The accidental Tourist

Bianchi Zurigo Disc

The Bianchi Zurigo Disc, kitted out for light touring.

The downside of following the Tour de France for fun and profit is that one has fewer suitable rationales for skipping the daily ride.

When guys are falling off at 60 kph on wet descents, breaking bones, and then getting back on the bike and continuing for another 20km or so before finally caving, “I feel too fat for Lycra today” seems a feeble excuse for staying home.

So, though the skies were an ominous shade of gray, once my day’s labors were more or less complete I kitted up and went out for a short leg-stretcher.

The Templeton Gap trail was closed, so I kept riding north, only to find the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail likewise shut a bit further along. So I spent the rest of my ride dodging various road projects, potholes and velocidal motorists until it finally started to rain, then did my best Tony Martin impersonation all the way home.

And I finished with the rubber side down, too, which makes it a whole lot easier to do it again tomorrow.

I’ve cracked many a joke about Alberto Contador over the years, but all kidding aside, the man does help bring a race to life. I think we’ll miss his damn-the-torpedoes style during the remainder of this Tour.

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29 Responses to “The accidental Tourist”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    That was sad to see happen. Old Alberto shoulda stayed upright, so we would have a fire to light under the other guy, Nibbles.

    Also, speaking of shit happening and Fucktards needing to shut the fuck up.

    • Sharon Says:

      It’s sad that anyone would incite violence in that way Khal. Sometimes it seems the world has moved upside down, sideways and backwards in so many ways about violence, the instigation of violence and respect of others. Sometimes it’s so hard to find many good examples of people who act genuinely respectful, gracious and thoughtful towards others that we are floored when we catch someone in the act.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I was furious when I read that. Milloy, from his picture on the column, is obviously a person of color, to use that politically correct phrase. Why anyone who has experienced, either directly or indirectly, vigilante justice would write such garbage suggests to me that those who assert that class has replaced race as the great divider are quite correct. Also, that neither class nor race is a good inoculation against stupidity.

        My mom died in 1993. 31 July, to be exact. A bunch of us were sitting at my uncle’s house getting shitfaced at the wake when some of my cousins from one of my mom’s siblings, Eyetalian-Americans all of us, started commenting on how they had run a black family out of their ethnically cleansed neighborhood. I calmly pointed out that my wife, a person of color also (South Asian) who was at the time a tenured associate professor of English at a Hawaii college, was sitting there with us, and would they run her out of the “hood” as well? “Oh, no, she’s not like them”

        Uh, yeah. Right…..

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’d like to see Milloy turn that incisive wit of his toward explaining how the Post’s editorial page has become a refuge for feebs, asshats and douchebags.

        Now that’s a topic worthy of a little well-directed rage. Cyclists strike me as posing a little less of a threat to the Republic than a loon at large in the pages of a once-respected daily.

      • khal spencer Says:

        They seem to have gone major league commercial. Could not find a link to anyone in the paper hierarchy. No editorial board, editor, owner. Just advertising shit and propaganda. A once respected daily indeed.

    • Dale Says:

      Kelly of the Post also weighed in on that topic with a rant against cyclists on sidewalks. It is against the law, but there a situations where the sidewalk is the only safe alternative. he has since backpedaled a bit on his original story.

      BTW: I believe Milloy penned a somewhat different story a while back when he was on a bicycle due to lack of driving privileges.

    • Steve O Says:

      The right wing loonies have always considered the Post to be a liberal rag, based solely on the fact that they took down Nixon (one the most liberal presidents of the last 50 years). Despite employing George Will and Charles Krauthammer and numerous others, the Post was liberal by edict, just because Rush and Faux said so. And so lately they’ve decided to try to remove that badge by welcoming loony tunes of all persuasions.

  2. Russ Says:

    That Little Alberto lasted as long as he did riding with a broken leg showed major cajones today. Isn’t this the 2nd Specialized that has broken in the Tour during the past few years?

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I am envious of your Mad Dog water bottles. How cool are those? Glad you got to stretch your legs. I rode to Coronado National Memorial, 34 miles round trip, with Reggie today. Wore my old ass out. The climbs are bad enough without a headwind. It was fun.
    Sad to see a newspaper go that way.

  4. Russ Says:

    Mad Dog water bottles? Will those be avail. for purchase also? My ex ended up with my 500 water bottle collection and I’m starting over.

    • khal spencer Says:

      What does one do with 500 water bottles? Or was that done out of spite?

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Russ, we got lucky with the jerseys. You know what Mad Dogs do when you corner them or push them too hard. But, shit, I’ll take two of those bottles along with the jerseys.
      But, 500 bottles? You must have stood just past the feed zones in a lot of races! Racers used to throw bottles at me because I was wearing a Fat Guy jersey.

      • Russ Says:

        I was a race series medic in Utah for a number of years plus my son was a Jr sponsored by Giant so we covered a lot of races. If I found a bottle I didn’t have or one that belonged to someone we could identify, I would get it.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    I like that bicycle, O’G.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      K, it’s pretty damned impressive. Some nice touches there. Replaceable derailleur hanger, chain catcher, eyelets for fenders on both ends and a rack at the rear … a guy can go places and do things with the little dickens.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      You were saying that you might have to change your mind about aluminum frames. How about disc brakes? I thinking that if I was ordering a Saga frame this year instead of last, I would go for the disc brake version and put BB7 brakes on it.

      • Russ Says:

        Even an old retro-grouch like me (I still ride an aluminum Trek road bike with down tube shifting) has had to concede that disk brakes are a plus. Especially in less than optimal conditions.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I like the Avid calipers and disks on my LaCruz. Long downhills, rain, etc. Even with mechanical disk setups, very good modulation.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’m getting there. I’ve ridden Avid’s BB5 and BB7 models, plus the Hayes CX5. The BB5 and CX5 are hammer-and-anvil deals, but the BB7 lets you adjust both outboard and inboard pads. Lots of YouTube videos out there showing you how to get everything aligned properly.

        I still think they’re more fiddly than cantis, but as you know I suffer from Extreme Geezer Syndrome. And I’ll confess that it’s nice to whiten only two knuckles per fist on sketch descents.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Sandy has first gen BB7 brakes on her Salsa Ala Carte. Second frame and wheel set those brakes have been on with zero problems. I have BB7 on my Niner, and the only problem has been those plastic covers on the pad adjuster knobs cracking. You can still adjust them though. The first gen pads change easier even though the procedure is the same. Those TRP (Tekro) mechanicals with both pads moving seem interesting, but I’m not interested yet since the BB7 have worked so well for so long.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Have the 7’s on my bike and indeed, being able to adjust both inside and outside pads is nice. Especially since my two sets of wheels for that bike have very slightly different disk centerlines, so I have to tweak the adjustments a couple clicks on going from one set of hoops to the other.

  6. james wilson Says:

    I’m looking to pick up on of this Bianchi Cyclocross and curious how it is handling the miles and what you may have changed. As I’ll be commuting, extra detail to the pannier’s (+ -) would be greatly appreciated.

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