Category Archives: Gear

“Pillows Made Fresh Daily!” – Sachi Organics

A local shop, Sachi Organics, produces organic pillows daily and sells them right here in Albuquerque.  My first thought upon hearing about organic pillows was “Why?  I’m not ingesting it”  Then I started thinking, “Well, I do rest my pretty little head on on it for 7-8 hours at night; breathing into it and my eyelashes grazing the material as I blink.”  I’ve decided that a pillow is a rather intimate object.

My last pillow was a memory foam pillow.  Before that, I slept on a down pillow.  (What’s your pillow preference?)  The down pillow became too flat and I was constantly trying to fluff it up.  Hence, the memory foam.  That was nice at first.  My head would sink in with my neck still comfortably supported.  But it was kind of hot and, now, the thing is like a brick.  So, I found myself in the market for a new pillow and I happened upon Sachi Organics, a shop in Nob Hill that is family-run and produces and sells organic pillows, bedding, and mattresses.  (They also sell locally made beds.)  All organically certified, they use cotton, kapok, wool, and buckwheat hulls for their pillows.

The shop itself is simple and straightforward:  retail space is in front with a view of the sewing area and with more production space in the back.  This purveyor was friendly and the building feels fresh – maybe a reflection of the pillows?  It was a welcome departure from shopping at discount warehouses or huge department stores where pillows are wrapped in plastic and stuffed into large bins.

After testing out the pillows on their comfortable mattress, I chose the kapok filled pillow.  Niccolo (he who made and sold my new pillow) informed me that it’s their most popular pillow and often used as a substitute for down pillows.  After one night of rest with my new locally made organic pillow, I’m rested and happy.  Here’s to good pillows and sleeping well!

Sachi Organics

Nob Hill (Production and Showroom)
3708 Central Ave. SE
505-268-9738

Santa Fe (Showroom)
523 W. Cordova Rd
505-982-3938

~R

Trail Riding in the Bosque; An Elementary Run

the trail I was on

I have never used my Trek mountain bike on any other surface but a paved trail until now.  I loaded my bike onto my bike rack and headed out to a trail on Rio Grande and Paseo del Norte.  I rode the paved trail along the river north and could not find any good access points for trail riding.  So I just rode all the way to Montano and  then back to Alameda Blvd. where I thought I would find something good there.  I crossed under the bridge and found an AWESOME trail on the West side of the river.  My bike is not equipped right now to be out on trails because I have ‘slicks’ on my tires.

the view from my ride

With that being said, I went ahead anyways  just to see what it was like. Let me tell you, that trail riding in the bosque is my new obsession!  It was exhilarating, endorphin packed, and so much fun even by myself!  I went 3 times last week and each day I go a little further and further out.  Last week I rode for an hour and it was AMAZING!  The trails are mostly packed so you don’t have to worry about sand (there are few areas about 10 feet long).  There are tiny little hills, a few bumps, windy turns and a few other obstacles – but that is what makes it fun!  I also didn’t clip into my bike because balancing in this terrain with my slick tires was a little bit hard.

Mel and Justin- I met them on my ride

Needless to say, I will be going to REI this week to have some different tires put on my bike.  I also happened to meet a few other riders on my journey.  Mel and Justin told me that the trail that I was on heads all the way to Bernalillo, a 13 mile trek each way.  I can’t wait to make my way all the way down the trail.  You should give this trail a trial run.  I guarantee that riding on a paved trail will be a thing of the past!

S

And a quick side note today . . . An Elementary Run:  There are flashy races with lots of schwag and camera crews; and there are the races that keep things old school.  There is an exceptionally sweet group of kids that will be running one mile around their school this Saturday.  The students of Mary Ann Binford Elementary School will participate in the Janice Saavedra Fun Run, a noncompetitive run/walk.  The children are running in memory of Janice Saavedra, their P.E. teacher who worked at the school for more than 30 years and started the longest standing conflict manager program in the state.  She died of cancer in 2010.  But her students keep her memory alive.  I ran with them last year and it was truly inspiring to see them come together with their teachers and parents to tackle this one mile run.  If you need a shot of hope and joy stop by and cheer or join in the fun.

Janice Saavedra Fun Run (1 mile noncompetitive run/walk)
Saturday, May 7th
Mary Ann Binford Elementary School, 1400 Corriz SW, Albuquerque, NM
Registration time is 8:15 am and start time is 9:00 am
All ages welcome.  This is a free event.

~R

Biking to Work

a sign that I'm on the right path

I work about 3.5 miles from my house.  It’s downhill to work and uphill on the return trip.  Now that the weather is warming up, I plan to bike to work at least once per week.  It takes about 3-5 minutes longer than driving – so I shouldn’t have any excuses . . .

But I do.  Sort of.  I admit to being a little nervous sometimes with the cars whizzing by.  I don’t really look forward to my heart rate reaching 175 BPM just to get up a 3/4 mile-long hill.  But for me, what new activity doesn’t cause a little anxiety at first?  Like working out at a new gym or starting a new job, I think it will become second nature after a little practice.  Luckily for me, my route includes a bike boulevard and this sweet tree-lined street, where some fellow cyclists will give you a nod:

By biking I’ll stealthily get more exercise which of course leads to all sorts of great things.  As a bonus, I get to see things a bit differently from the top of a bike.  For example, the PNM building has a nice waterfall, there’re lots of cool murals downtown (and all around ABQ, which you can view by quadrant), and I love checking out the pretty gardens along my route.

This can’t really be about saving money for me.  Here is my quick calculation assuming my vehicle gets 17 mpg city and gas is about $3.45/gallon:
$3.45÷17 mpg = $0.203/mile  –>  7 miles (RT) x $0.203 = $1.42 /RT to work
I drive home for lunch about 3x week, which I would not do if I biked (I’d have to brownbag it to save any money).  So, it’s $11.36/week just to go to work ($1.42 x (5+3)).  Biking 5 days/wk, 40 wks/year is $454.40 in gas.  (Please tell me if my math is off, but be kind.)  Depending on your perspective, this is nominal considering the hassle which is why cost-savings cannot be my only reason for doing this.

My gear is nothing fancy, just the basics:

  • Some kind of hybrid bicycle purchased from Costco in 2006 – if I make this a habit maybe I can justify buying myself this one in chartreuse;
  • A helmet – placed carefully so as to not totally screw up my hair;
  • A neon green vest for visibility – not fashionable, but fully functional; and
  • A Camel Pak – not really for water but for storing my purse and maybe a change of clothes or shoes.

Last year Fixed and Free tuned up my bike and I think it’s still in good working order.  This year they filled up my tires gratis.  Before embarking, don’t forget to brush up on the City of Albuquerque’s Rules of the Road (where you can also map your route using streets with bike lanes).  (Another good resource:  http://bikeabq.org/.)

So, cheers my fellow cycling commuters!  Here’s to freeing up traffic and getting some exercise!  Any full-time or part-time bicycling commuters out there?

~R