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Hail, Velocipede!

Betty Sprocket, professor emeritus of the Skinny Tires Department of the University of New Bikexico, is here to lecture you about Albuquerque's many magnificent bike trails.



V.19 No.24 | 6/17/2010
Betty Sprocket

Hail, Velocipede!

Trail-a-Week: Paseo del Norte

The Paseo del Norte trail has an awkward dead-end terminus just east of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute on Coors. If you have to haul your bike out to the trail with your car, this would be a convenient place to park. If you'll be arriving on two wheels, join the Paseo del Norte trail at its intersection with the Paseo del Bosque trail.

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V.19 No.23 | 6/10/2010
Betty Sprocket

Hail, Velocipede!

Trail-a-Week: South Diversion Channel

Don't forget your water bottles, you guys. It's getting hot out there. Betty Sprocket has been sweating so profusely she feels like she was baked in a salt crust after getting home from a ride. Today we're riding the South Diversion Channel trail in a big loop that circumscribes some South Valley neighborhoods and industrial yards, a short portion of Rio Bravo, and the dry, open throat of the South Diversion Channel itself. Get on at the southernmost tip of the Paseo del Bosque trail (near Rio Bravo and the river) and keep going south. Paseo del Bosque becomes the South Diversion Channel. I guess you could ride east on Rio Bravo and do the loop clockwise, but it's better to start out going south. The views are typical South Valley tableaux: junkyards, panels of endearingly bad graffiti, those dirt-bike-trail-covered hills rising up in the east. O, the many faces of Albuquerque. I love them all so much! Finish your ride coasting downhill on Rio Bravo, being sure to check out all the sweet South Valley rims you'll see rollin' by. Does anyone know where to get chrome dubs specially made for the velocipede? I'm ... asking for a friend.

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V.19 No.22 | 6/3/2010
Betty Sprocket

Hail, Velocipede!

Trail-a-Week: Paseo del Nordeste

So you stuck your bike on the Rapid Ride* and went up to the Northeast Heights to visit Grandma? The utilitarian Paseo del Nordeste will get you back home. The trail begins at Pennsylvania, where your enjoyment of the wide, well-marked bike lane will undoubtedly be mitigated by at least one jerkface parking a car on it. Cars! Fuck ’em! Heading west means heading downhill. Since you won't be occupied with pedaling, amuse yourself by admiring the Hahn arroyo on the north side of the trail or peering into the backyards that line the south side. (Confidential to homeowners whose properties abut the trail: Could you guys do more nude sunbathing, please? Betty Sprocket craves trailside titillation.) Be smart and slow way down at the low-visibility road crossings, and you'll have a quick and easy ride to the junction of the North Diversion Channel trail.

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V.19 No.21 | 5/27/2010
The North Div Channel trail just south of I-40
Betty Sprocket

Hail, Velocipede!

Trail-a-Week: North Diversion Channel

If m’lady is hankering to pedal her penny-farthing down a bucolic country lane, I'd advise her to stay away from the North Diversion Channel. This trail runs alongside the enormous eponymous arroyo, and the views are all concrete and desert sky. The trail starts at Balloon Fiesta Park, but you can pick it up at Paseo del Norte and head south, looking out over that mysterious industrial area around Jefferson where you've never had any reason to go in your car. (Has anyone?) After you cross Menaul, the urban terrain gets really interesting when the North Diversion Channel converges with another massive arroyo. You'll negotiate a swoop, twirl and dive through an underpass on your bike. I like to pretend that cars were never invented and all roads look like this miniature version of a mountain highway. You'll start to gain altitude and crest near the Big I. Gaze down upon all the pollutey motorists and enjoy a surge of smug cyclist's superiority. The trail ends at UNM's North Campus, but you'll be so close to the Frontier, it'd be foolish not to go get some huevos. You have to fortify yourself for the ride home, don't you?

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V.19 No.19 | 5/13/2010
Betty Sprocket

Hail, Velocipede!

Eight Tacks for Trailside Tact

O, fair Albuquerque! While you were nestled all snug in your bed this winter, your Auntie Betty was out patrolling the trails on bikeback, coming home with perpetually chapped cheeks from the cold. Spring has since sprung, summer is nigh on high, and our city's Bosque and bikeways are teeming with life. It's a rich taxonomy: Cyclists can spy roadrunners and rattlesnakes and rollerblading trophy wives. Almost everyone is welcome in the benevolent eyes of Betty Sprocket, but there is one species that must be stamped out. A type of rider more pernicious than the salt cedar, more insidious than the Russian thistle. The most despicable cyclist of all: the bike punk.

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