Friday, October 6, 2017

2017 Ride by the Numbers

Wow!  What a season 2017 season!  Our 8th year and going stronger than ever.  Lot of training rides, lots of new riders, lots of new friends.  The completion of the ride is always a little bittersweet - the culmination of a long summer of training pays off with some great scenery and great friendships.  The ride is over, but now we can sleep in on the weekend without guilt!

38 - total teammates (5 more than 2016!)
11 - new riders to the Bike MS: Pedal los Pueblos
1 - long lost return riders from years past (Yay Brady) 
22 - riders who have done the ride >2 years
16 - riders who have done the ride >5 years!
Training season:
0 - number of bike free weekends since June 17 (team wide)
24 - number of riders on our largest training ride (Ride to Santa Fe!)
7 - new rookie riders
10 -  Saturday training rides we had this year! (ranging from 14-24 riders)
9 - Sunday training rides (thanks to Ali and John M. for leading!)

 9313- Miles of training (team wide)
At the MS ride:
30 - riders Day 1
28 - riders Day 2
8 - Friends and family volunteers!
1 - Awesome Penultimate rest stop at Puy Cliffs Day 2!
3 - Brand new century riders! (Congrats Robin, Maria,  Rhea)
1 - Crash (yours truly, and was very minor)
22- riders to completed the Century ride Day 1!
19 - riders to make it to Puye Cliffs on Day 2
3790 miles rode a the BikeMS (team wide)
10 - top fundraisers (raised more than $1000 a piece!)
$24,877 (and counting) raised by the Penultimates in 2017! 
>$175,000 raised by the Penultimates in our 8 years of riding

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Paired Scotch Dinner 2017

We are partnering again with Two Fools Tavern in Nob Hill for our 8th annual Paired Scotch dinner.  Take a love of food, a love of scotch, and a fantastic chef to coordinate, and this equals a fantastic fundraiser for the National MS Society.

Tickets are $100, with a portion of ticket sales going to the National MS Society.  This years menu:

Course 1: 
 “Islay Breakfast”, Cured, Smoked Organic Irish Salmon, Spicy Elk Sausage, and whisky Cheddar:  
Whisky Paring: Kilchoman Saniag (Islay)

Course 2: 
Sea Scallops in a Sherry Pan Sauce
Whiskey Paring: Ohishi Sherry whisky (Japan)

Course 3:  
Local Fresh Greens tossed in a Citrus Vinaigrette, Heirloom tomatoes
Whisky Paring: Cocktail “One Fools Redemption” Redepmtion Rye, Benedictine, Cointreau, Mescal 

Course 4: 
Whisky Mint tea Charred Lamb, Moroccan rice pilaf, and steak house Broccoli.   
Whisky Paring: Glenfiddich 15yr Solara (Speyside)

Course 5:
Homemade Peach Cobbler, with a bourbon glace.

 Whiskey Paring: Two Fools 13yr hand selected Knob Creek barrel (Kentucky)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Weekend's Ride: 8/19 & 8/20 - Last training rides!

How are we already at the end?  Could it be that we just spent 10 weekends in a row out logging miles getting ready for the big ride?  Say it ain't so!  That is the secret (at least for me) that training for the BIke MS is a huge part of my summer, and a huge part of why I enjoy this ride so much!

Saturday (courtesy of the awesome Eric and Laura who captained the ride! Write up by Eric)

Seventeen riders set out from O'Neill's just after 6:00am on Saturday morning to tackle the Clockwise City Loop. The peloton included a hardy bunch who had already met at the Tramway and Central Smith's at 5:30am before riding to O'Neill's. We kept everyone together and on course through construction in the Ridgecrest and Rio Bravo areas. We greeted the sunrise as we rode up the South Bosque to our first stop at Tingley Beach. There we had to keep an eye on some suspicious-looking ducks who were a little too interested in our bikes.

Back off ducks!
 As we warded off potential fowl play, we were joined by one more rider. Matt L. arrived, fresh from last week's service as Super SAG Wagon Captain, to bring our strength up to eighteen. Matt had ridden from home and dropped the hammer to catch up.

