Take it to the bridge

Old Pueblo Road, just south of Hanover Road.

Old Pueblo Road, just south of Hanover Road.

BIBLEBURG, Colorado (MDM) — Meanwhile, back at the ranch … Herself and I went out to dinner at Nosh to celebrate the return of the prodigal. (The prodigal was hungry after 144.6 miles of cycling in three days and there was nothing to eat at the ranch.)

My old Cateye computer developed a partial paralysis somewhere between Pueblo and home, but the mileage is right; I just lost elapsed time and average speed, neither of which were worth bragging about.

That final leg from the Pueblo Hampton north is a real hodgepodge of terrain. It starts with a couple of streets that have no business existing, were it not for a couple of underused strip malls, then segues into a few miles of Interstate 25 before veering east at the defunct Piñon Truck Stop onto a stretch of what the old hands would call “heavy road” — a rough, rolling chip-seal frontage road that may be the remnants of the old Highway 85/87.

After the rest area another short run on I-25 takes you underneath and across to the west side of the interstate, and that’s the last you see of the sonofabitch — before you know it you’re on Old Pueblo Road, which leads to Fountain, the Front Range Trail, and blessed freedom from infernal combustion until just a half-dozen blocks from Chez Dog.

Now I’m typing with the right hand while the Turk’ sprawls across my lap and onto my left hand. You may recall the tale of the wise man who cut off the sleeve of his garment rather than disturb a sleeping kitten — well, the Turk’ is no kitten, and better to surrender aspects of one’s keyboard than to lose one’s left hand.

I may not be wise, but I’m not exactly stupid, either.

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25 Responses to “Take it to the bridge”

  1. Chris Coursey Says:

    Good lookin’ RR bridge, that. Nice wheels too.

  2. Libby Says:

    Very spiffy luggage! Chic panniers.

  3. Khal Spencer Says:

    Great picture, worthy of Adventure Bicycling. Does that little front rack bolt only to the brake bridge?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, K — that’s a Nitto M12 and it bolts to the hole in your fork crown and to the cantilever mounts. It’s a good secure fit. I used it to carry my tool bag, but it’s also suitable for supporting a handlebar bag.

      The Soma Double Cross also has low-rider mounts for a proper front rack, but that rack is on another bike and I wanted to force myself to carry a relatively light load.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        Thank you, Patrick. That price is a tad steep for a small rack, but it sure does look functional. I have low riders for the Long Haul Trucker, but it really does make for a hefty feel on that bike.

        Did you ever see my question about the 1987 rice grinder (22R)?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Glad to oblige, K. Yeah, Nitto is a tad pricey, but the stuff sure works, and it looks good with the rest of the shiny bits on that black bike.

        Sorry about overlooking the Toyota question. I believe the engine in that rascal is the 22RE, the fuel-injected model that followed the nearly bulletproof 22R (I had two 1983 Toys with the 22R and one ’87 with the 20R).

        I always heard that the 1986 edition was the pinnacle of Toyota trucks — you never see them in auto graveyards, or for sale, for that matter — but the ’87 is a fine truck too. If I recall correctly the beds were made in the U.S. (hence the rust, which is commonplace on Eighties-vintage Toys).

        I’d like to buy another Toyota truck myself, maybe something from the early Nineties, pre-Tacoma. If you decide to buy that ’87, holler — I have a couple repair manuals from Chilton and Haynes I can lay on you.

      • Derek Lenahan Says:

        As a rock crawler, I have to say Toyota peaked in 85. The last solid front axle they made. The engines did get better I will admit. I put a 22r head on an old 20R block I think I got almost a 13:1 compression ratio, as long as I ran racing gas that thing was faster than a raped ape, and would climb a near vertical wall ten to fifteen feet high. (don’t tell the police)

  4. Boz Says:

    My 32 lb Siamese cat Willow presents to same challenges when myself or the Mrs. trys to use the keyboard. The other three also sprawl out on the desk, but are not Charles Barkley-esque like Will or me.
    On an aside, Salsa shot much of the promo for their new Horsethief 29er right here in Duluth’s Piedmont trail system. I ride their regularly, since it’s just a few blocks up the hill from my casa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIWl_1WL4xQ

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Good God … a 32-pound cat? And here I thought the Turk’ was massive. He’s a very long cat, so his bulk isn’t obvious until you pick him up. I have a shot around here somewhere of Herself holding him from behind, just under his forelegs, and he’s damn’ near as tall as she is.

  5. Jon Paulos Says:

    Boz, 32 pounds? Is that a Siamese or some sort of obscure ocelot? Or maybe a 16 pound cat with a split personality?

    Patrick, I notice that the saddle is pushed pretty far back. Is that due to long femurs or some other reason?

    Anybody have to listen at work to whining about the coming Apocalypse from the people on the losing side of the election? I live and work in a politically conservative area, and you’d think the end of the world had happened.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Jon, that bike has the shortest top tube in the fleet — I’m a tough fit at 6 feet tall, with a long torso and not-so-long legs, and as usual I was between sizes when buying. Plus its Easton post has less setback than the USE post it replaced. So I gave the saddle a wee bit of a nudge to the stern.

