Stand down

March 23, 2019

His Excellency scans The Compound for unauthorized personnel.

Huh. I’ve actually managed to accomplish a few things lately. Go figure.

My April cartoon has been delivered to BRAIN. And my review of the Salsa Journeyman Claris 650 — print version and its two-minute video teaser — is all but complete; I’m just waiting for some Salsoid to answer a couple of questions about spec.

Unzip over to Voler to join the team! Use the Secret Code (OLDGUYS15) to get 15% off your purchase. And no, goddamnit, for the last time, it does not come with fries!

Two other review bikes have been shipped back to their respective motherships, greatly enhancing velocipede-storage capacity in the garage.

Sue Barue, The Fearsome Furster, has passed her annual checkup and had a brace of new window gussets installed, so maybe I’ll be able to hear the stereo again.

The cats have been given a vigorous spring airing. Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) inspected the perimeter yesterday and collected samples of this year’s grass crop for scientific analysis, the results of which were displayed on the living-room carpet this morning. Miss Mia Sopaipilla took up her station in the clothes dryer, and reported that for reasons unknown the lint filter seems to be full of cat hair.

And now I have exactly fuck-all to do. Nobody’s sending me to Taiwan, or Sea Otter, I won’t have a cartoon due until mid-April, and I’m fresh out of review bikes.

So I guess I’ll just have to ride one of my own. Sucks to be me.

Rohloff! Gesundheit!

March 21, 2019

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, off the hook and back on the trail.

I peeled my snout from the grindstone in order to take a short ride yesterday, and I’m glad I did, because the wind cranked up to 11 last night and it’s still there today.

Also, and too, rain. Which is nice. But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna go ride in it.

Unzip over to Voler to join the team! Use the Secret Code (OLDGUYS15) to get 15% off your purchase. And no, goddamnit, for the last time, it does not come with fries!

Especially since I finally succumbed to the siren song of Non-Drowsy Claritin-D 12 Hour. God damn. I think I lost five pounds blowing my nose this morning. Must be all that grindstone dust.

Anyway, I’d hauled the Co-Motion Divide down to Two Wheel Drive a while back over a leaky Rohloff hub and thought I’d give ’er a whirl now that alles ist besser. It’s far too nice a bike for me but I rode it anyway. You can’t stop me!

It needs some more love — better tires, and a little hammer time for the rear Avid BB7 caliper, which insists on dragging its fixed pad.

A smart fella would go to TRP Spyres. But as you know, I will never be smart.

It’s loud and it’s tasteless

March 20, 2019

Sorry, it does not come with fries.

Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry, step right this way!

It’s the first day of spring, and nothing says “spring” quite like a change in wardrobe.

Unless you’re in Colorado, in which case “spring” says “snowshoeing to the liquor store.” Or in the Midwest, where it means “building an Ark.” (The Bible is not particularly helpful here. What the hell is a cubit, anyway? I don’t see any “gopher wood” down at the Home Depot, either. Do I have to go to Hobby Lobby for that?)

Unzip over to Voler to join the team! And no, goddamnit, for the last time, it does not come with fries!

But yeah, everywhere else, wardrobe change. And have we got a deal for you. Mad Dog Media and Voler have teamed up on their first-ever Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter Spring Jersey Sale!

See, we figure you’ve put on about 15 percent over this long, cold winter. So we’re helping you take 15 percent off, and the easy way, too, by buying something. It’s The American Way™. And it’s cheaper than snowshoes, liquor, and kitty litter for the bottom of that Ark.

Just pop round to the Mad Dog corner of Voler, deploy the Secret Code — OLDGUYS15 — and surrender your money, personal data, and the final tattered remnants of your self-respect.

G’wan, y’fat bastid, take the plunge. Join the team. You need the kit, and we need the laughs. Also, and too, the money. Don’t make me stop the Internet and come back there. We are the goon squad and we’re coming to town, beep-beep.

Offer good until April 1, when the usual foolery will resume.

Jump-starting spring

March 19, 2019

Rocking out on the trails around Elena Gallegos
with the Salsa Journeyman Claris 650.

Spring may not officially begin until tomorrow, but I got the drop on the sonofabitch yesterday.

The only reason I was wearing long sleeves and knickers was for visual continuity (yep, shooting video for Adventure Cyclist again).

After the ride I mowed the lawn for the first time this year, and then watered.

Today, more video, this time with the Salsa Journeyman Claris 650 rigged for light bikepacking. Extremely light. You know, the kind where you plan to make it to the Hilton but also recall the Yiddish proverb, “Man plans, God laughs.”

 

Don’t have a cow, man. Follow one.

March 19, 2019

If you are a member of the Twitterati, we urge you to follow @DevinCow at your earliest opportunity, if only because @DevinNunesMom is no longer with us.

Also, it makes presidential fluffer and swamp rat Devin Nunes crazy.

W’udder you waiting for? Get a moove on.

Alto

March 18, 2019

Temps remain a bit below normal in the Duke City, but you don’t have to shovel cool.

Stop? Not me.

It was a gorgeous St. Patrick’s Day in the Duke City, and everybody and his/her granny was out and about, trying to sweat out the remnants of Gaelic brain eraser.

I awarded myself a day off from riding other people’s bikes and used one of my own, the Steelman Eurocross pictured in yesterday’s post.

The great thing about a ’cross bike — the original gravel bike, don’t you know — is that you can ride it pretty much anywhere. And that’s exactly what I did. Pavement, good and bad; singletrack; two-track, whatever.

For instance, it’s great fun to zip down Tramway Road from Juniper Hill, pull a U at the bottom, and ride back up the gullied trail that parallels it instead of grinding along next to the hordes of goggling tram-bound tourists.

