This is what that looks like.
The Emster wanted rats for her birthday. She got two of them because they’re pack animals and if you get just one then you are stuck with a neurotic rat and the last rat therapist retired a few years ago. These ratties, aka Kiera and Shylie, are awful cute and awful smart. Tough as nails, too. Unfortunately, for every month we humans live, a rat ages 2.5 years. Therefore, they are not long for this earth. These gals are already 12.5 years old.
I went “antiquing” today along 4th St. in the north valley. Some nice shtuff (cq) to be had; it was all ok. Then I came across this room, the Lamp Room. It just yelled at me “take my picture!” So, I did.
So ends the last work day of 2010.
Come Monday we will have a new governor and maybe a new NMDOT secretary. Now we will get to see which rumors held water.
Last year I spent the entire five days of the Tour of the Gila covering this classic American bicycle race. This year I figured it would be a no-go. Then it was announced that Lance would be back along with last year’s winner Levi Leipheimer (sorry Levi, you’re not a big enough presence yet to be mentioned only by first name) and Jason McCartney – all teammates on Team RadioShack but competing under the team name of “Mellow Johnny’s.” AP called me to see if I could go down again (but, of course!) but only for two days this time. Secured a room, which was a miracle, and eventually a moto. Saturday was the criterium and Sunday the queen stage, stage five – aka the “Gila Monster.” It is a bugger. Real big bugger. Anyway, I had fun; ate well, slept late Saturday and had a good moto driver for Sunday. Managed to see all four seasons of weather New Mexico has to offer on Sunday. Secured Lance’s and Levi’s (ok, Levi, just your first name but only because it’s the second ref to you) autographs on a couple prints, too. As far as I was concerned it was mission accomplished. Below are some snaps. Finally, this blog lives up to its name!
Saturday was the inaugural Roadrunner Classic bicycle race here in Albuquerque. It brought out the local racers and some upper tier ,but not quite there, pros to race in a time trail in the morning and then a road race in the afternoon. It was an opportunity for the pros to get in a race at altitude along with some short , fairly steep climbs before heading off to that New Mexico classic, the Tour of the Gila. It was also an opportunity for me to get dialed in with shooting bicycle racing as I was asked to go back to the Gila to shoot the last two days of the race; the criterium and the queen stage, the “Gila Monster.” So, I dragged my daughter along who was totally cool with going with me (thank God, nothing like a whiney kid when you are trying to work). A fun day we had.
Two riders from Jamis went off the front early on and had a comfortable margin of victory when they crossed the finish line.
I saw these guys the other day when I was photographing the I-40 Bike Bridge construction. Before I forget, the bridge is a bike path being built over the Rio Grande. It will run along I-40 where it crosses the river, giving cyclists another option to get from west to east, and vice-versa. It will also be good for hill repeats as it looks to have a nice 5% incline going towards the west. Sometime this summer it will open. Now, to comment on the barrels; they struck me as being a group of who have seen better days and are now down on their luck, living under the bridge. Couple of newcomers, some old timers that are a lot worse for the wear. One with a real bad hair day. All milling about. Then there is the barrel wanna be; a traffic cone trying to fit in. I’m sure when I go back for the ribbon cutting they will have moved on.
“There are two kinds of cyclists, those that have crashed and those that are going to.” - Anonymous
I can now say that I am one of the former. Ever since I heard that saying I have been thinking about it each time I set out on a ride. I have crashed before, but it has been a long time – almost 20 years. Today I was cruising south on the Bosque Trial by Tingley beach at a steady 19 mph when I approached two cyclists going the same way, announced I was passing them on their left, watched as the rear cyclist slowed down and watched as the lead cyclist turned to his left and right in front of me, cutting me off. A classic “oh, shit!” moment. I nailed him square in the side and went right over my handlebars. Next thing I know I am on my back, looking around and waiting for the pain to kick in. The brain was running through its checklist: nothing appears to be broken, forearms are sore, left knee sure hurts and face is bloody. My front wheel was pretty out of true and the right brake lever was twisted around the handlebar. It was quite the contortionist. Fortunately, I landed on dirt vs the asphalt trail, missing a fence post by a foot or two. That could have hurt. The guy I ran into was on a recumbent and I think I drove my front wheel right into his left arm. He was knocked off his bike, too, but was pretty unscathed. The two cyclists were very apologetic and showed genuine concern, maybe out of guilt? By now it was the old hindsight is 20/20 as I kept thinking I should have taken a different route than I did, and why did I stop for that split second… Bottom line is, I think I may avoid the Bosque Trail for a while. It’s a crap shoot out there with all the people milling about, some paying attention to their surroundings and others way out there somewhere but not on the trail, so to speak. On weekends the odds are certainly higher when it comes to the potential of crashing into cyclists, runners, skaters, dogs on long leashes, kids that should be on leashes and people just not paying attention.
The 12th New Mexico Rail Runner Station opens this Monday, March 22, on the Kewa Pueblo, the Pueblo formerly known as Santo Domingo. Now they’ve got a new (old) name and a new train station.
Kewa Station (trying to make something out of yet another opening ceremony).
The station is in the middle of nowhere and bets are already being made as to how many people will get on the train there each day. Seven seems to be a popular number. Actually, the place has lots of potential. There is an old trading post that was the bee’s knees before it burned down a few years back. There is talk about rebuilding the place and setting up a sort of tourist destination. I bet the place would be overrun during the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. I can see riding the velo there and then taking the train back to Albuquerque.
Kewa Senior Citizens with SPF Paper.
Senior Citizens from the Kewa Senior Citizen program were bused in for the grand opening of the station and got front row seats along with direct sunlight. The agendas for the opening ceremony were put to good use. After the ceremony was over the seniors, who were some very delightful folks, made a dash for the table full of tchotkes. It doesn’t matter where we have these ceremonies with tables full of give-aways; the attendees always go for all the free crap, no matter what it is. We could be giving away tongue depressors with the Rail Runner bird logo on them and we’d be cleaned out in no time. One of the old gals invited me to her house that was “at the end of the plaza, on the left.” That narrows it down. Nah, really, she was sweet and after asking me when she would be on TV and was informed that I was taking pictures for the NMDOT she asked me to send her one via snail mail. Only problem is I can’t recall which one she is.
Free is Good.
Not enough Velos posting going on so here is an attempt. The Paris-Nice stage race ended today in, of all places, Nice. It looked like it was a warm day which I am sure the riders appreciated after racing in freezing temps for the better part of the stage race, which actually started in a town south of Paris. Imagine that. Alberto Contador won again for the second time and looked strong doing so. Lance’s team, Radio Shack, sans Lance, didn’t fare too well. That makes me happy. I am not a fan of Mr. Self-Promotion and his band of chamois sniffers. I do like Shackers Chris Horner and Jani Brajkovic – two down to earth guys who I met when Astana was in Albuquerque in 2008 for a training camp. Levi Leipheimer just doesn’t do it for me as a cyclist and a human, he just comes across as too boring. Can’t really coment on the other Shack team members. I can’t wait to see this year’s Tour de France and Contador vs Armstrong, round II. I hope the Pistolero stomps the bejeezus out of the Texan whose legion of fans will find a reason as to why Lance lost and will despise Contador that much more for making their hero look plebian.