Archive for the ‘Bike stuff’ Category

EL viejo rojo

August 30, 2015
The coveted red leader's jersey.

The coveted red leader’s jersey.

I attacked myself without mercy in today’s stage of the Vuelta del Viejo and rode into the red leader’s jersey.

In an astounding bit of treachery intended to bamboozle my enemies, I actually wore the jersey throughout the stage, but as chief commissaire I chose to look the other way, as did nearly everyone else who saw me.

Naturally, both A and B samples came back positive for bacon, which is good for 10 bonus seconds, eggs over easy and a side of home fries.

Shoes for industry

August 29, 2015
The view to the west from atop Trail 365A.

The view to the west from atop Trail 365A.

Definitely on a down cycle as regards the bicycle. Running is the thing lately.

It’s so bloody simple: Pull on some shorts and a raggedy T, add shoes, and leave. Return when suitably sweaty and enfeebled. What’s not to like? Besides the pain and suffering, that is.

I did break out the old Voodoo Nakisi the other day for a short jaunt along Trail 365 and its various offshoots. I got a long-distance look at the haze from the Washington-state fires. It wasn’t my first — during my trip back to the Duke City from Bibleburg I couldn’t even see the damn’ mountains.

I’ll probably go for another short ride today, because not even I am dim enough to run two days in a row unless something really big and ornery is chasing me. Like, say, Peter Sagan, who got knocked off his bike by a race vehicle today and decided to punch a couple of them. Hulk smash!



Runnin’ down this dusty road

August 15, 2015
Wheels in the sky keep on turning; I don't know where I'll be tomorrow.

Wheels in the sky keep on turning; I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow.

Every year, at some point, I develop an allergy to the bicycle.

Maybe it’s more of an overuse injury. After months of writing, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, cartooning, photographing and making videos of bicycles, I pull a mental muscle. I don’t even want to ride the sonsabitches. Game over. Move along, move along, nothing to see, nothing to see.

So I spent much of the past few weeks easing back into running, and it was a pleasant diversion indeed.

Cycling is preferable to motoring in large part because it slows you down, lets you take a closer look at the world as you pass through. Running — OK, in my case, jogging — takes you deeper into slo-mo, gives you a fresh appreciation of the trails you ride.

First step: Lower the expectations. The trails I ordinarily negotiate with verve, grace and panache on two wheels feel entirely different on two feet. I become a stumblebum. Herself punks me on the hills. It’s not one little bit like “Chariots of Fire.”

Since I no longer run year round for cyclo-cross, I have to ease back into the discipline, tentatively, like a Republican faced with a substantive policy question on the campaign trail. First I jog the uphills and walk the flats and downhills; then I start jogging the flats, too; and finally I add the descents.

After a few outings I reach a point at which I can perform an act that looks slightly like running, only much, much slower. To pass the time I imagine myself to be in a Bizarro World “Godzilla” movie in which I am the monster and the lizards scurrying out of my path are the terrified residents of Tokyo.

Eventually, of course, I go back to the bikes. That’s where the money is, and I have to pay attention. Also, bills.

Still, it’s refreshing to drop the pro act and go full-bore amateur for a while. Oh, no — there goes Tokyo! Go go Godzilla!

Fat Kit Friday

July 31, 2015

FatGuy-TIght KitThe early reviews are in, and it seems that the revived Old Guy kit is running a little snug for some folks.

At 6 feet tall and 175 I feel OK in a large, but it’s summer, and winter is coming! So I might invest in an XL, if only for (ahem) layering purposes.

So, if you have any doubts at all as to whether your usual size will fit, you might consider going up one. There’s no shame in it. Shit, I gotta go 2XL in some of the Euro stuff unless I wanna look like a chorizo swelling up in a skillet.

And if worse comes to worst, Voler advises that they have a great return and exchange policy.

Rest day

July 13, 2015
Time to exercise something other than my fingers on a keyboard.