Team picture!
Refreshed and ready to resume, we continued North join the Bosque fray. The ride North was mostly smooth. Runners and walkers tended to part like the Red Sea for Moses when they heard eighteen of us were coming. (Public service announcement: Remember to stay single file on a busy route like the Bosque. Bunching up and going two-by-two makes it a lot harder to navigate past slower traffic in the right lane without encroaching on opposite traffic in the left lane).

The highlight of the Bosque leg was a surprising potential recruit. A pigeon didn't like us passing it, and it decided to try a little formation flying with us. It did okay for a minute, but couldn't hang with the peloton any longer. The pigeon needs proper training, but we liked its moxie. According too the internet, there's a precedent for cycling birds.
We left to Bosque behind to head for Tramway via Alameda, Guadalupe Trail, and 4th St. The Tramway climb was the main event, and everyone conquered it in good form. A large number of riders tacked on the bonus slog up to the Sandia Peak Tramway station. During the cruise down Tramway, most of the early contingent peeled off for home, while the rest made a stop near Evil Gary's new hacienda for delicious cookies (Thanks Bex!) and a water refill. 

The remainder of the trip South and West saw three flat tires (I suspect pigeon sabotage). Special thanks to Ryan H. for his assistance with all three (including mine). Kudos also go to the homeowner who came out with a floor pump to help with one tire change. 

Flat tires fixed, the peloton headed for O'Neill's for a successful completion of the season's last training ride. Next week is the big one. Two days. 150 miles of riding to end MS. Bring it.

Sunday (writeup courtesy of the awesome John M.)

We started out with just three riders: John M., Rhea, and Ryan E, gathered in the cool, cloudy pre-dawn gloom at O’Neill’s. It was dark, but otherwise very nice weather, staying in the 60s for the first half of the ride.

We headed out the usual way, with a detour to get across Central, but a quiet trip up the diversion channel trail, over to 4th and a short stop at the train station next to the traffic circle. From there, we had a fairly leisurely trip up to Bernalillo, but again witnessed the strange prevalence of skunk carcasses on the road, not so unlike the aftermath of last year’s raccoon uprising on the same road! We saw at least half a dozen dead skunks on that road.

We went past the gas station to our destination of Kaktus Brewing, took a quick picture, and then back to the gas station for a bathroom and refreshment break. 

After our rest, we headed back at a much faster pace! Sadly, we saw a dead hawk on the road. But, we also saw a possible Penultimates first: an entire mattress on the shoulder! We didn’t let that slow us down, and the fine weather and a fast pace convinced us to extend the route by going down the Bosque trail. 

The trail was not too busy, and we kept a pretty consistent pace of about 20 MPH all the way down to I-40. We would have taken the Mountain exit, but construction there forced a detour alongside I-40 that got us to Rio Grande, eventually. From there, we slowed down to apparently hit every light red as we tried to get through Old Town, Martineztown, and Downtown, mostly along Mountain and MLK, eventually hitting UNM. From there, it was a quick spin back to O’Neill’s. 

Ryan, of course, was still fresh, and planned to put in more miles, but my legs were feeling the burn from a challenging flat ride – my favorite kind! 47 miles, total, and a nice end to the training season.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Weekend's Rides 8/12 & 8/13 - Adventures ahoy!

So close! At this point, we are all super fit riding machines ready to do the Bike MS.  This is the special training weekend - the Penultimate training weekend!  Only one more week to go!

Saturday:  The high road to Santa Fe!  The best ride of the year in my humble opinion.  A long 60ish mile ride (depending on where you started or where you ended) through gorgeous high desert passing through some gems of New Mexico quirkiness (route here).  The ride ends with epic tacos and other New Mexico specialties and plentiful beer at Santa Fe Brewing, before taking the train south back to ABQ.

We had 24 riders through out the day join us on our adventure!  It was an absolutely stunning day weather wise, with the last remnants of the summer rains of the day before slowly dissipating, providing a deliciously cool ride for most of the day, until the last 15 mile slog of the ride where it finally burned off.

