BikeLife: South to Stanley

Did I mention I almost cut my finger off? No? Well, I’ll cover this in a coming post maybe. Just thought you should know. It was part bad idea, part total stupidity. The stitches just came out and I’ve lost some feeling in my little nub. Oh well. I’m old and will probably be dead soon.

I stopped for a quick blessing but they were closed. And my hypocrisy is frowned upon. I’m not a bad person. Really, I’m not. Promise. Swear.

On another note. Just did sixty miles, out and back, south toward Stanley. (Which has been in the news lately for ALL the wrong reasons.) I didn’t quite know where I was going this morning, or how far. So I just went.

Small climb from my house to Old Santa Fe Trail then on to Two Trails which cuts over to Old Las Vegas Highway. From there it’s on to the U.S. 285 south to NM41 south through Galisteo and on to Stanley although I turned back at the thirty-mile point, about ten miles from this tiny town.

Love this little village. Lots of photographers and artists here.

A few things. I thought I would spend more time on the dirt today but the tarmac was SO good. NM41 from Galisteo to Stanley has been widened and the shoulder is superb. Brand spanking new and perfectly smooth. There was NO wind today, at all, so it was absolutely delightful riding. I could hear perfectly in both directions and there was light traffic. The surrounding area, comprised mostly of the Galisteo Basin, is gorgeous.

I left with four water bottles and a load of odd snacks. This was after getting up at 5:30 AM to have my Bullet Proof Coffee and cereal. Just to put a little coal in the oven. I learned a long time ago through the anguish, and from Sean in Denver berating me about fueling up and fueling down, to start smart. (Hi Sean.) I need something inside or things don’t end well.

Side roads like this are why I ride a Salsa and why I ride 40mm tires.

Most people see the range of bottles on my bike and ask the same thing over and over again. “Got enough water?” I normally respond. “No, my nuts are cramping but thanks for asking.” The truth is with a history of Lyme and kidney stones I’m willing to run the risk of looking like an idiot. I used three of the four bottles and probably should have consumed all four.

Step into my office. Can you imagine what this baby is like after baking in the sun all day? I’ll give you the launch codes, just don’t make me go inside.

Speaking of consuming fluids. One of the joys of drinking so much while riding is you get to attempt to pee in a bevy of unlikely places. Sometimes it’s not easy. This route is exposed, so if you are going to pee you too are going to be exposed. The traffic was spaced in the worst way, so it made it REALLY difficult to find the time and privacy to pee. And when you find a break you have to pee fast. So if your prostate is the size of an organic melon you can’t ride this route or drink any water for that matter. Just go dry and see what happens.

The other thing that occurs is you start to pee and then get interrupted. This is a fine line between decency and blowing out your internal plumbing. I’m not entirely sure how it works for women but when I start to pee stopping mid-stream is an issue. You have to stuff the naughty bits back inside your spandex then pretend you are fiddling with your GPS, waiting for the motorhome, or car, or truck to pass all while feeling your plumbing start to strain and burst. Then you have to disentangle the bits and finish the exercise. CYCLING IS DIFFICULT. (By the way, not a single rider on this route was using lights which is INSANE due to half of the ride being on stretches with no shoulder and mottled lighting. I just don’t get it.)

We ate these dogs for lunch. Just kidding. It was adoption day. If I didn’t travel so much I would have taken any and all of these little critters. And no it wasn’t hot, and no the dogs were not suffering. They were excited and happy.

Days like today are why I ride. Solo and alone, yes those are two different things, in a landscape that begs for respect and attention. Although I ride a fancy, titanium bicycle you could do this same route on an old beater and have just as much fun. If you ride, good on ya. If you don’t, just think about it. You don’t need spandex and remote, stealth peeing just takes a bit of getting used to. Get out there and push those pedals, the rewards abound.

4 Comments on “BikeLife: South to Stanley”

  1. Let me guess… you were brushing glass off your tire while rolling along? You tried removing a twig stuck in your derailleur without getting off the bike?

    1. Jim,
      Do these questions come from experience? Because I’ve done BOTH of those things. But this time it was a new level of stupidity.

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