      As regards the poor losers, I work alone, or with Herself, so there’s none of that around here. But when I’m out and about in Bibleburg it’s not uncommon to hear someone bemoaning the state of the Republic going forward.

      The consternation among the Tea Baggers reminds me of a bumper sticker I read about online: “We Survived Bush; You’ll Survive Obama.”

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      Losers? Living in what is politically Nebraska (though they tell me that this county ended up blue instead of red by just a few votes) I’ve endured plenty of whining from Repugs and their supporters. Dumb-ass cracks regarding being no longer able to afford to buy gas because their investments in the stock market have tanked along with the usual rants about taxes going up – all mixed in with regurgitated spew from Rush Windbag, who seems to be fixated on the intelligence mess in Libya. I LOVE to remind these folks of the intelligence failures that happened when their guy was in the White House….9/11 and the WMD’s that were supposedly in Iraq – how many Americans lost their lives because of THOSE? That changes the subject pretty quickly! Uncle Mitty’s whining about losing due to Obama’s “gifts” pretty much prove he (and his supporters) really don’t get it. But at least we haven’t heard much from the KK…er…Tea Party lately.

    • Boz Says:

      It’s weird, because his litter mate brother, Tobias, weighs only 12 lbs. Plus, I hardly ever see him eat. He kinda has a raccoon shaped body. He’d make a good nose tackle.

    • Downhill Bill Says:

      I tell my tinfoil-beanie-wearing friends that I can empathize, what they’re going through is exactly how I felt when a handful of outrageously political activist judges on the Supreme Court “elected” Crawford’s village idiot. Then I sympathize with their difficulty in accepting the fact that most of the country considers them more on the fringe than I am.

      Like to finish by thanking them for their help in re-electing Our President. 8)

  6. khal spencer Says:

    Hi, Patrick

    I didn’t bite on the Toyota. It was a carbureted 22R, not fuel injected. There was the requisite rust on the bed. The engine sounded nice, albeit some noise that sounded like valve lash but otherwise, the engine sounded really good.

    On the negative side for my version of herself, the truck had manual locking hubs and a five speed manual transmission, which my better half was not too keen on acquiring since she wants me to find an automatic version rather than the “manly” mechanical version. Given the altitude up here coupled with the 2.4 litre engine’s somewhat anemic 100 hp (at sea level), it was having a little trouble getting out of its own way, too. And that was empty.

    Would have been a really nice third car for me, but not needing to collect more motor vehicles, I think I will sell the Subaru and get something a little less dated. Or, not worry about a small truck for now. 99%of the time, the Impreza is all we need.

    • Derek Lenahan Says:

      Khal, was the steering still tight? I am guessing it is on the front range? I am possibly looking for something just like that. My Chevy doesn’t move much, I don’t want to tow anything else. My concern would be highway driving.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Its in Los Alamos, New Mexico, 30 miles NW of Santa Fe. Steering was not incredibly tight but not sloppy either. If you are interested, I’ll see if I still have the phone no.

      • Derek Lenahan Says:

        Thanks anyway, the wife says no dice unless I sell the Chevy first. Although that would be a great excuse to check out Little Jimmies Bike Shop, been meaning to get down there for a while.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, the 22R/longbed ’83 I had was slower than the average House Repuglican. But with that solid front axle and heavy-duty suspension (previous owner would attach a small camper for fishing trips), the sumbitch was an excellent 4WD wood-fetcher.

      Back in Weirdcliffe Hal and I would grab our chainsaws and motor up into the hills to load up with combustibles to get us through the winter. The truck actually rode much better — and much, much slower — with a load. But I drove it to Vegas once for Interbike and it took three inches off my height, loosened all my fillings and proved that time is relative (it passes much more slowly on the interstate at 60 mph).

      Interestingly, the same engine, in the same model year pickup, but a 2WD version, was quite lively. I drove that sumbitch from Maine to Spokane, Austin to Boston, putting nearly 300K on it before I sold it to my mechanic. Some local kid is using it for a work truck; I still see it around now and again.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Those things are bullet-proof! Look at Afghanistan, gangs of guys loaded into a fleet of those, each with an AK47 against the USA with all the expensive weaponry our tax dollars can buy – and who is “winning”?

      • Steve O Says:

        Can back Larry up on that one. SWA is lousy with mid to late 80s models, all with half a billion miles and origibak factory rust. Funny … Toyota and the gang were selling four door pick-em-ups over there, purely functional trucks, about a dozen years before they realized Americans would pay extra for an extended cab truck that would never venture off-road. Kinda like how Mercedes sold monster SUVs about a decade before the Eddie Bauer Exploder came out, but only to the waldmeister, not to upwardly mobile status-conscious types.

  7. High Plains Drifters Says:

    Happy T-Day, everyone!

  8. Austin Lehman Bike Tours Says:

    Love your style of writing Patrick. I actually enjoyed your comments or responses to, more than the article. Keep on Keeping on!

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