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 V.19 No.34 | August 26 - September 1, 2010 

Hail, Velocipede!

Trail-a-Week: Kirtland

Mission not accomplished

There's a U.S. Air Force Base in the middle of Seoul, South Korea. If the myths of the American expatriate community are to be believed, they've got a Taco Bell in there. After three or four months of nothing but gim, bap and gimbap, I’ve witnessed otherwise-reasonable American civilians so thirsty for Fire Sauce they start to plan insurrections and armed raids. While I was in Seoul, my craving for Enchiritos never reached such a fever pitch, but I finally understood that urge to overthrow the government this morning when I went to ride my bike out by Kirtland Air Force Base.

I have zero experience with the military and utterly failed to grasp the significance of my chosen trail being located on base. I mean, look at the map: bit.ly/aYBRcJ. Doesn't the green line in the middle look just like the green line that usually denotes a public bike path? Was it so unreasonable to expect to exercise my Constitutional right to ride? I rolled right through the base gate on Wyoming and blithely declared to the armed guard, "I'm just headed for that bike trail in there." Um, no. The guard stopped traffic, took my ID, and didn’t hand it back until I made a tight U-turn around his little shack and aimed my bike at the exit gate.

Sheepish but unfazed, I nipped down to San Mateo and spent a frustrating half hour failing to penetrate the base by way of the VA hospital. The closest I was able to get to that forbidden trail was USS Bullhead Park, where I stopped to salute the Department of Defense. If it can thwart a super-spy like Sprocket, our national security must be pretty damn secure indeed. So, civilians, until I decide to enlist, I guess I won’t be riding the Kirtland bike trail. But just like Fourthmeal in Korea, I don’t really need it. There’s plenty of other stuff on the menu.

Ugh, what a pathetic non-ride for the subject of my final column. That's right, folks, August is ending, and Trail-a-Week is ending with it. It's been such a pleasure to write for the Alibi all summer. As Betty Sprocket, I've rolled down obscure bike trails I never would've found on my own, been hipped to public transit pro tips (UNM and CNM students, take your ID to Student Services for a free bus pass!), and found an ideal public forum in which to dis Rio Rancho.

As for you, gentle reader, please don't despair when I'm gone. I know it will be hard to cram your feet into your toe clips without my weekly penny-farthing panegyrics to inspire you, but you must nut up and ride on. Autumn is a primo cycling season, and you won't want to miss a minute of the glorious blue sky and golden leaves and zephyrs heaving with hot-air balloons and shit. We are so lucky to have this lovely city to pedal around in, my fellow biciclistas, and I wish you happy trails all year long. Viva Burque. ¡Viva velocipede!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Betty Sprocket, professor emeritus of the Skinny Tires Department of the University of New Bikexico, lectured you on Albuquerque’s many magnificent bike trails. Alas, fall draws nigh, and Sprocket must roll on. Find her complete works here.
Public Comments (3)
  • We'll miss you Betty Spocket  [ Fri Aug 27 2010 9:25 PM ]

    Betty, dude, no seriously, we ran out of paths like so many bike lanes that dead end before the intersection where they are needed the most. I'm sorry to say, but now that your assignment has ended that I will miss critiquing your bikes, your grammar, and your lack of a helmet. Regarding the latter, most cyclists in New Mexico know that it is for protection from flying Bud Lite bottles. Well, at least you shave your legs. This installment is by far the most depressing without the one finger salute with your left hand in your front pocket and your middle finger out. What I mean to say is that photo is a little heavy on the phallus theme. And you forgot your sign, "Freedom isn't free: it's $6 billion a month."

    Peace in the Middle East and we'll see you on the flip-flop. And, oh, by the way, flip flops and flip flop hubs go good together too.

  • boo  [ Sat Aug 28 2010 12:16 AM ]

    YOU'RE LEAVING ME???? NOOOOOOOOOOO.

  • !  [ Mon Aug 30 2010 4:32 PM ]

    Say what thou wilt about my lack of a helmet, lanemcclain (sorry, safety superfans, I don't even own one), but my grammar? Man, you are tangling with a semicolon superhero here! Better watch what you say lest I sic the ghost of DFW on your ass. Anyway, I only accept such critiques from Nurse Whitny, and that's just 'cause "grammar" happens to be our private euphemism for "hickey."

    No, seriously, lanemcclain, thanks for the kind words. And I'm not just saying that 'cause I'm scared you'll wing a "vortex bottle" at my head next time you see me on the trail.

 
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