Some riders turned around early and headed home, but the vast majority made it all the way. As usual, we had a wonderful trip, with everyone having a good time and enjoying the beauty of the road, the fun and camaraderie of the team, and the ice cream at rest stop two (which everyone knows is the secret of making the last leg tolerable).

Special thanks to Matt and the Lane kids who drove the SAG vehicle, cheered riders, filled water bottles, took AMAZING photos, and generally an all around great guy!

Sunday: I think we had at least 4 riders head out today.  The normal captain of the Sunday rides Mrs. Snookums took ill over night and missed the ride.  Safe to assume a good time was had!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Weekend's Ride: August 5 & 6 - the end is near!

After the completion of this weekends rides we have only 2 more training weekends before the Bike MS!

Saturday: The early morning was a little bit darker than last time. A hint of fall is in the air, as our normal 6 am start time was just barely light enough to ride.  But is was a gorgeous morning - over night clouds were still lingering near the mountains filtering the rising sun into dramatic patterns over the city.  Today's ride was an out and back to Placitas (route here), a 65 mile ride through the Rio Grande valley before taking a right and heading uphill for 10 miles to where the road ends.  Then a thrilling descent and a sprint back home.

We were 8 strong heading out from O'Neill's, with another 8 joining us at the round about by the casino, and another 2 joining en route.  It was a great ride, with stunningly beautiful vistas the whole ride.  At the end of the ride, 4 of us had brunch at O'Neill's with fabulous restorative Bloody Mary's.

Sunday: We had 5 riders head out into the East Mountains (route here).  Highlights of the ride was a stop at Roots Farm Cafe in Tijeras for iced coffee before the downhill back into the city.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Weekend's Rides: July 22 & 23 - East Mountain Mosey

Another great set of rides in the books.  We are approximately half way through the training season, and 34 days until the Bike MS.

Saturday:  We escaped the mid summer heat for a quick jaunt in the East Mountains. Due with some problems in the road conditions on the 217 rollers (road condition combined with aggressive drivers) we switched up our normal ride and added a quick loop out through Gutierrez Canyon (route here).
In the cool mountain morning!
From O'Neill's five of us headed east across the city to meet with the majority of the group at the Smith's at the base of Tijeras Canyon.  We picked up another 13 riders, and headed out old Route 66 and wound our way eastward and upward.  We gathered another 4 enroute, making our total ridership 22 for the day.
Heading south for some downhill!
From O'Neill's, the first 26 miles of this ride is all up hill, picking up 2300' of elevation to the top of South 14.  After a quick break, we headed back down the hill and over to the start of Gutierrez Canyon for another dose of hill work winding up eventually at Frost Road where we had our last break before the last 14 mile descent back to town and the end of the ride.
Getting our kicks, on Route 66!

Sunday: Something Route here. Dennis, John M., and Ali left O'Neill's at 6 and headed out for a quick out and back to Bernallilo to rack up some easy(ish) miles.  John made the mistake of commenting on how nice it was to ride with "no wind" so, of course, we had a headwind for the rest of the ride.

It's a fairly unremarkable ride so we amused ourselves by playing "i spy".  Of note were almost enough tools for a tool box; a giant bull frog, snake, and skunk (all deceased unfortunately); some wild turkeys (good spot, Dennis); a jackrabbit; and a Vespa cruising along on the diversion channel.

This was also the first time any of us had to stop at a train crossing to allow the Railrunner to speed by.
Mostly done and still smiling!
While not the most exciting ride, it was great company and goes to show that we can have a great time anywhere when we are riding together.  Thanks!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Weekend's Rides: July 15 & 16 - Time to get the miles!

Another great weekend of rides!  This is usually the worst ride of the year in terms of pure feeling like you are cycling through an oven set on slow roast. But it was not as bad as in previous years, so cheers all around.