It would be easier on a modern gravel bike, like Salsa’s Journeyman Claris 650, with its 2.1-inch 650b’s and low end of 30×34. The Steelman maxes out at 700×33 and a bottom of 36×28.

But if God wanted our lives to be easier He wouldn’t have given us Il Douche.

The riding of the green

March 17, 2019

The green SwissStop brake pads, that is. I’ll wear me Bog Trotters jersey as well. And a happy St.Patrick’s day to ye.

Life is a Journeyman

March 16, 2019

Salsa with geezer instead of chips.

As you know, God rides steel, or titanium (if He can get a bro’ deal from Moots, which is by no means a sure thing). And what God rides is good enough for me.

But the latest review bike here in Dog Country is aluminum, both frame and fork. And thus in the pursuit of Fairness and Objectivity I must keep my metallurgical biases chained up in the attic.

That is, I would, if we had an attic. Christ, there’s not even a basement in this fauxdobe rancheroo.

The Salsa Journeyman Claris 650, up against The Wall of Science.

Just as well, too. I’d probably tumble down the stairs and break a hip, and Herself would have me put down, find some nice young fella with wavy hair and a future instead of stubbly scalp and a past. Or maybe she’d just keep me down there. Lob a sack of Taco Bell down the stairs now and then, and a plastic bucket with a roll of single-ply. It’s not like I don’t have it coming.

Anyway, the bike. It’s the latest update to the low end of Salsa’s all-road, gravel and light-touring Journeyman series, the Claris 650. And it’s not only aluminum, it’s got them funny-size tires, whatchacallem, your 650b, or 27.5, neither fish nor fowl. And more holes than Albert Hall! You can plug pert’ near anything into the sumbitch except for maybe a Fender Stratocaster. And I’d try it, if someone at Fender would just loan me a Strat’ to review.

The Journeyman Claris 650 rolls with a manly eight-speed drivetrain, so it has that going for it, which is nice. None of your one-by-whatever setups with a cassette that has more teeth than a tour bus full of Osmonds.

Charlie Ervin down at Two Wheel Drive asked me if I try to put myself in the mindset of a customer shopping for a sub-$1,000 bike when I’m reviewing one and I said hell yes. I am a Man of the People, though I notice that most of ’em don’t pick up when I call.

Especially the ones with the $8,000 titanium bikes that desperately need reviewing, and by me, right now, goddamnit. Dern Caller ID anyhow.

Bombcyclonesnowpacalypticarmageddonado*

March 14, 2019

We’re burning the furniture and roasting the slower neighbors while we wait for the Red Cross to airdrop emergency supplies.

* a.k.a. “bum cyclone.” Everybody sing! (To the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” from “Mary Poppins.)

Bombcyclonesnowpacalypticarmageddonado
Winter’s piling record-breaking drifts on Colorad-o
If you have some snowshoes to the pub you all may wade-o
Bombcyclonesnowpacalypticarmageddonado!

Droll Massif

March 12, 2019

We used to roll massif Back in the Day®. But that was when ditch weed went for $10 per lid.

These crazy kids today. Riding the goddamn bicycle used to be good enough for us — it was painful, and unrewarding, and we liked it! — but in these days of modern times it has to come wrapped up in organic, free-trade hemp paper and PBA-free ribbons with a non-GMO cherry on top.

You got your sportives, your 24-hour mountain-bike events, and your gravel races. And now you got your Roll Massif, which sounds like Bob Roll in the off-season but isn’t.

What it is, is a Colorado combo platter with all three main items, but without beans, rice and tortilla.

I gotta admit, it kinda sounds like … sounds like … like … OK, all right, fun! It sounds like fun! There! I said it! Happy?

More fun than sitting indoors in Albuquerque, watching the wind blow the rain to Kansas, anyway. That shit is boring.

When we got bored on the copy desk we’d start making stuff up. Not for publication, unless the slot man was drunk, asleep or both, but just for giggles. Bogus horoscopes. Fake AP stories. That sort of thing. It was the journalistical equivalent of a cup check. Occasionally someone’s cup runneth’d over and that shit made the paper, but it wasn’t our fault. We may have been drunk, but we weren’t asleep.

So, since the slot man took the buyout, bought a van, and relocated down to the river, here are some Roll Massif riffs for anyone who thinks wax is for chains, not moustaches.

I mean, Jesus, what’s next, hipsters? A 24-hour gravel sportive for e-bikes? Get the hell off my lawn, sonny.

The Droll Massif

• Roll Massif. What’s hidden, and not very well, either, under a master racer’s Assos bibs.

• Jelly Roll Massif. The Fat Guy on a fat bike.

• Raul Massif. The Fat Guy’s Mexican alias, used when he sneaks over the border for some pan dulce auténtico. Incidentally, he thinks a “Roll Massif” comes from Cinnabon.

• Rule Massif. “Bring your own food on the ride,” sayeth the Fat Guy. “I’m serious. I need all six of those Clif Bars just to get out of the garage.”

• Bull Massif. A bunch of Mad Dogs bragging about how they could crush the Roll Massif if only some generous forklift operator would pry them off the couch.

• Bowl Massif. A “Lebowski” sequel featuring The Fat Guy, who would consider playing Walter Sobchak a Role Massif.

• Troll Massif. Ridiculing someone’s Roll Massif performance on Twitter before the ride has even started.

• Droll Massif. Not taking the Roll Massif seriously enough to placate a Troll Massif.

• Hole Massif. A puncture in your 650b x 2.1s that the sealant won’t resolve.

• Stroll Massif. A double Hole Massif with no spare tubes.

• Toll Massif. Ask not for whom the Massif tolls. It tolls for thee.