseo de la Mesa multi use trail.  The open space edges against new housing developments and the Petroglyph National Monument.  This land use mix creates sharp contrasts.

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We plan whole vacations around visiting places that mysteriously make us feel good.  Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Arches inspires us with awe and wonder.  With the bicycle and walking we can be awash in attractive places right here at home and soak up the intangible nourishment that open space, clear sunlight, and a relaxed ambiance resonate back to us.  Being in open space illuminates our sense of the oneness of the world.

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We explore on our bikes and feet to connect with the diversity of landscapes that come together in Albuquerque.  To feel the slanted sunlight brushing up against our skin and throwing shadows from us and the lava rocks and wispy vegetation.  We learn about the prickly dimensions of the desert plants through sensations on our skin when we sit down on the rocks in the brush to take a break and drink water and eat some oranges.  I’ve never seen anything like this place anywhere else in the world.  Albuquerque is underrated!

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Our senses spring out toward the silence to listen more closely.  When we walk and bike we get an honest assessment of how we are feeling that day.  I’m feeling better when I take a ride.

2014.11.9 Paseo de la Mesa 098

2014.11.9 Paseo de la Mesa 123

2014.11.9 Paseo de la Mesa 093

The chorus of unconfined life out on the open West Mesa is quiet but if you listen it is there. Energizing.  Paseo de la Mesa is a wild trail.  Get out and check it out!

sunset on Sunday night

sunset on Sunday night

Hagen Loop

Soundtrack: The Nearness of You
I was lucky to be shown the long way around the Sandia Mountains today.  First we headed north along the Rio Grande to the San Felipe Pueblo.  Then east on a dirt road past the ghost town of Hagen.  We emerged on La Madera road and reconnected with the Turquoise Trail and continued around back to town.  Here’s a map.

Looking north from near La Madera at the snow capped Sangre de Cristo.  More of that to come.

Looking north from near La Madera at the snow capped Sangre de Cristo. More of that to come

We road past wild horses on the rangelands between Albuquerque and Santa Fe

We rode past wild horses on the rangelands between Albuquerque and Santa Fe

traveling by bicycle is an awesome way to experience this incredible countryside

Traveling by bicycle is an awesome way to experience this incredible countryside

Today I felt no inclination to ride quickly.  I just wanted to sit back and enjoy it all.  Sometimes I tend to rush through things but today I was happy in the here and now.

It was mild today with temperatures warming to the low 60's, warm in the sun, cool in the shade

It was mild today with temperatures warming to the low 60’s, warm in the sun.  There was lots of sunshine

the dirt road climbs sharply just before La Madera

The road climbs sharply just before La Madera

nearly 20 miles of dirt and most was navigable except for a few spots of loose sand.  I hear you can ride this route all winter long

Nearly 20 miles of dirt and most was navigable except for a few spots of loose sand

seeing is believing

Seeing is believing

The road bike builds intimate connections between riders and places.  There are not many barriers or screens between us and the world when we are riding a bike.  Being in the open air is simply exhilarating.

road bikes are such versatile and tough machines

Road bikes are such versatile and tough machines.  Add a little dirt and we’ll adapt

wild horses ranging on the north side of the Sandia

Wild horses ranging on the north side of the Sandia.  They know way more than we do about this place

we whisper to humans on these rides like we gently speak to horses gently, its ok, you can do it, come along, and we listen to our animal senses that help us find our way in the world

We speak to ourselves on these rides like we whisper to horses, its ok, you can do it, come along, gently now

It seems paradoxical to be so at ease on a bicycle in a far away and remote place but that’s how I feel when I give myself up to the adventure.  The self reliance and freedom bicycling involves brings a relaxed sense of security.  To know the shape of the day and the landscape so intimately are gifts indeed.

Love La Madera

Loving La Madera

a classic long ride starting from home in Albuquerque with an awesome group

A classic long ride starting and ending from home in Albuquerque through the austere high desert

divine

Spending time on a bicycle out here gives rise to the notion that the days can be gods