Tuesday, January 3, 2012

effortlessly cool in the desert

I am just back from four days in New Mexico where I was visiting family.

Q:  Do you feel guilty about petroleum consumption when you ride an airplane?
A:  Yes.

Q:  Would you like to bicycle to New Mexico?
A:  Yes.

Q:  So, why didn't you?
A:  In the time it would take the four of us to bicycle to New Mexico and back, two of us would be out of jobs and the other two would have been sent to the truant officer =(

This is my second trip to New Mexico.  I stay in a tiny town about an hour from Albuquerque.  I visit family in a few locations in New Mexico so I get the chance to look around.  What I noticed in Tiny_Town that was different from my trip two years ago:  bicycle lanes.

On my last visit, counting bicycles in Tiny_Town, NM was easy.  I saw zero.  This time I lost track on day three when we drove (slowly) by a small group of roadies pedaling up a grubby (much sand from the recent snow they got) but recently painted bicycle lane.  In addition to the roadies I saw a very cool guy wearing a ratty cowboy hat and riding a junker mountain bike.

In addition to visiting we were also visited.  The Contraption Captain and I were married by a college friend, B. who lives in Socorro, NM.  He came to dinner with his wife and we ate and talked bicycling.  B. lives out in the desert where there are not a lot of people and so not a lot of cars.  He does a lot of mountain bicycling and bouldering and tells good stories about snakes and hawks.  He just got himself an Extracycle kit which I think is pretty well the perfect vehicle for him.

Spending time with B. made me think about how much easier bicycling is when there are few cars.  In 2012 I'd like to make a few bike trips on car-free or nearly car-free routes.  Does such a thing even exist?  Maybe I'll go to the desert.

And by the way.  Here is a picture of B's tee-shirt from that evening.

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