Cycling Along The Way...

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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?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Forest Fires, Smoke and Traditional Irish Music...

To say that the planet is on fire around Silver City is an understatement.  The one burning in the northeast corner of Arizona is the largest fire in Arizona history...not officially because it has come over the border in to New Mexico, but, size-wise, it is the biggest..around 730 SQUARE MILES.  Wrap your head around the size just a bit.   HUGE comes to mind.  When the wind blows from the WNW, we get socked with smoke.  Last night, Eileen was wondering if our house was on fire because of the strong smell of smoke from the Wallow fire in Arizona.  Yesterday, we drove to Tucson, AZ, and back and saw the smoke from a couple of fires...one in the Chiricahua mountains and one near Sierra Vista, AZ.  Could see the smoke from a couple a fires in the Chiricahua Mountains in AZ.  To be sure, we all have our collective fingers crossed for the annual monsoons that start by the first week of July.  We need it desperately.  There have been at least 5 or 6 fires in and about Silver City, too.  By the looks of what we saw yesterday between Tucson and Silver City and of what I've seen cycling around here, the surrounding area is brittle, just waiting to explode in flames/fire.  Too fekkin' scary, IMHO...


Eileen and I were in Albuquerque recently so Eileen could get her periodic traditional Irish music fix with her friends there.  Zoukfest, a world music camp  put on by Roger Landes and his friend, Lisa, was a good event for Eileen to get her fix.  Yes, she is a traditional Irish music junkie, I'm afraid.  Drugs would be better; she could be sent for treatment somewhere, but not for this.  Just more fiddling is the cure, yet it only makes it worse.  Go figure.  Randal Bays (http://randalbays.com/) one of the instructors at the camp.  It was held on the UNM campus, in the Student Union building.  Lots of good classes, from what I heard from the gathering musicians there.  I enjoyed the sessions afterwards at the local bars...Two Fools and Brickyard Pizza...decent pizza, too.  The session that I enjoyed the most was held in the bar in the basement of Zinc, a local restaurant in Albuquerque.  Randal, Paddy, Rick, Eileen and Laura were playing there.  Small crowd, quiet, good music, good beer.  Randal, Laura, Eileen and I had eaten a great meal upstairs in the Zinc Restaurant.  Great place to eat should you find yourself in Albuquerque and hungry.  A bit spendy, but, what the hell, you're dead a long time.  Don't forget that.  "So what?" is another good one to remember, too, when trying to decide what to do sometimes.


Now, the smoke in Albuquerque was many times worse than the smoke we were getting in Silver City.  Looked worse than Los Angeles.  We were waking up with sore throats, headaches, irritated lungs on a daily basis.  The first night we were there....looked like we were extras in a horror flick filming....incredible.  Sun was red; moon was red.  Didn't clear until around 1am, as we were rolling into the hotel, where the music junkies continued on to even wee-er hours of the morning.  There should be a 911 phone line that those of us who aren't music junkies can call to get help for these lost souls.  They're just like junkies...keep doing what they do without eating, sleeping, sustenance of any kind except alcohol and coffee.  On the last night that we were in Albuquerque, I surrendered and went to bed around 10pm.  Had to drive back to Silver City the next day and I didn't want to be tired for that long drive.  The music junkies...they were watching a documentary ABOUT traditional Irish music.  Jesus...


No warmshowers guests so far this summer.  I'm sure the fires are redirecting people for now.  Phil and Isla continue on their way north.  Phil had to buy a new rear wheel in Santa Fe after his Shimano Deore hub cracked.  Check it out:
He and Isla got to spend a few, unexpected days off the bikes in Abiqui, NM, and were forced to drink some beer while hanging out near a river there.  Tough life, but they managed.  LOL...


Here's a picture that I took of Eileen today for a poster that Randal Bays is making up for her and Laura Flanagan for a violin workshop they'll teach sometime soon in Albuquerque, NM.  


Ok, enough for today.  We're off for dinner at Jake's, 1zero6, in Silver City.  First time in a while, since Jake had to nurse his right hand back to health so he could re-open his restaurant.  WE ARE HAPPY!  Now, some music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P0ha3jmIxk  This is a video of Randal and his family plus Davey Mathias at Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp that Eileen goes to religiously now.  Like a major junkie fix once a year.