To Tell/Not to Tell & Rio Grande Blvd. Update

Update: I wrote the rant below before coming to understand Governor Lujan Grisham actually excludes “exercising” from the list of activities requiring face protection. I leave the following unchanged after learning this, as excluding exercising is a really stupid fucking idea, particularly when most “exercising” in the Bosque Path mentions below were those walking no more intensely than they would at the mall on the way to the Orange Julius. 

Yesterday I made the mistake of riding the Bosque Bike/Ped/In-Line Skate/You Name It Path. You really shouldn’t do that these days, not that I’m telling you what to do. As Yogi put it, “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

I’ve been avoiding the Path, taking Isleta Blvd. instead. As anyone who have ridden Isleta between Rio Bravo and town knows, it’s not much fun, even during lower pandemic levels of driving (you know, the good ‘ol days of the pandemic when there were fewer drivers?). Yesterday I was running a bit late though, so I gave the Bosque Path a shot.

Don’t do it. Not that I’m telling you what to do.

no direction home
The last time I took Bosque Path prior to yesterday. Fun times here as CABQ Parks & Recreation closed the path for some repaving underneath Central Ave., but didn’t put up a detour sign with arrow. So everybody aimlessly wondered around trying to figure out what to do. Nice work, P&R!

Evidently the Governor has included a codicil in all her stay-at-home orders, an addendum previously unknown to me. It appears everybody but Scot has gotten a memo that it’s okay not to wear a face-covering if you’re outside. Supposedly the Governor and everyone else but Scot has concluded that transmission of COVID-19 is literally not possible if you’re “exercising,”, particularly on the Bosque Path, even/especially if you’re in a large group of people haphazardly strollign down the busy path, everyone taking in “nature” by looking at their phone the whole time.

So the question is: Do I, or anyone else not getting this mysterious memo from the Governor, tell 90% of folks on the Path to “put a goddamn mask on motherfucker!”

Or not.

Yesterday I kept my face-covered mouth shut. We’re all a bit short-tempered these crazy days, me very much included, and who needs to find out who is not wearing a mask but is carrying a gun? The art of telling strangers what to do is generally best left unpracticed.

But there were so many out there and so few wearing masks. I find myself perserverating about pretty much everything these days, and this crisis gives one plenty to obsess about. Best follow Yogi’s advice and practice avoidance of the Bosque Path instead.


While I’m ranting, I might as well also mention how unsatisfactory the new striping job is on Rio Grande Blvd. between Central and I-40:

rg at mountain south
Looking south at Rio Grande Blvd. and Mountain. Still no bike lane.
rg at mountain north
Looking north. Still skinny, sub-standard and in *violation of the City’s Development Process Manual bike lane.


Regular BB readers are probably aware that neighbors and Council Isaac Benton have been pushing a new “Complete Streets” approach for Rio Grande Blvd., one that’s been haggled over, unfunded, and haggled over some more for at least five years. So instead of waiting until the haggling is over, the City blows a bunch of money to do the same lame-ass, out-of-compliance striping job that led to the haggling in the first place.

<sarcasm> Nice job, City of Albuquerque! </sarcasm>

The one currently saving grace of such striping is that nobody in their right mind would bike Rio Grande with this new, same as the old, shitty striping, so the not wearing masks thing is less of an issue. That good health news is unfortunately outweighed by the incredibly high chance of immediate death/injury trying to ride this stretch of Rio Grande Blvd.

Funny, I feel so much more comfortable telling the City what to do. Complete Street the goddamn stroad, motherfuckers!

Have a good day, everybody.



*Technically, the work is in violation of the draft, still pending for what is about 18 months by this point “DPM” because the Mayor won’t get off his ass and finalize approval of the damn thing.

2 thoughts on “To Tell/Not to Tell & Rio Grande Blvd. Update

  1. I ride on Rio Grande a lot, and rode it a couple days ago. I got to it via Mountain, and was excited to see the new striping. It feels *slightly* safer than before, if only because the paint is visible. Riding back, I kept on Rio Grande south as it’s nice to ride home through the country club area. Well, there was no bike lane like I thought there would be and it was a bit intimidating. Especially as people like to use Rio Grande as a speedway and ALSO like to use colorful language when a cyclist decides to exist in public.

    I really hope this street receives a proper road diet. I also hope they go through with the roundabout on Mountain and Rio Grande (or is that idea dead??).

    As for masks, I definitely wear them for short rides (like Downtown to the Co-op) but I also avoid the trail lately as it’s been so crowded. If I want a quick exercise, I’ll ride south from tingley. It seems much less crowded from about a kilometer south of Tingley Beach all the way to the end point “loop” around Rio Bravo. Tingley Beach and the Alameda area seem much more congested. I’m not worried by mask-less folks in some outdoor contexts, but the spirit of the order is that we are supposed to be exercising alone and keeping distant.. When I do my long rides or jogging, I go maskless due to my own weak respiratory issues (a bit obese lol), but it is very scary when people are in large groups, like at the trail… I think if folks need to be maskless they ought to take on the onus of avoiding others. For me it’s resulted in very strange jogging routes through back lanes and untravelled streets… On bikes, it’d be nice if folks could stay 2 meters apart when waiting to cross busy streets or at red lights. This has been a problem for me on the Paseo de las Montanas trail, trying to cross Wyoming. I asked someone to keep distance and wait, and they were REALLY mad about it. I think I’ll have to look into some kind of mask made for exercising, if such a thing exists… 2 meters really isn’t a lot to ask of fellow cyclists, but maybe it is for some unfortunately..


  2. JBM: Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Much of my ire personally about the new striping stems from a recent ride on Rio Grande south from Mountain to Central/Country Club (Alhambra) that matched your experience. Thanks also for the comments on masks. I’m finding my “position” that one should always wear a mask outdoors, regardless of how hard one is breathing from exercise, to be one of my most unpopular. Oh well, it happens.

    Thanks again. -Scot


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