Ride to the start

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Lael, riding to the start of the Cedro Peak 45km Ultramarathon

When an opportunity to enter a local ultramarathon arose, Lael immediately suggested that she could ride to the start, camp out, and run the next morning.  That was several months ago.  This past Friday we rode twenty miles out to Tijeras at sunset.  In the dark, I turned around and rode home through the city, bombing down old Route 66 amidst grit and low-budget glamour passing fresh stucco strip malls and crumbling motels.  Lael continued another ten miles in the dark, uphill, to a secluded picnic area where the race would start the next morning.  She lay down, slipped into her bivy, and arose in the dark to officially sign-in at 5:30AM.  Cold, she returned to the sleeping bag to stay warm while waiting for the start.  7AM– lose some layers and line up at the start in a ratty cotton tank top, athletic shorts and old-fashioned running shoes.  No tech, not even low-tech– no trail running shoes, no gels or technical fabrics.  Nothing but a few sips of water and a Big K Cola about 5 miles from the finish.  Forty five kilometers, 4000 ft of climbing, and twenty-six minutes ahead of the next female finisher, Lael won the 45km race.  Around noon, they tapped the keg and she sipped a beer while waiting in line for a complimentary hot dog.  She didn’t know anyone there and I couldn’t be there to watch, so she hung out with some mercenary bike cops responsible for trolling the course, which was composed almost entirely of rocky, forested singletrack around Cedro Peak.  And then, she rode home.  Lael races about once a year.  She often finishes third, which is pretty good for a sometimes racer.  This year she finished first.

Lael believes in transporting herself.  The fact that she rode to the start is impressive, and bold.  The fact that she won is badass.

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Lael has big eyes for the world.  Follow our adventures in Europe this summer from her perspective at Lael’s Globe of Adventure.

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Real Transport

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I live on a farm.  This 12-acre urban plot is just south of I-40, north of old Route 66, and east of the Rio Grande River.  We are not the first people to live and work this land; in modern times, it is some of the oldest inhabited land in the state.  The floodplain provides nutrients for growth, and the shady cottonwoods offer respite from the sun.  On Sundays, only people on foot and bicycle may visit the farm to enjoy the setting and to purchase produce.  Discovery is inevitable at all ages.  Young boys find a grasshopper– they are a mere “three and a half quarters” years of age.  Adults learn how to harvest their own food.

Even with several children in tow and a pair of unruly three-foot gagutza squash, bikes are the way to go.  Bikes serve real transportation.  In a week, or in a month, what kind of cool things do you transport on your bike?  What are the most interesting places you visit in town?

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For more fresh images, check out Lael’s post “Salad. Salud.” on her blog, Lael’s Globe of Adventure.  Over the winter, you are bound to see more of our lives on the farm.  Last winter, Lael and I slid our mitts into pogies while riding fatbikes around Anchorage, Alaska.  This winter, we look forward to a full week of 65 degree days through Thanksgiving in Albuquerque, NM.  In addition to assisting with farm operation, we will also be helping to develop a new zoning designation for bike-in commercial enterprise.  Bike paths go places, which is good, but what if they allowed us direct access to the things that we need?  “Bike-in commercial” zoning could assist the growing culture of bicycles as transport, and could bring more value to properties along popular cycling routes.  The world of urban zoning seems like a complex patchwork, but we’ve got a fixed-gear Surly Cross-Check riding friend in the zoning office to help us navigate the maze.

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