Wreck on the highway

Say hi to Sam Hillborne.

Say hi to Sam Hillborne.

The first day of what appears to be a very long Tour de France is in the bag. Thanks to everyone who joined us at Live Update Guy. And chapeau to Mark Cavendish, who avoided a last-kilometer pileup — one of several on the day — to win the stage and take his first yellow jersey.

Too, a special “ow, wow, yow, zow” goes out to everyone who hit the deck on Stage 1. The body count would seem to include — well, just about everyone except for Cav’, me and Charles Pelkey (office furniture and road furniture rarely become entangled).

Alberto Contador in particular looked like he’d been attacked by a deranged chef with an assault cheese grater. One wonders whether he’ll have to be strapped onto his bike, El Cid-style, in order to start Sunday’s stage.

I wasn’t strapped to a damn thing when I rolled out for my own ride, aboard a brand-spankin’-new Rivendell Sam Hillborne (see pic above). No clipless pedals on that bad boy, not even toeclips and straps — just flats. So I rode in street shoes, baggies, an emblem-free Pearl Izumi jersey and a Rivendell cap unencumbered by helmet, just to make the Safety Nazis crazy. Took ‘er out on the highway, too.

I wish I could change this sad story that I am now telling you. But there is no way I can change it. For somebody’s ride is now through.

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15 Responses to “Wreck on the highway”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Oh, that looks like a Brooks saddle on Sam. Were you “on the rivet” during your ride? But lugs! And I ain’t talking live updates neither.
    Those pedals look like assault cheese graters to me!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Purty, innit? Brooks B-17, yes, and no, I was not even close to being on the rivet, because I am a lazy bastid.

      If you haven’t ridden flats in a while it takes some getting used to, I don’t mind tellin’ ya. Convenient in many respects, especially as regards walking, and the Rivendell folk recommend it highly.

      But they wear wool everything, even on their wool, and I think all their joints are jugged.

  2. larry brown Says:

    now that is a bicycle

  3. JD Dallager Says:

    Wowser! Truly a beauty!

    PO’G: Anyone who can LUG in the early AM and then ride a Brooks saddle has to have some sort of a masochistical side. Just sayin’!! 🙂 I’m assuming/hoping the Brooks saddle was well broken-in by you. ????

    And yes, flats are the way to go. I’m doin’ a lot of MTB’ing now and they’re convenient, teach better bike handling skills, and take me back to riding a bike as a kid. All good. Good on ya!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Nope, JD, that’s a new saddle. I need to tip it up a shade and become reacquainted with the First Noble Truth ( life is suffering).

      I rode the Joe Appaloosa, which also has flats, on some singletrack as part of my review of that bike. We managed just fine, but I recall that in my glory days an occasional fumbled bear-trap pedal would spin around and bite me in the back of the calf.

      Not sure which is worse: that or being locked into a clipless pedal you can’t escape while tipping over into an abyss/rock garden/cacti.

      • weaksides Says:

        I’m not sure what JD is talking about up there. After wanting to try Brooks for years I finally got a pre-aged B-17 a few years ago and my fleet (7 more or less rideable bikes) is full Brooks except for the 2 mtbs. I’ll confess to some discomfort a few times in the past year, but usually tightening the tension works for a while. The one standard B-17 I have is actually very comfortable, but it’s on my fixed gear, so it doesn’t get as much mileage.

        As a friend said a few years ago re: Brooks saddles: “a happy ass is a happy ass.”

        But yes Patrick, as I’ve admonished before, you absolutely must get the nose up a tad. It makes all the difference in the world.

  4. Ryan Says:

    I am very Jealous of your ride there sir, I got to test drive a Sam when work took me to SF back in 2011 and have pined for one ever since. And you got it in orange too -the fastest color. Look forward to hearing your impressions

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      So far it’s one of those bikes you sort of sag into like a favorite chair. I may need another hook in the garage. Also, a Kevlar vest, as Herself knows where the arsenal is stowed.

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I am still trying to figure out the last paragraph. Ralph Stanley? Scotty Moore? Contador?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I was wandering a bit there, Pat, trying to work in something from “Wreck On the Highway,” a tune I first heard on The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”

      According to Wikipedia, Roy Acuff did a version in the 1940s, based on “I Didn’t Hear Nobody Pray” by the Dixon Brothers.

      Ol’ Super Spaniard’s ride may indeed be through, though. And Richie Porte is gonna be watching the GC battle from the way-back, too. Now all BMC needs is for Tejay Gardener-Van to have his patented One Bad Day® and Och’ can head home to watch the race from his La-Z-Boy.

      • psobrien Says:

        I bought that album when it came out. Doc Watson. Plus the Dirt Band. Nuf said.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I have it in vinyl, CD and iTunes, I believe. Did I ever mention that my running mates in college were related to the NGDB’s road manager? We got to see a lot of Dirt Band shows, for free, and only occasionally were required to act as junior roadies.

        They always put on a fine show. Just tonight they played Alamosa, which was the first place I ever saw them. Fiftieth anniversary this year. Shit, they’ve been at it longer than me.

  6. Dale Says:

    The Nitty Gritty Dirt Bands “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” is still one of my favorites, and I was around hen it was released. I love listening to Mother Maybelle Carter talking about restringing an autoharp during one of the interludes.

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