WanderlustBy Sam Lepore

Subject: WanderLunch 3 - Español, New Mexico
Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 17:47:58 -0700

This is a short report because it was a short day.

        Morning at Meltz Mansion (Centaur Cycles) was resplendent with eau de doughnut in the air. My nose worked as well as the GPS in finding the gathering (before the gathering) of the Internet BMW Riders. Sucrose and caffeine sustenance was in copious supply (and copiously consumed) to fortify us for the agonizing travel of ... oh, about 50 miles to lunch. Ok, ok, there was also orange juice for the health conscious. Thank you Richard and Meg!
        That agonizing ride was beautiful agony. Through the back streets of Santa Fe - where every house (and I mean every house without exception) is made of the same external surface material. The mission adobe look is preserved in every building, and it lends a pleasing visual serenity to the population carpet. Not that Santa Fe is crowded ... but in many other places you can see where the land has been conformed to the people. Here it appears the opposite.
        Crossing the Rio Grande, brown and muddy even this far from Texas, the road climbs toward the plateau on which sits Los Alamos. What wonderful roads switch through the ponderosa and quickly gain more altitude from the already high base of Santa Fe (over 5000 feet) than seems possible. The air begins to feel thin, and the K75 idles poorly without its high altitude plug at nearly 9,000 feet.
        The 25 or so people who breakfasted at Centaur did not ride as a group. Actually, I don't know what they did, because I missed the departure getting gas. During my ride I had the misfortune to fall in behind and follow a pair of potatoes who were not part of our group. I don't often ride with potatoes, so this was an opportunity to observe them. Not much ground clearance. Riders counterleaning (not countersteering, actually leaning opposite the curve) on every corner. Very fast in the short straight, followed by heavy breaking. And probably because of the altitude, someone in front of me was running overly rich. Peeee-uw. Enough. I dropped back.
        We all arrived at the lunch spot hungry. Well,,, ready to eat anyway. Brian had the grill going and again the nose outdid the GPS in finding the spot. Got a bunch of digital pictures which will post when I get home. So, I ride 1,350 miles for lunch. Was it worth it? Of course! (But prize for long distance went to someone from Colorado who took 2300 miles to cover 500 miles to get there. I gotta get seriously lost next year. :)
        Passing through Los Alamos on the way down the plateau I noticed street names for local items of note. These street names themselves would have probably been security violations 55 years ago. The intersection of Oppenheimer and Trinity was thought provoking. Then to show how our culture is changing, not much further down the highway was one of those "trash picked up by" signs announcing The Lady of The Woods (Wiccan).

Well, an early stop tonight. Tomorrow Taos, then Chama, Shiprock, and ???
The Lunch is over. The Wander continues.

FuelPlus 133 miles, 3:13 hrs engine, 42 mph
almost Santa Fe US285 NM4 NM502 Español

Sam Lepore, San Francisco
Wanderlust Rider

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