“Riding to El Pinto.” Sounds like a good western movie eh? Unfortunately it’s not – it was my ride last evening to a great New Mexican restaurant in Albuquerque’s not so great north-north valley for dinner with pals.
I’d never ridden in the north valley before and was looking forward to the new experience. For example, when you start noticing used syringes on the sides of roads and broken beer bottles, you know the neighborhood will get interesting. And 4th Street was interesting.
One young homeless dude without a shirt and dirty ratty jeans and no shoes and one gallon water jug (what is it with these water jugs and zombied out homeless guys? I see this combo more and more) started jumping up and down and shouting at me from across the street, “Hey man! Hey man! That’s a niiiiice Kona man! Better keep an eye on it bro!” I was actually keeping an eye on my bike computer to see how fast I was getting out of there.
I rolled by a trailer park access road and one young thug in a bombed out Dodge Neon shouted through a rolled down tinted window, “You crazy mother******!” Ah yes, to be called crazy by a local crazy was an honor - I finally made my street bones.
At El Pinto we ate, drank, and made merriment with stories and laughter. Time passed and the beer was served in too small glasses. Soon, it was dark and I gritted at the thought of my ride home through the north valley. Fortunately, I was saved by a ride home and subsequently lost my street cred; he took it: