All Your Bike Rides Are Belong to Us

Somebody set up us up the bomb. Really.

For our New Year’s Day ride, we headed up Tijeras Canyon and into the Manzano Mountains up South 14. Until we had to stop, because there was a bomb in the road.

We were stopped by the ranger station at the foot of the hill when a pickup slowed and rolled down his window to say that the bomb squad had the road blocked off halfway up the hill. His purpose was to do us a favor, so we wouldn’t waste our time riding that way. But the whole point of our bike rides is miles, time in the saddle, and amusement. What could be better. A bomb!

South 14 is a big wide-shouldered highway that climbs a relatively gentle grade up through piñon woods, through road cuts of a lovely tawny limestone. It was busy enough that two more helpful drivers stopped to tell us that the road was closed ahead.

When we got to the scene of the crime, there was a county sheriff blocking the road, turning all the drivers back, and the Albuquerque Police Department bomb squad doing whatever bomb squads do. This, wisely, seems to involve a great deal of patience and very slow movement.

The story we pieced together from the cops and the TV news guy on the scene involved a 250-pound military surplus bomb, with intact detonator (x-rays were somehow involved in determining this bit), chained to a stop sign and wrapped in an American flag with anti-Bush slogans scrawled on it.

Somebody set up us the bomb good.