Mmm, how about those gravid gray rain clouds lately? August, our wettest month, is nigh. When that musty creosote tang is in the air, a low sun shining under the numinous pillar of a classic anvil-shaped thunderhead, I always feel inspired to buy a blank canvas and demonstrate my searing love for the desert monsoon season by painting an extremely trite watercolor landscape. Alas, nothing that springs from the brush of Sprocket will ever be worthy of even the shittiest Old Town gallery, so I choose to express myself through the medium of bike rides.
For me, bikeback jaunts are usually about hustle and sweat, but dampish summer evenings were made for dawdling. For your idle pedaling needs, may I recommend the northern portion of the para-river Paseo del Bosque trail? Get on at Mountain Road and head north, and you’ll find a path that’s easy and flat, is immaculately maintained, and crosses no streets until its terminus at Alameda, eight miles down the road (which includes a ride underneath Montaño and Paseo del Norte). You’ll be sandwiched between the bosky Bosque and a swollen acequia, so if you’re out in the gloaming, wildlife sightings are likely. I’ve spotted everything from bats to bullfrogs.
You’ll pass the Rio Grande Nature Center and several inviting park benches, but the best place to stop, loiter and munch a few Hydrox cookies is the end of the trail just north of Alameda. There are some concrete picnic tables right next to the Rio Grande, a couple of little trails to meander down and a patch of Bosque dense enough to be the perfect place to shuck one’s spandex and perform a quick and cheeky skinny dip before the ride home. Don’t drink the cryptosporidium!