Saturday:  Today we headed out for the Jemez Dam Ride* - a 65 mile out and back through the picturesque Rio Grande Valley, then back through Corrales and then back home (route here).  We were 15 strong as we headed out of O'Neill's early, and picked up another 4 riders as we headed out 313 heading north.  After our first rally in Bernalillo, we surprisingly picked up an additional 2 riders represented by the Los Alamos contingent of the team (more on them later) just before heading up to the dam.

Or rather, tried to head up to the dam.  Last summer the ride was cut short by a gate and guard who informed us that a dispute between the Pueblo and the Corp of Engineers had closed the road.  I hoped for the best this year, but this year they actually closed more of the road.  Boo!  Need to find a new route for next year.
At the aborted attempt to ride to top.
After this we headed out into Breaking Bad vistas for the 20 mile loop out through the dusty high desert before heading back into the valley near Corrales.  The biggest surprise of the ride was the impromptu stop at the wonderful Hardy house just before our traditional refuel stop.  We were treated to fresh baked cookies and plenty of water.  

At this point the group split into two, with the first group (those who didn't get cookies) rolled on just before the second group caught up to them.  The second group had two flat tires in the space of about 5 miles which delayed them significantly.  But all arrived safely at back at the ride start where a few stayed for a post ride brunch at O'Neill's.  The captain is happy to report that the Bloody Mary's are as delicious this summer as last!

*Dam not included.
Yay cookies!
Sunday: A quick jaunt around the city (route here). Ali, Rhea, Ryan E, Blythe, Cap, and Liz started out from O'Neills at 6.  A beautiful and cool morning.  We picked up Stacey at the start of the diversion channel and headed north.  We had a surprise meetup with Greg about half-way up Tramway and Nellie at the top.  A brave few headed up the base of the tram.  Kudos to Nellie for her first-time climb!  A great ride, with great company.  Thanks to all for joining.
Headed up the tram spur

Regrouping at Tramway before heading home.  We missed you Gary!
Editors note: due to a miscommunication Good Gary headed in the opposite direction and cranked out the full city (50-mile loop) like a rock star!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Weekend's Rides 7/8 & 7/9 - While the captains away....

Thanks to our two volunteer ride captains - Ryan H. on Saturday and John M. on Sunday.  I appreciate that you wanted to step in and guide the cat circus through Albuquerque!

Saturday's Ride:   As relayed by ride captain Ryan!

First Officer's Log, July 8th, 2017 AD

We had as many as 21 riders at the start. We followed the course down to University Blvd where one of us developed a flat tire. After fixing the tire outside of Wise Pies Arena a.k.a. The Pit, we continued down University Blvd, crossing the dirt at Kirtland Park (as they do on the Albuquerque Century). We didn't have to wait long for all the riders to arrive at the University & Rio Bravo intersection, from where we continued down to the south loop of the Bosque Trail. There were many other riders, runners and walkers out on the Bosque this morning, making it difficult for a group to ride through. We took relatively short breaks at the train station at Tingley Beach and the Alameda/Rio Grande Open Space. From there, one of us took Rio Grande Rd to go home, and the rest of us cut through Guadalupe Trail and Camino del Bosque where we saw two bikes being offered for free (there were no takers). Continuing up Roy Avenue to Tramway Rd, some of us stopped at the Bien Mur Travel Center, where Laura's front tire went flat and had to be repaired. The rest of us continued up Tramway Road to the County Line Steakhouse where Carollan stayed behind to direct riders. I went up to the terminal, got water, waited for some other riders, headed back down and waited for everyone who had not broken off to go home. Good Gary had to add pressure to one of his tires before heading back down. On our way down Tramway Blvd, I had a tire blow-out myself. While we were repairing our fourth flat, Laura's rear tire burst and had to be repaired. Followed was the easy part of the ride, downhill along Tramway Blvd and down through the neighborhoods on the southeast side of town. 

After 52 miles and 5 flat tires, a few of us arrived back at O'Neill's. A handful of those riders joined us there for brunch.

