Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A Nice, Relaxing Ride from SF on Rail Run...what the HELL was that?

I was all cozy, half-asleep in my grimy, drying sweat on the train from Santa Fe yesterday afternoon, mentally revisiting the delicious bike ride that ended with me at the South Capitol Rail Runner stop.

In my head-nodding near-slumber I considered how I might phrase the truly inspiring story of my ride, how great it felt to make it all the way from the South Valley ABQ, and how spiritually reaffirming a simple bike ride can be that doesn't involve simply looping back, but instead offers the karmic payoff of a beautiful, slumber-inducing ride along the Rio Grande valley to complete a magical day.

And then the train hit a cow.

Cozily half-slumbering, I and my fellow passengers were startled in a bowel-excavating manner by a sound similar to that breaking glass music in the horror movies when the guy in the mask is holding the knife over the unsuspecting young thing who is changing clothes in the secluded back room of the poorly lit house.

Except 10,000 times louder, and with dramatic sideways rocking train motion included.

The breaking glass times 10,000 sound continued for about 10 seconds. Upon its termination several obviously experienced Rail Runner commuters instantly said "musta hit a cow". Those without much SF-ABQ Rail Runner experience unsuccessfully tried to hide our fear, while squirming around in our seats to feel if we needed to change our, possibly soiled, underwear.

And as I squirmed in my now uncozy, sweaty/grimy existence, I considered the simple fact that, despite an 80+ mile bike ride from the South Valley to Tijeras, through Madrid and up the harrowing Cerrillos Road disappearing "bike lane" to the sweet, sweet finish line of the South Capitol train stop, the real "story" of the day was me being in a train that hit a cow.

A wee bit of a bummer. The buzzkill was deepened by follow-up comments of the old-Pro Rail Runner commuters as we sat motionless twenty minutes for "maintenance". Statements like "those loud sounds were the bones of the cow being broken" and "usually it's just one loud bang, but man, thing went on forever". Someone made a vague reference to actually seeing part of the cow fly by the window. It took sizable will for our noses NOT to smell for mutilated cow as we sat there.

Then the "air line" was fixed, and we motored on as the conductor made apologies for the delay at every stop, sometimes being direct, alternating with euphemisms like "hit some debris on the track" and "we had a cow incident".

Eventually the bike and I made it home, and I took a well-needed shower. I'm sure I only imagined the faint mutilated cow smell in my matted, sweaty bike helmet hair. I'd love to tell you more about the great bike ride and all, but just as "cow versus train" is a bloody no contest, so it is with "tremendously uplifting story of personal achievement versus exploding cow leaves bones loudly snapping beneath hi-speed commuter train". Funny how that works.

P.S.: The Michael Jackson memorial show is currently on twelve of my cable channels. Twelve. Somehow, for me, that seems to tie into the whole exploding cow thing. To misquote Gertrude Stein: A trainwreck is a trainwreck is a trainwreck, I suppose.

1 comment:

PM said...

I can relate to your story. I have been on the train when a horse was hit in April and a cow was hit in June. I was so upset about the incidence I talked to Royale Da at Ch. 7 and they did an interview with me about two weeks. nothing seems to have changed. today the train ahead of the one I was in hit a cow and the train couldn't continue on to SF so it crawled back to our train which was on a siding and everyone got off and on to our train. everyone is getting pretty disgusted that this keeps happening. I hate riding the train for fear of hitting something. when we hit the horse I saw it fly by the window, when we hit the cow it spattered the windows with blood. The sound was horrific. Please contact Royale Da so she can hear your story. I referred her to your blog. her email is royaleda@hearst.com. I also have been telling people to call the govs office, DOT MRCOG and the pueblos. To date 15 cows, 2 horses and 2 bulls have been hit and it is getting worse. The issue is that a lot of the fences are not secure. San Felipe is the worst, Santo Domingo has some excellent fences. Please contact me if want more info. thanks for taking the time to care/share your story. I am beoming known as The "patron saint of cows"