Don't Make Change too Complicated: Just Begin!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The New Mexico Cyclist's Blessing: "I Hope the Air is Good For You!"

Cece received a call from her friend Catherine early this morning asking if she was going to ride with the team this morning.  Cece was not sure about whether the ride was on or not given the air quality from the Wallow Fire.  Since she had not heard back, she decided to go about her day...she had a lot of shopping and cooking to do to prepare for a cooking lesson this evening and a party tomorrow for Yun's dad's 80th birthday!
It turns out that the team was starting from the exact location that Cece and Jamey had started from on Thursday and Cece commented to Catherine that she thought the air quality was better in the Northeast heights although her asthma was still kicking up a bit from her Thursday ride.  Catherine was unsure whether they would ride or not.  Cece is thinking that because we have "the box" here in Albuquerque, that it effects the air quality even worse.  " The Albuquerque Box is a weather phenomenon where the lowest winds are moving in one direction and the higher level winds are moving in another. More specifically, in a perfect example of the Albuquerque Box, the high winds are from the south while the low winds are from the north."

As Cece, was saying goodbye to Catherine, she wished her the newly developed  New Mexico cyclist's blessing...."I hope the air is good for you!" 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Wallow Fire and Cycling!

As you may or may not know, the Wallow Fire in Arizona is sending its ash and soot into the New Mexico air.  Just tonight, the fire  is only 1/2 mile from the New Mexico border.  Here is a YouTube video about it for those of you that are not in New Mexico!  There are air quality warnings abounding...and so Cece and her friends were careful in deciding whether to ride this morning or not.  They noticed that the air quality is best in the afternoon it is intolerable.
 So, the friends decided to ride....well a few did...and a few decided not to given the smokey air.  Cece has not given up on the Leg Burner...and today she did curse a lot !  So it ended up that only Cece and Jamey rode this am.  Here is a picture of Jamey taking a picture of Cece who is taking a picture of her!  Girls!
OK!  Here is what Jamey really looks like! 
Of course, Cece always has to take a picture at the top of the Piedra Lisa Trail head...because she is thrilled that she made it up.  And today was no different...except that when she looked out onto the city from her perch on the mountain precipice, this is what she saw.....
SMOKE!  See that ridge of dirty smoke that is hanging over the city?  Although the air quality seemed good in the Northeast Heights, evidently it was not sooo good.  Within an hour of finishing their ride, Cece started coughing!  Her asthma was kicking up!  Inhaler time.  Cece learned that just because she cannot see the particles, they are still in the air.  Tonight she is recovering quite well and wondering if she will ride again on Saturday or if she will put her bike up on the trainer?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chinese Dumplings And the Leg Burner!

Ah!  The Sunday Morning Leg Burner!  The famous ride that always makes Cece curse....although this time she just moaned and sang Johnny Cash out loud... and then  she sang it in her mind after she could no longer talk because she was breathing so heavy!  But she digresses....
It started out to be a beautiful early morning .....
This ride for Cece is just a "get up the next hill" kind of ride...with "little spitters"as she calls them...short steep hills that kick her butt.  But the route is up, up and more up and just as you think you will die from that climb...another begins.  Cece and Stephanie were rambling through the neighborhoods between the ups and greeted people out for their early morning walk and told people how cute their little "leashed" dogs were. (Last week when they rode, Cece was chased by a mean little dog biting at her heels...of course she was going uphill at the time!).

They smelled the fragrant flowers that lined the rich property in the north east heights and noticed their beauty.  Stephanie stopped to take a pic and Cece was huffing and puffing and knew she needed momentum for the next devilish climb to Piedra Lisa Trail she hissed to Stephanie, "I'm not stopping!" and up she went.  4 or 5 people passed her going up and she did, remarkably,  have enough breath to return their greetings.  WHEW! 
AND YES!  That is the top of the Sandia Mountains that you see in the background!  We rested, had a drink and took a few pics.....and down hill we flew!  On the way down, Cece said, "Yun lives right near here....we should stop in, her dad is in from China!"    Well,  Steph  and Cece were up higher than they realized and made a few false attempts to find Yun's house...but they finally found it and in they rolled.  It was still early.  Yun opened the door and was surprised and happy to see her two friends. "Well come on in" she giggled, "this is just like in China!  People just drop in!"   

As Yun opened the door, there was her dad sitting at her kitchen table.  "Guess what he's doing, she asked,   He is making dumplings!" In they clip clopped in their cleats, sweaty, and with their helmets still on. Clip clop they went over the tiled floors....up the steps to the kitchen,  hugging the dad and bowing a greeting.  In came the boys...more hugs and talk about making a silencer for a spit ball shooter...go figure.

And then,  seconds later the cooking lesson!  Cece washed her hands and sat right down and talked to Yun's Dad...He speaks no English and she no you can  imagine the conversation!  But talk they did imagining that the other understood their every word.  Some was demonstration, but much was talking as if the other understood...perhaps the universal cooking language!
 In case you do not know, folding dumplings is a precise art.  Cece sat and folded dumpling after dumpling and Stephanie and  Yun talked.  Cece was in the zone trying to perfect her folding.She did not even drink her coffee!  Every so often she would show the dumpling to Yun's father and he would comment...and Cece would smile and say that this took a lot of trying to get it right.  Finally Stephanie was ready to continue the ride, but Cece had not perfected the folding yet...even after about 50 dumplings.  So a few more and Yun pronounced that she had received her Level 1 certificate in dumpling folding which allowed her to teach others to fold dumplings!  Much giggling was heard around the kitchen table.  More hugs were to be had...and off they rode into the early morning!

Cece had had enough but Stephanie had planned to extend the  ride to include her beloved Tramway hill. Not Cece.  She is going home to put her body in a hot bath of Epsom salts!