Time to exercise something other than my fingers on a keyboard.

Whew. Some folks hate Mondays, but I’m telling you, any day I don’t have some undone chore leering over my shoulder is a very good day indeed.

Those of you who have actual jobs (my condolences) with regular days off (you sonsabitches) may not appreciate how sweet it feels for a freelancer to have a 24-hour period during which absolutely nothing of financial consequence needs doing. It’s like finding a Benjamin in your jeans while doing the laundry, pulling a goathead from a tire to find it still holds air, or hearing a lawyer say, “No charge.”

In a word: Fantastic.

Oh, there are a few items that will require a smidgen of my attention:

• I should hear from Voler today about the online store through which our fondest dreams are to be realized (yours, a new Fat Guy jersey; mine, obscene, unheard of and uncountable wealth).

• The Boo remains in recovery from dental work, and the meds are disrupting his regularity (I fear for our brick floors).

• And we’re still a one-car family, so I snoop around now and again to see if there’s anything out there that’s worth the trip to a car lot for one of those conversations (“Mr. O’Grady, what will it take to get you into this fine pre-owned automobile? Just let me talk to my manager. …”).

But mostly I plan to ride the bike. Blue skies, smiling at me … nothing but blue skies do I see.

Editor’s note: Looks like “Bloom County” is coming back. Getting better all the time. …

Editor’s note the second: Himself speaks with The New York Times.

Happy solstice

June 21, 2015
What this sucker needs is a sprinkler system that comes on when you cycle through.

What this sucker needs is a sprinkler system that comes on when you cycle through.

It’s the longest day of the year, and is it ever a scorcher. Ninety-nine in the Duke City at the moment. A tip of the sweatband to Willis Haviland Carrier, who gave us air conditioning.

Got a couple nice rides in recently as part of a concentrated effort to (a) not read every word written online about the Charleston massacre, and (2) not apply for emigration to Mars.

On Friday, Adventure Cyclist contributor Merrill Callaway and I rode down to Two Wheel Drive on Central to chat a while with owner Charlie Ervin. If you’re ever in Albuquerque make sure you pop into Charlie’s shop. Lovely people, a friendly dog, and bike stuff, too. If TWD had a taqueria, bar and swimming pool the place would be perfect. But then pretty much anyplace would be, que no?

On Saturday Herself and I rode out to Tijeras and back. She claimed afterward that she would have ridden faster without me. I proposed that she get in line with all the other people who are faster than me.  That would be quite the paceline.

The underpass above is about the only shade between here and there and back again, so it seems that I must become an early riser if I’m to be cycling up to Madrid, Santa Fe and points north in this brand-new summer.

But I’d have to get up very early in the morning to even come close to thinking about maybe, possibly, approaching the marker that our most recent guest at Chez Dog has laid down.

First, he cycled from Las Vegas to Bibleburg for a nephew’s wedding. Then he rode up Pikes Peak.


Fashion Friday

June 12, 2015
Old Guy kit: The original (left) and the second edition.

Old Guy kit: The original (left) and the second edition.

Attention, DogMart shoppers! Today’s yellow-light special is … new Old Guy jerseys.

I just got off the phone with one of the fine folks at Voler and we’re setting the wheels in motion, as it were. The general idea is that rather than do this the old-fashioned way — book a reservation date, set a production schedule, wait seven weeks to ship, etc., et al., and so on and so forth — we set up an on-demand deal that could have kit in your hot little hands in fairly short order.

Best of all, Voler will handle all the heavy lifting of order fulfillment, so you won’t be at the mercy of the notorious Irish work ethic. (“What’s a shovel for then if not to lean upon?”)

The op’ should be not unlike the one Drunkcyclist uses to get its kit to the people. I’m awaiting an email from the gent who makes all these Lycra dogs bark, so when I hear something, so will you. I’ll post an announcement on the DogPage and drop a permanent link into the sidebar at right.

