April fuel

The Salsa Vaya takes five underneath a recently renovated bridge above the railroad tracks.

The Salsa Vaya takes five underneath a recently renovated bridge above the railroad tracks.

Y’know what they say about April showers? Well, we should be up to our keisters in May flowers if this weather keeps up. We already have a fine crop of dandelions in the front yard.

Deadlines and various chores have monopolized my attention lately. The House Back East™ has new tenants, and I celebrated by doing a bit of raking and bagging, as the back yard has looked a tad funky since our landscaper vanished mysteriously, leaving a mulching undone and his tools behind. Rumor Control hints at an extended visit with the authorities, but as you know we don’t believe the liberal media here at Chez Dog.

The garage was likewise becoming unmanageable. My half of it, anyway. It looked like the lair of a bike thief who was deeply into the art of stealing but contemptuous of the business end. And so today I tidied up a bit in there, too. Got Herself’s ‘cross bike up on a hook and everything, though there’s still an appalling pile of tires in one corner. And for God’s sake, if you’re a neat freak avert your eyes from the workbench.

In between shifts I took the Salsa Vaya out for a few gentle rides. You know, the usual — city streets, back alleys, pulverized granite paths, single-track, concrete bike path, the works. Everything but I-25, and I’ll get around to that before I’m through.

Today’s Bible lesson is “Thou shalt count the teeth on thy cassette.” That 11-30 cogset ain’t nothin’ of the kind. Big plate on that bad boy has only 28 teeth, which when paired with a 39-tooth middle ring makes me feel my years. Don’t make me use the granny without racks and bags, please, Lord. I’ll quit touching myself and everything.


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36 Responses to “April fuel”

  1. Hurben Says:

    Hey Dude, somehow New Zealand customs let your book slip through, obviously the sniffer dogs recognised a kindred spirit & looked the other way.

    Is a 25th anniversary jersey in the offing?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hm, y’know, that’s actually a pretty good idee. I never think of stuff like this (some people would say I never think, period). I’ll have to dwell on that notion a bit. And thanks for prodding me on it.

      • Pat and Sandy O'Brien Says:

        We would buy two! Voler again, please Sir.

      • James Says:

        If you do, I will buy one. If you do two, I will buy two. Please, please, please. The offerings in jerseys these days are sorely lacking in any creativity, design, colors (WTF is up with solid black?), and humor.

      • LunaGroper Says:

        Yes, a new jersey put me down for 2 as well–one long sleeve and one short sleeve, and maybe a front panel like the kind found in pregnancy pants.

      • Steve O Says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but a LUG jersey has never hit the internet showroom shelves, has it? If a separate and distinct LUG kit isn’t commercially viable, then maybe you could just slip a LUG patch into the OGWGFITW design.

    • khal spencer Says:

      If a 25th Anniversary jersey is created, count me in for a couple.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Good morning Sir Dog. Rain on our mountains the last two days, plus a Type 1 Incident Team, took care of the Brown fire.
    This afternoon I will read the new Adventure Cycling magazine including the Hobo review. The movie was really good! I liked the lost in the desert routine.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Good news indeed, Pat. We’ve been enjoying the occasional dribble, and don’t I wish we hadn’t gotten that last freeze; it croaked the blossoms on our apricot tree. That sucker makes a delightful display, when the blooms survive.

      Glad you liked that video. The boss-fella at the magazine did, too. Something different, eh?

  3. khal spencer Says:

    There should be a rule. Cogset low gear tooth number should be proportionally to a cyclist’s age.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    When you see a pie plate on the cassette, and the bars are level with or above the seat, and 3 rings on the front, then you know the rider is a little older, they live in the mountains, or both. Flat landers just don’t know about proper gearing for the high country.

  5. Larry T. Says:

    Let go of that inner ring stigma my friend. Shift early and often as we tell our clients in Italy. I like a reasonable gap between my chainrings, as in 30-42-52 or similar. Hated 39-53 double setups, same for 34-50 compacts, no matter how much I tried to like ’em. And thanks for NOT sharing an unorganized workbench photo! You should be setting a good example for us all!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      When I raced in New Mexico the rule was 53/39 and 12-23, as I recall. Manly men would occasionally do the 21, and I recall going to a 25 for some stupidly hilly races. Straight blocks for time trials, o’course.

      Nowadays I like to relive my misspent youth by grinding along in the middle ring until remnants of my knee cartilage begin littering the bottom bracket shell. Then, and only then, do I reach for ol’ granny.

