In past years, I’ve suggested that celebrating my birthday by riding my age was a modest goal. Forty-eight miles yesterday (77 kilometers, not sure what it is in metric years) was tough. I could blame the weather, but I really don’t have a lot of miles in my legs this year. Nah. I’ll go ahead and blame the weather.
Friends joined me for the ride, and we rode a favorite old route, down through the South Valley and out Rio Bravo onto Albuquerque’s southwest mesa. From the mesa you can see the city laid out before you, and it’s always been a special view for me: the sight I saw the first time Lissa, Nora and I pulled into town 17 years ago pulling a U-Haul with all our belongings. You can see how huge Albuquerque is from there, a big western city, but also how small, because you can see the edges.
It was stormy all day, with a howling wind. The view across the valley fit what my meteorologist friends call “energetic” – big shafts of precipitation against the mountains, clouds dancing across the city. That’s the best kind of ride, because it adds adventure, and I was with friends, suffering a bit (but really, not a lot) together.
Trying to find a way to cut back into town out of the wind, we followed an old shortcut we used to take years ago, when Jaime lived on the west side and we rode out there all the time. Around a closed gate, we found ourselves in the middle of a construction site where our shortcut used to be. Cyclocross across some packed dirt, then a fence.
“You know it’s a good ride when you have to climb a fence,” Cable said. Indeed, it was a good ride.