Cycling Along The Way...
- Patrick Lyford
- Silver City, NM, United States
- Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
"Bicycling is a waste of time. You're just wearing your legs out giving your ass a ride."
~Seldom Seen Smith in the "Monkey Wrench Gang"
On Friday, March 20, 2015, I did a final check on everything that I was cramming into my Arkel panniers (GT-18 front panniers; GT-54 rear panniers). After completing that task, I checked my Cannondale touring bicycle out one last time before leaving. Once done, I began to put it all in our 2006 Toyota RAV4. Thankfully, it all fit. I want to know why I can always come up with one more thing that I HAVE to bring along with me until what I have collected would need two bicycles to carry it all. In the "final check", much was jettisoned, I assure you. Seeing how much it all weighed (don't ask) and trying it out loaded on the bicyle, I had no problem realizing that some stuff wasn't going to make the trip.
With the RAV4 loaded up, I drove to the library to pick up Eileen and head off to Truth or Consequences, NM, (known to all of New Mexico, fondly, as "T or C") to spend the night at La Paloma Hot Springs and have dinner at Bella Luca. On the way over Emory Pass to T or C, about 25 miles out of town, I realized that I'd left my contact lenses home. Damn! DAMN! DAMN!!! So, I made a U turn, but, before heading back home to get my contact lenses, Eileen said, "Wait. I can mail them to you." Did I tell you that I love my wife? She always tone down my knee jerk reactions. Onward to T or C!!!
La Paloma was just such a great place and a relaxing time for both of us. Eileen had a tough week and I was experiencing a bit of anxiety. The hot springs were the magic touch. Some pics:
Monday, February 23, 2015
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for days of long ago.
Friday, January 2, 2015
Monday, December 8, 2014
Sometimes, the world sucks. And people die. My good friend, Bruce, died recently and I was knocked off my dime. Stunned would be a better description. He'd just turned 60, had more toys than anyone I knew and, more importantly, he was a good guy. Bruce and I became friends when I worked at University of New Mexico Hospital. The how and why of our first meeting is no where to be found in my brain. His oldest child, Miquela, is now 23 yrs old. I met her when she was a little girl. That will give you a clue as to how long we'd been friends.
He was an avid cyclist. Hell, this guy was avid everything. I believe Renassance Man would be the more accurate descriptor. Bruce was into almost everything and he knew a ton about almost everything. But, like I said, his best trait...he was a nice guy.
When he would talk to me about how things were at UNM Hospital and how they should be, he'd hurt my brain because he'd make me think outside of my box...and, most often, he was right. If he had a fault, it was his unwillingness to acknowledge that, just because he was right about how something should be done, it wasn't always the right thing to do at that particular time. If you know what I'm talking about here, fine. If not, well, I don't want to take the time or space here to go into it. Ask someone else. Maybe they can help.
Bruce was not perfect. Who is? But he was my friend and, now, every time I'm out on a bike ride, I think of Bruce and get pissed off that he's dead. And how unfair it is...to him, to his wife, Eloise, to his two children, Miquela and Ryan, and to those of us who called him a friend. He was one of those friends who I could pick up where we left off from the last time we were together and move along like there had never been a time lag since we last saw each other.
And he collected things...Eloise believes he has around 50 bikes. Yes, FIVE ZERO...50. Ok, he was obsessive compulsive, too. They have 4 houses. Maybe 5 vehicles including an RV. Tools. Guns. Four gun safes. Jesus! I don't even know all the stuff he'd collected over his lifetime, but it was a lot.
Not sure what that was all about, but it made him feel good to have it, which is good enough for me. He'd drag me to gun shops and gun shows trying to get me to buy a few more weapons. Or to bike shops for sales and tell me that I needed something. He'd get annoyed if I found something and got it for cheap and there wasn't a second one. One time, he made me buy the beer at lunch because I'd beaten him to a sale item. Too funny!
The best part is that we got to meet each other, work with each other, and ride with each other. When in shape, he was the biggest, fastest cyclist for his size that I knew. Going up South 14 on the East side of the Sandias in Albuquerque, as we'd near the top, he'd take off and be riding in a circle at the top, waiting for me. Finally, I got in shape and I'd beat him to the top and circle, waiting for him. He was always gracious about that...he'd tell me that I was kicking his ass. And I was looking forward to riding with him again...and kicking his ass one more time. We had a good rivalry on the bikes. If the weather turned bad, we'd head out somewhere for nachos and beer, which was always a good substitute for crappy weather riding.
I am glad that he died in his sleep and hope that it was as painless as it could be. He deserved that. He'd earned that. I'm still pissed off. And I miss him more than I can say. When Eileen and I went to his memorial service in Albuquerque, I was doing fine until I saw his bike up at the altar in the church. It was his Sampson. Here's a photo:
Monday, November 24, 2014
These socks are made in the U.S. and have a lifetime guarantee. The company is in Vermont and it's called Darn Tough. And they mean it with their guarantee. Socks a little worn out after 10 years? Send them back and they'll send you a new pair. For free. How cool is that? No, this isn't an invitation to be a dick and just use the guarantee to your advantage. It speaks highly of a company that is proud of their product and believes in it.
Of course, the picture only shows one style and one color of a bike sock that's sold by Darn Tough. Check out their website for more styles, colors, and varieties of socks. I have worn my bicycling socks for over four years and they're still in great shape. The ones that I have are wool with nylon and Lycra in it for shape. I wear them year-round. They keep my feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter. In my opinion, wool is the best material for socks, cycling shorts, and cycling jerseys. It's an all year material and lasts a very long time.
My take on them? 5 Stars.
Okay. Time to head out of here and close with a tune. Clint Black singing a fav of mine, A Better