Vision quest

The view from an overlook atop what I think is Trail 365A, south of the Embudo Canyon trailhead.

The view from an overlook atop what I think is Trail 365A, south of the Embudo Canyon trailhead.

Yesterday was a bit overcast, and there were things to do, many, many of them, so I didn’t sneak out for a skull-flushing bike ride until 3 p.m.

With Mister Boo still on a rigorous doping schedule — jeez, you’d think he was riding for Astana or something — I can only get away from Rancho Pendejo for a couple hours at a time. So, given that, and since it was late, I just explored a couple unfamiliar trails branching off the Foothills Trail near the Embudo Dam trailhead.

I didn’t drop down the other side toward Interstate 40, but so far I haven’t found anything I can’t ride on the old Voodoo Nakisi Monstercrosser®, which has 700×43 Bruce Gordon Rock n’ Roads for traction and that nifty 22×26 bailout gear (23.6 gear inches) for emergencies and/or sloth. Had I known I’d wind up liking this bike so much I’d have ordered two framesets and built a disc-brake version with wider rims for really fat tires. Alas, the model is no longer with us, having been discontinued.

The Boo has another follow-up appointment with his veterinary ophthalmologist this morning, and I’m hoping that he’ll enjoy longer intervals between medications henceforth, for his sake and for mine. I’d like to start getting some longer rides in, and I expect he’s getting sick of me grabbing him by the skull four times a day to hose down the only eyeball he has left.

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15 Responses to “Vision quest”

  1. Steve O Says:

    It’s amazing that dogs will happily devour whatever grub we throw in their bowl, without first asking for the court taster to verify it’s non-toxicity, considering how we torment and traumatize them with various medical procedures. That might be the ultimate test of trust: that you can poke them with a rectal thermometer where the sun don’t shine, give them a couple of immunizations, force pills down their throat, and irrigate their eyeballs, and they’ll still fetch the slippers.

    Speaking of Astana, it’s hard to think of anything nice to say about them right now… but for all of its faults, bike racing might turn out to be cleaner than professional bass fishing.

  2. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Hard to believe there’s not a bike very much like that available today? Perhaps one with a shorter top tube so you can run a stem with a bit more reach and end up with better weight distribution? Very often when people describe their bike’s less-than-optimum descending characteristics I find they’re using stems similar to the one in the photo.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Go Dog! Go Boo!

    Steve, we had a dog named Beau that is everything you describe except the rectal thermometer part and spraying kennel cough vaccine up his nose. Then it was Olympic wrestling time, and I couldn’t believe how strong a 25 pound dog could be. Luckily Sandy could pin him.

  4. Libby Says:

    Good news about Mr. Boo.Glad you got a ride in. My cat has a rigorous dosing/doping schedule, too. Now the vet wants to add to it because my dear cat is resistant to several antibiotics. This new regime involves injections. Gotta get my little guy well again.

  5. Sharon Says:

    I love this bike. I’ve always ridden road bikes with a double and a compact, but am ready to invest in one that I can ride in Colorado and maybe do some shorter tours. Good friends just built a second home near Salida and want to host some summer cycling camps for their Texas friends next year. Any recommendations for about a 52 frame with a triple, mid-price range, something along the lines of 48-36-26 with about 12-30.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      As Pat notes below, the Saga is a good choice, if you want a for-real touring bike. It comes in your choice of disc or rim brake now, too.

      Another good one is the Soma Double Cross. I’ve ridden mine as a ‘cross bike and a moderately loaded touring bike, and it too can be had with disc or rim brakes. Mine’s the rim-brake model, and I’m running a triple with an XT rear derailleur on it. Herself has one too and loves it. It’s a livelier ride, lighter, with braze-ons for racks and fenders front and rear, but has bosses for only two bottles.

  6. Pat O'Brien Says:

    How about a SOMA Saga frame and fork set and build it just the way you want it? Build it with a Shimano trekking crankset and mountain drivetrain 12-34 cassette using bar end shifters. Patrick wrote a good review on it a while back available at the Adventure Cycling web site. After I read it, I bought one.

    • Sharon Says:

      Thanks guys for the advice will look at both in more detail. Am always excited when it comes time to get a new bike!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Sharon, if you can provide me with some more detail about where and how you want to ride the bike, I can probably make a few more suggestions. Y’know, whether you want to add racks and bags or ride unencumbered, stick to pavement or venture onto gravel or dirt, that sort of thing.

      • Sharon Says:

        Patrick – will likely only ride on pavement, but lots of big hills and hopefully some passes. The touring will mostly be 3-5 nights, preferably using hotels. My back no longer wants to go camping. So will want rear panniers only for change of clothes, girl stuff, bike stuff, etc. But if I’m not heavy or fully loaded, will I need disc brakes? My last two bikes were Litespeed Titanium and Cervelo Carbon so I know the weight will be much greater, but don’t want to add the disc unless it’s really for the better. I’m just going to have to get used to a slower, steady pace to enjoy the beautiful scenery!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Gotcha, Sharon. Lemme snoop around and get back atcha.

        Alas, discs are everywhere these days — the industry is totally sold on ’em, and on selling ’em to us, so rim brakes are definitely an endangered species.

        The final nail in the coffin will be the UCI approving discs for road racing, as they have in mountain biking and cyclo-cross (though most top Euro-pros still ride cantilevers in ‘cross).

        Something else to consider: One product manager of my acquaintance prefers a wide-range SRAM setup to a triple crank. He pairs a compact double-ring crank with a mountain rear cassette for a low end of 34×36. If you’re not a fan of SRAM’s DoubleTap brake-shift levers, though, you might not find that an attractive option.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Funny stuff PO’G. While you were annoying your neighbors with “music” yours truly was drivin’ his nuts with a used, unmuffled 90 cc Honda motorcycle purchased for a whopping $65. Not much go, but plenty of racket.
        Two things the industry is trying to shove down our throats – disky brakes and compact doubles. For me the jury is still out on the former but the latter is a poor substitute for a proper triple setup. The massive difference between the big and small rings means the gaps between gears is huge and often requires double shifts just to get a ratio just a bit higher or lower. I suffered with a compact double for two seasons here in Italy before going back to three rings up front – in every situation there’s one that’s JUST RIGHT, as Goldilocks once said.

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