Bikes, beers and bummers

Cyfac Vintage

The Cyfac Vintage in a Rando configuration.

Somebody has a new toy. And no, it’s not you.

Meet the Cyfac Vintage, a steel bike hand-built in France. It’s a wee bit short — a 54cm instead of the 56cm I usually ride — but it seems to roll along just fine nonetheless. It’s up for review in the July edition of Adventure Cyclist.

Speaking of which, cycling was something of an adventure around here today. The high reached at least 85 degrees, according to the weather wizards and confirmed by the Subaru thermometer, edging the record of 84 set in 2000. “Climate normal” is somewhere around 66, so this was something of a shock to the system, enough to make a guy buy a white Igloo helmet with a swamp cooler attached.

I couldn’t find one of those, so I bought two six-packs of beer instead: Odell’s 5 Barrel Pale Ale, which has become Herself’s favorite beer, and Victory’s Prima Pils, which is an excellent heat repellent when applied internally.

A man who sounds as though he could use a drink is Charles P. Pierce, who posits in a very grumpy blog post that Obama has left it too late to crank up the outrage machine. Writes Charles: “Personally, at this moment, I think he’s probably going to lose.”

If he’s right, then we should all start stockpiling strong drink while we still can. A nation that would elect Mitt Romney president is not one I can abide in sobriety.

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10 Responses to “Bikes, beers and bummers”

  1. weaksides (@weaksides) Says:

    Agreed patrice…twas a rather depressing screed from Msr. Pierce. I hope he’s proven to be wrong 6 months from now. Of course, I live in NC and hope my state will show some meager intelligence after next Tuesday. Please send some thoughts this way…or something.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    If the Dems can turn out the vote, Obama should win. But the Dems could fuck up a recipe for instant coffee, black. That’s what worries me.

    Low seventies down here. Picture perfect day for a long bike ride, but I was trapped in the factory with all those demands made on us lazy Federally funded scientists, and just rode home and took a nap when all was done in the cube farm. Manana, as we say down here in “one of our fifty is missing”.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Speaking of Adventure Cycling, those gears look like they would be a bitch if you loaded that sweetie up with touring gear and headed into mountain country. Anyone for a triple crank?

  4. khal spencer Says:

    I guess this is the answer to my comment above:
    http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/ultralight.cfm

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yup, K, there was a failure to communicate somewhere along the line. The bike arrived with the sort of gearing I used to use for a hilly road race back when I did such things … 53/39 up front and 12-25 in back. Quite a shock for a guy who favors cyclo-cross gearing on everything.

      • khal spencer Says:

        That’s what it looked like to me, too. Wow. I had those gears on my road bike when I got to BombTown, but with fiftysomething knees and that road into the Jemez a regular ride, the first to go was the 12-25 and the second was the standard crankset for a compact example. Now I can have my beer and ride it too.

        The Campy stuff looks lovely, but I’d opt for their setup with some stump pullers on an Adventure bike. Showing up for an Adventure Cycling article with race gears would be like showing up for an Amish service wearing neon spandex.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        My legs went “Oh, no!” before I ever threw one over the top tube.

        I hit Santa Fe in 1987 with 52/42 and 12-21 gearing and almost immediately switched to the 53/39 chainring combo that all the studs were using.

        Next came a 12-23, with a 12-25 for hilly races, and now and then a 13-27.

        Then I took up racing cyclo-cross, and moved to Crusty County, and when a guy rides a ‘cross bike everywhere at 8,800 feet and above he kinda gets to like having a 48/36 up front and a 12-28 in back.

        Now there are even a couple-three triple-ring setups in the garage. Oh, the shame. And it all happened faster than you could say, “Hey, what ever happened to Patrick O’Grady and who the hell is the old bald fat bastard wearing his jersey?”

  5. Derek Says:

    Moved here in ’92 from sea level with a straight block on my mountain bike. 12-18 I believe. My first ride was with Super Dave from Old Towne and they took me up Barr Trail. I have preached low gears ever since.

  6. Charley Says:

    You speak the truth on the election!!

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