      I wasn’t joking about the workbench, either. Looks like an IED went off in a used-bike shop.

      • Pat and Sandy O'Brien Says:

        Me and Granny have become mates. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that.

      • Larry T. Says:

        The wife still makes fun of me for that “leave it in the middle ring until your knees blow” concept as back-in-the-day we first climbed the Passo Mortirolo together. I doggedly remained in the 42 up front for far too long, finally caving in probably 1/2 way up the brute. AHHHH! Suddenly it hit me. I could have been almost enjoying this…so nowadays it’s “Buongiorno Nona” (Goodmorning Granny) as soon as the road tilts up seriously. My knees, like Elvis, say “thank ya, thank ya vurry much.”

  6. Debby in Longtucky Says:

    Yup, high bars and a huge rear cog would be a must for me! Years ago I did the Markleeville Death Ride on a 39-28 and was fine with it, but those days are long gone. More recently I earned a trip to Andy Pruitt’s clinic by trying to climb Lee Hill Rd on a 39-23. These days I think a compact drive with a good sized rear cog would work, but I’d need bars off an old Schwinn Sting Ray because of my neck.

    • khal spencer Says:

      When I first moved to BombTown, my compromise was swapping out a 13-23 for a 13-26 on the old Campy 8 speed. Front was still my 53-39 from Honolulu, which has some nasty climbs but all near sea level. Nowdays my road bikes are set up with 50-34 in front and generally a 12 through 27,28,or 29 in back depending on which brand. I’m toying with the idea of setting up the old Cannonball with an XT in back so I can run the compact crank with a 12-32 or 12-34 if I decide to do something really crazy this year like Coalbank.

      The work bikes have honest to god pie plates on them. Need to keep the knees happy.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’m with K, Debby. I devolved from roadie setups to cyclo-cross gearing (something like a 46/34 and 12-28) to 110 BCD triples with long-cage rear derailleurs if I had ’em handy. But the inner ring is for emergencies only. A man needs some residual pride. …

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Debby, get ‘bent! Maybe a Ti Rush would brighten your day. My old boss rode a Gold Rush Replica on a supported cross country tour 1 year after he retired. Said he only regretted being on a recumbent once. That was climbing Oak Creek Canyon from Sedona to Flagstaff. Said he spun that granny gear for for over an hour on the steep part. I rode his Gold Rush and wished I had bought it instead of the Bike E. Very stable with good handling.


  7. Steve O Says:

    Just sharing some news you can use:


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Wer have the Amazing Vanishing Bike Lanes & Paths here in Bibleburg. One minute you’re happily noodling along on the path or lane of your choice and the next: Poof! It’s gone. And you’re up to your chamois in velocidal motorists.

      Also, there are sections of road set off from traffic lanes by white lines that look very much like bike lanes but are not. These are for parking cars. You can tell the difference between the two because there are more cars parked in the bike lanes.

  8. khal spencer Says:

    Sad news in the NY Times. Aloha, Hurricane.


  9. John Dallager Says:

    Ditto on the 25th anniversary jersey idea here!

    OG: You could even bump the sizes up one, but not the size label on the collar (e.g. a “real” size L would actually be labeled a size M). That way we could all claim to wear the same size jersey as we did 25 years ago!

    I’ll take two please!

    • Steve O Says:

      I wore an XL in 6th grade!


      Rumor has it, for anyone breaking the 2XL threshold, if you rent out The House Back East, our esteemed moderator and host will hand paint the jersey design on your naked torso.

    • Larry T. Says:

      I think they already do this with the size tags – at least in comparison to Italian bike-racer sized stuff. In Santini or Nalini sizes I’m pretty much an X both top and bottom, but years ago some USA-produced jerseys were ordered for a college cycling club the wife was involved with..and I stupidly ordered my “normal” size jersey. With a couple of poles I could have set up housekeeping under the thing! Then there’s the “club cut” which seems to be designed for those in the church of “Our Lady of the Way Too Big Jersey” Do folks think a cycling “muumuu” somehow makes them look skinny? If a 25th anniversary “Old Fat Guys” jersey is in the works, put me down for an M I’d guess?

  10. mountainhigh10200 Says:


  11. mountainhigh10200 Says:

    very appropriate wording.

  12. khal spencer Says:

    This story reminds me of one O’Grady told me.


  13. bromasi Says:

    I need a new jersey.

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