Summer Ride to Madrid

- July 18, 2011

"I decided that today it was time to take the Anti-Hog..."

 After many, many bike rides of the non-motorized variety; I decided that today it was time to take the Anti-Hog out for a good spin and let her socialize with some of the real “hogs” out in Madrid at The Mineshaft Tavern. 

Clearly, some explanation is in order here. I love to ride my motorcycle, but it is only just barely a “real” motorcycle by New Mexico standards. It’s a Honda Rebel, with all of 250cc of engine in it. It’s designed to look like a Harley, but there are some scooters with more power. I like it though because, a) it’s a small, light bike, b) I’m a small, light human, c) it gets about 80 miles to the gallon, and d) it’s a snap to maintain. So I laughingly refer to it as the Anti-Hog. The contrast between it and the motorcycles (real Hogs) parked outside of the Mineshaft Tavern, despite a superficial likeness, is substantial.

I love the motorcycle “culture” in this state. OK, I’ll use that word loosely. I suppose, in the anthropological sense, it is a “culture”, but not in the way we’re accustomed to thinking about “culture”. Anyway, it was time for a motorized break and off I went through some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. The Honda purrs along---no thunderous exhaust, or ear-splitting vrroom from this little putt-putt. But, it gets me there, has plenty of acceleration on the hills and is a blast to ride. There is NOTHING to compare with riding a motorcycle. It’s a thrill, and liberating. And yet, at the risk of sounding too macabre, death is never very far away. And maybe that’s what it’s all about for me. Life seems more vivid from the minute I straddle it, to the time I “dismount”. I’m more focused, with a heightened level of awareness overall. The experience has a way of putting things into perspective.

The Mineshaft Tavern is a haven for motorcyclists from all over the area, and, oddly enough, I have never eaten there. I had no idea what I’d find. I half expected to be dodging airborne beer bottles as I walked in. Instead I found a quaint, woody interior, with a stage at the far end complete with ceiling lights and gels. There is a long bar, and many of the local brews are featured. The place was packed, but the clientele, while clearly enjoying themselves, were well-behaved, and alas; there were no airborne beer bottles to liven up this story------or even cans for that matter.

I was very hungry and decided on the Kobe cheeseburger with fries. (So, how am I doing for calorie-count today?) It was delicious, however, and worth every calorie. A very large vacuum cleaner could not have dispensed with that meal any faster than I did; and that is highly unusual for me. I’m usually the last one done at any meal. Today’s blitzkrieg-performance was due largely to the fact, that while I love big, high-calorie, dock-walloper meals like this; I rarely allow myself the indulgence. As I have mentioned in previous articles in the blog, even five pounds of extra weight on me can make riding the bicycle a misery. The same is true of skiing, when that season come around. So I am ALMOST always on a calorie-red-alert.
 
If you’re ever anywhere around Madrid, and are in the mood for an excellent meal, served up by friendly waiters and waitresses in a classically Western-style tavern, do stop in at The Mineshaft. You will not be disappointed. 
 
If you want to know what dessert was at the ice cream shop in town, you’ll have to look below. Hint: I really transgressed today.
 
Happy Trails to you, Vroom, Vroom, from Santa Fe, NM
 
If you'd like to see more photos, please vroom on over to my website Trips and Quips.