Thanks everyone for riding. As a team, we need to work on staying together, and both keeping in a single file and slowing down and waiting until it's safe to pass on the Bosque Trail.

Artist rendition of Saturday's ride

Sunday's Ride: 

Reports of an uneventful ride.  Sometimes that is a great enough report.  And they took a photo:

From the base of the tram!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Weekend's Rides: 7/1 & 7/2 - A fine windy NM morning

A great weekend of training.  Then again, I always think heading out for some exercise with friends is great, so call me biased.

Saturday's Ride:  This weekend we did the modified counter clockwise city loop (route here) - a 37 mile jaunt around the city, heading north on Tramway with a little punishment of heading up to the base of the tram.  This is followed by a long descent back to the valley floor before picking up the diversion channel and back to the ride start.  We had 15 riders total head out for the ride from different locations.

Those of us that started at O'Neill's faced a fierce headwind (a sustained 10 mph with gusts to 20 mph) for the first 7 miles until we got to the fist rally spot at Smiths at Tramway and Central. We picked up another 5 riders at headed north, sideways to the wind.  At the top of Tramway, some of us headed up to the base of the tram up the steep 1 mile road for a challenge, while others headed on their way.
Heading up to the base of the tram.
Special thanks to Ryan who rode at the end of the group and ensured everyone made it to where they were supposed to go!  We got pretty spread out as we departed the top of the tram, but eventually all made it back to the ride start.
At the top!

Sunday's Ride:  4 of us started out on beautiful morning to do the inner city loop.  Kudos again to Evil Gary and Ryan for doing both training rides this weekend.  We had a peaceful ride along the Bosque, and probably the least busy I've ever seen.

At the 25-mile mark, Bex peeled off to head home, having cleverly staged a car at the Paseo train station.  Congrats on doing your longest group ride!

Gary, Ryan, and Ali headed back, and many thanks to those two for letting me draft until we hit a wind break.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Other Rides 2017

At the Taos Gran Fondo 2015
One of the great things and new things for me is branching out from the Pedal los Pueblos to do some other great rides in the area.  Last year a few of us did the Fall Blaze (RIP - they have changed the ride, click the link below to see) and it was great to go up with some great teammates and friends to do a destination ride.  I would like to do something similar this year!  Anyone have any favorites in the list below?

Enchanted Circle Century
Red River, NM
Tour de Acoma
Acoma, NM
Canon City Bike & Brew/Royal Gorge Century Ride
Canon City, CO
Mountain to Desert
Telluride, CO
Tour de Ruidoso
Ruidoso, NM
Tour of the Rio Grande
Santa Fe Gourmet Classic
Santa Fe, NM
Day of the Tread
El Tour de Tuscon
Tuscon, AZ

Weekend's Rides: 6/24 & 6/25 - Not quite so hot

Another great weekend. This weekend we had both our Saturday and Sunday rides head out!

Saturday's Ride: The Saturday ride met bright and early at O'Neill's at 6 am.  It was a brutal week, with a heat wave parking itself over ABQ and slowly sizzling us with a few days in a row of 100+ degree temperatures.  But by Friday, the heat wave had broken, and we all gathered in the cool morning for a quick ride around the city, taking the inner city loop (route here).

There were 14 of us that headed out: David, Andrew, Olga, Evil Gary, Matt H., Becky, Dennis, Rhea, Tina, Ryan E (nickname needed!), John, Celeste, Brian, and Gordie.  El Jefe caught up with us half way and finished out the ride.  Overall a good ride, a good way to stretch our legs and get a little mileage in.  Didn't get any group photo this week (bad captain!), but I did get a good team picture of everyones shadow!

A picture of all our shadows waiting for the light on Rio Bravo.

Sunday's Ride: Sundays ride left a bit later and featured quite a few repeat riders from Saturday.  Ryan E., Brian, Celeste, Blythe, Bobbie(sp), Rhea, Bex, and Evil Gary headed out for a quick out an back to Balloon Fiesta Park.  Another cool morning and a bunch of balloons launching along the way.
From Balloon Fiesta Park, two riders wanted more mileage and headed off for more fun and the rest of us headed back.  Half the back got distracted by the smells coming from the Waffleria and opted to stop for breakfast and the rest of us broke off for home.  A beautiful inaugural Sunday ride and, for some of us, first ride of the season.  Looking forward to more fun Sundays!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Weekend Ride 6/17: A quick jaunt for coffee....

Yeah!  Training season!  Waking up before dawn!  Sore butts!  Sunburn!

Wait.  I need to make this sound appealing.

Yeah!  Training season!  Getting exercise! Meeting great people! Enjoying the sunrise! Adventure! Camaraderie! Exercise induced euphoria!

It's that time again!  We headed out for first training ride - a quick 26 mile ride up the diversion channel over to the diversion channel, then south on the Bosque trail until at mile 19 we hit up the wonderful Bike in Coffee.  We stopped there for some food and refreshments, before heading uphill on Indian School to get back on the Diversion Channel trail and then south and back to the beginning.

For a first ride we had an impressive turnout!  We had 22 riders join us for the ride, including 8 brand new riders to the Penultimates.  A great start to the 2017 training season.

Drinking and eating and resting and getting bit by mosquitos

The crew!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Who We Are - 2017 season!

We are The Penultimates – a team of Albuquerque, New Mexico cyclists. Our primary focus is cycling in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s “New Mexico Pedal Los Pueblos” Bike MS, a two-day, 150 mile cycling tour through northern New Mexico. This event raises money for research, education, and support of individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis – including those within our community.  (For a quick primer on MS, check this out). Our team includes several members riding for friends and family with the disease, and we also have two cyclists that live and ride with MS.

The Penultimates formed in 2010 with 5 riders, raising over $7500 for the Bike MS150 event. In 2016, we and raised $26,281!  We have had over 60 different riders join us through the years and  have raised over $150,000 since our first year the fight against MS.  We’re reaching out to our families, friends, and the community businesses we actively support to help our fundraising reach the next level.  We are organizing a few fundraisers this year, including our Seventh Annual Paired Whisky Dinner hosted by Two Fool's Tavern (the 2015 even is detailed here) and our Second Annual Happy Hour at Matanza sometime in June (last year we raised over $700 drinking beer and eating!).  These events raise money directly for the MS society, but the proceeds go toward your rider totals, so if you think fundraising will be difficult - we make it easy!
From the start of the 2016 ride!
Our team has always been about the joy of cycling, the friendship of teammates, and riding or volunteering for a fantastic cause.  We may not finish first, but we will finish, and have a great time doing it!  We start training in earnest in mid June, and we will try organize two rides every weekend to get you ready for the ride depending on interest.  We welcome new riders - either new to this event or new to long distance riding. Every year we pick up new riders that end up riding more than they thought they were capable of - completing from 80 miles to the full 150 miles. Whether you are new to cycling, a grizzled veteran, or just looking to volunteer your time for a good cause, this is the team for you!  Go Domo!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Training Season 2017!

Here is the first draft of the training schedule for the 2017 year. The general plan is that if you ride this long ride schedule plus maybe get a few extra rides in you will be ready for the full 150 mile Bike MS at the end of August.   We will also contemplating doing a short training ride on each Sunday too that will build to ~50 miles by the end of the season, so those that want to ride the short ride can get some team rides in too.  For those of you new to the team, riding is great, but riding with a team is so much more fun!  As always, we will following most of the rides with a team breakfast, and now that they offer brunch this year the destination will be O'Neill's (food + beer + Bloody Mary's make recovery so much better).
From a rainy ride to Santa Fe 2016 with the Gearitos!
The tentative schedule (all are on Saturdays unless otherwise noted): All rides will leave from O'Neill's on Central as early as we can (6 am) unless otherwise noted.  There are several riders that are planning on doing the Taos Grand Fondo on August 5th (anyone interested in riding with us please let me know)!

Recovery weekend
The Ride
* We modified the route from our traditional rollers ride due to bad road condition and aggressive drivers.