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 V.19 No.33 | August 19 - 25, 2010 

Hail, Velocipede!

Trail-a-Week: Paseo de las Montañas

Betty Sprocket

Jeez, you guys, I’m runnin’ out of trails. For this, my penultimate week on the bike path beat, I had to search the map and my soul to find one I haven’t already written about. I couldn't remember ever having been on Paseo de las Montañas, and I couldn't exactly figure out why. The map showed it intersecting Tramway just south of Candelaria, a stretch of road I've traversed too many times to count. How could it be that I'd repeatedly ridden past an inviting bike-only turnoff without ever even noticing it? The answer is that there is no inviting bike-only turnoff. I made a couple of increasingly bewildered circuits on Tramway's western shoulder before giving up and hauling my bike through the grass until I found the trail.

When I turned around to glare disdainfully at the dewy tufts of feathergrass that'd just gotten my socks all wet, I realized that Paseo de las Montañas actually does intersect Tramway: The start of the trail isn't a stretch of asphalt, it's a wooden pedestrian overpass bridge. You can easily access the bridge from the bike trail on the east side of Tramway, but if you're on the west, just go on through the feathergrass.

Wet socks notwithstanding, Paseo de las Montañas provided me with a chilled-out downhill coast alongside the Piedra Lisa arroyo, with some interesting backyard gawkage. Somebody’s got a whole homestead set up around a backyard tent, and some lucky little ankle-biter has two tree houses. The continuity of the trail isn’t perfect: Be sure not to veer off onto residential streets or it’ll be hard to find the path again.

When you reach Pennsylvania, your instinct will tell you to turn south, but you must resist it lest you get sucked into the heavily trafficked, lightly bike-laned environs of the Fairgrounds. Instead, dogleg north, then west into the Winrock wasteland. Skirt the parking lot and take the bridge over I-40. The trail ends at Constitution, an excellent corridor to destinations east or west.

As I was doing this ride early one morning, I realized pedaling seemed suspiciously laborious and noticed that one of my brake shoes was dragging on my front rim. It didn’t take five minutes of standing next to the trail in a posture of distress before somebody slowed down to ask if I needed help, hopped off his bike and produced an Allen wrench to loosen my brake. Thank you, blue T-shirt guy. To pay forward your Good Samaritanship, I will make a karmic contribution of my own: In the spirit of fostering a friendly community for all cyclists, I will hereby cease and desist making fun of nerdy recumbents, even though it brings me so much malicious pleasure. Here, guys, you can have your milk money back.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

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. You'll learn about a new one each week, so please take notes and do remember to do your homework: Get out there and ride.
Public Comments (7)
  • More Paseo de las Montañas trail; the Embudo Canyon trail  [ Thu Aug 19 2010 12:27 AM ]

    One can continue on the Paseo de las Montañas trail a little further by turning right (west) a block north of Constitution, going under Louisiana, through the Tom Bolack Urban Forest, by the Tom Bolack Dog Park, ending at Dakota & Zimmerman: saves crossing Lousiana.

    Remember Collet Park Elementary, which the trail disappears for a block to circumvent? The trail continues for a few feet west of the school, goes over Embudo Creek: the Embudo Creek bicycle trail goes east to Tramway from there.

  • Damsel in Distress Syndrome (DIDS)  [ Thu Aug 19 2010 10:42 PM ]

    Betty, dude seriously, a quick cure for DIDS is a multitool. I can recommend a bike shop in Albuquerque.

    And don't worry, you can rock a stylish saddlebag for your new Tool, check out bikeportland for hand crafted bike accessorizing.

    And other thing...your cockpit looks a little confused: your stem slopes down and your bars rise up. What's up with that. Up down up down.

    We're still waiting for your post about the ride from Burque to Teleride. You'll get to meet hella benters on that mission.

    Emoticon emoticon

  • "Jeez, you guys, I’m runnin’ out of trails."  [ Fri Aug 20 2010 12:25 PM ]

    One could take mass transit, such as the Railrunner or ABQ ride, to all kinds of other trails.

  • She's written about a ton of trails.  [ Fri Aug 20 2010 1:51 PM ]

    You should scope them out. Do a search.

  • Here's the link to all the Hail, Velocipedes  [ Fri Aug 20 2010 3:12 PM ]

  • geometrix  [ Fri Aug 20 2010 4:59 PM ]

    Hey lanemcclain, that ain't my bike in the picture; I borrowed it from a friend so I could go riding before work one morning. I dunno what's up with the stem and bars; I was too focused on my other grievances (namely brake and tiny-ass frame that made me look like a trained bear riding around a Russian circus ring on a comically undersized tricycle) to even notice.

    And oh yeah, my own personal multitool was sitting at home next to my perfect and divinely beautiful bike that would never ever betray me with a mid-ride brake failure. Never! Ever!

  • I took a taxi home the last time I forgot my multitool  [ Mon Aug 23 2010 1:00 PM ]

    I'm totally into the dork/chic small-frame-epic-stem scene. My undersized Rocky II lugged frame is slayin' a stem raiser that would shame most hybrids.

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