August Light

The outdoor life in and around Albuquerque is exceptional.  One of the great amenities, a natural attractor, is the beautiful open space.  I’m amazed at the places that are within reach by bicycle from our home in Albuquerque.  Here are some cell phone pictures from recent rides.

road and sky

The Sandia Crest National Scenic Byway is a treasure. For sure one of the prettiest roads around.

A look across a sunflower field toward the Sandia Crest from Frost Road

A look across a sunflower field toward the Sandia Crest from Frost Road

NM 337 or "South 14" is like a ladder connecting the Tijeras Canyon corridor up to the high pines

NM 337 or “South 14” is like a ladder connecting the Tijeras Canyon corridor up to the high pines

We should conserve these spaces, nourishing the distinctive rural character with eco minded development.  Bicycling is a good way to enjoy this place in a sustainable, low impact and healthy fashion.  Open space for cycling and walking is essential to human life.

sunflower stance

take this road

Bicycling helps meet the Metropolitan Transportation Plan’s goal of generating more efficient use of the existing road infrastructure.  It’s part of the evolving transformation of a road ethic emphasizing clean, quiet, safe and satisfying transportation.  I see a lot of local residents out walking their dogs and getting exercise on the main roads in the rural East Mountains.   And I also see casual cyclists getting those bikes out of the garage and enjoying a ride on a country road.  These are indicators the ambiance and road ethic is safe and comfy for everyone.

Vallecitos Road

Vallecitos Road with Sandia Crest view, looking north, northwest

humble

S14 on a nice day

There’s an inextricable connection between walking and biking.  The Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place conference explains:  “Then we evolved because we found common cause with walking: streets that are unsafe for biking are also difficult to cross for pedestrians.”  This linkage is apparent on the roads of the East Mountains.  There are generally no sidewalks, but the walking and biking is good.  I’ve seen mothers pushing strollers and elderly people walking with canes along these roads.   Right now the walking and bicycling in the East Mountains is thriving, and we can enhance it by developing ride share, park and ride and rural transit service.   Traffic is moderate, mostly calm, diverse, and everyone shares space while looking out for one another in the August light.  It’s personable.  When I told my neighbor how much I liked August in New Mexico he said just wait until you see September.  It is even more beautiful, he said.

Here are some traffic counts on the East Mountain roads in rural Bernalillo County.  Many of the roads are quiet.  Quiet is one of the most valuable and rare resources around.

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