And thanks to everyone who kept pestering me on this. It sounds like a win-win for all concerned, save the poor sods who have to look at us wearing this stuff.

A day in the life

June 12, 2015
Descending on Trail 365 near the Embudo Dam.

Descending on Trail 365 near the Embudo Dam.

Every now and then, when I get a check in the mail, as I did yesterday, I wonder what I did to earn it. This thing of mine is not exactly ditch-digging, after all. Mostly it seems quite a bit like play.

But I kept track of yesterday’s chores, for some reason, and so here’s a look at a day in the life of a freelance cycling rumormonger.

• Wrote an 850-word column for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, on the joys of being a one-car, 16-bicycle family.

• Drew and colored a cartoon about motors in the peloton, also for BRAIN.

• Did an hour or so of hills on the Elephant NFE, stopping periodically to shoot some GoPro footage for its video review, which will accompany its Adventure Cyclist print review, which is fighting for space in my skull with ongoing impressions of a Felt V100 and Opus Legato 1.0.

• Pulled the footage off the GoPro, dropped it into iMovie, and did a bit of planning/editing.

• Declined a couple days’ worth of copyediting, my least favorite chore.

• Reinstalled the porteur and low-rider racks on the Elephant, being extra careful to not clamp anything down on any cable housing anywhere.

• Did a little casual research on the Swift Industries and Revelate bags.

Like I said, not exactly ditch-digging. Still, I’ll take the money. And thanks.

Elephant on the trail

June 10, 2015
The Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer, on Trail 365A, slightly southeast and decidedly upward from El Rancho Pendejo.

The Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer, on Trail 365A, slightly southeast and decidedly upward from El Rancho Pendejo.

The Pacific Northwest has come to the Southwest in the guise of an Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer.

This steel bike by Glen Copus out of Spokane, Washington, is intended for dirt roads, commuting and bike-packing. It’s my first 650b model, so I’ve been having fun with that after a steady diet of 29ers and 700c loaded tourers.

The NFE came with a whole raft of PNW goodies on the side: a matching Haulin’ Colin porteur rack (Seattle); a Tubus Duo low-rider rack (Auburn, Washington); an Ozette Randonneuring Bag and Jr. Ranger panniers from Swift Industries (Seattle); a Pika seat bag from Revelate Designs (Anchorage, Alaska, and Springfield, Oregon); and Gevenalle GX shifters (Portland, Oregon).

I don’t get to spend a ton of time with the NFE, so it’s kind of forced its way to the head of the Adventure Cyclist review queue, as elephants will do. At the moment it’s just a bike, stripped of racks and bags, but it will soon become a beast of burden.

Just call me Hannibal. Lemme at them Alps.

The Elephant NFE up against the Wall of Science.

The Elephant NFE up against the Wall of Science.

Julio, get the stretch!

June 4, 2015
The view from underneath one of the many bridges crossing the North Diversion Channel Trail.

The view from underneath one of the many bridges crossing the North Diversion Channel Trail.

I took a break from writing up my review of the Felt V100 to log a few miles on one of my own bikes for a change — Old Reliable, the Soma Double Cross.

The weather has been heating up here, and so my usual practice — arise, caffeinate, cast a baleful eye upon the news, do a bit of work, and then ride sometime around 10 a.m. — has come to a screeching halt.

Today I rolled out of the garage just after eight in the ayem, and what a lovely morning it was. Got in 40 miles before lunch and even sprawled out on the couch for a while, imitating the cats.

I didn’t notice until midafternoon that Goodhair Perry and his eyeglasses have clambered into the GOP clown car. That crowd is gonna need to borrow Bruno Mars’s stretch limo to get around until the Faux News debate format thins the herd a mite.

Somehow I doubt that wearing spectacles will prevent Goodhair from becoming one. I bet the bags of hammers snicker when he walks into a Home Depot and steps on all the rakes.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 297 other followers