A good example of a bad example

A break in the traffic.

Ride Your Own Damn’ Bike Week has been extended, by popular demand.

After the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff came the Bianchi Zurigo, the Soma Double Cross, and today, one of my two Steelman Eurocrosses.

This bike is isn’t totally old-school: It has eight-speed Shimano STI, not bar-end shifters; Michelin Jet clinchers, not tubies; and a RockShox seatpost.

There’s life in the old gal yet.

But it has most of the other hallmarks: steel frame and fork; 46/36 chainrings and 11-28 cassette; Ultegra derailleurs; Paul’s Neo-Retro and Touring cantilever brakes with SwissStop VikingPro pads (and levers reversed so the left brakes the rear wheel); Dura-Ace hubs and Mavic Open 4 CD hoops; Selle Italia Flite saddle; and Time ATAC pedals.

The whole shebang goes like 22.5 pounds, which is what makes that 36×28 low end suitable on the steep bits for Your Humble Narrator, who given our national spasticity vis-à-vis health care would rather not be popping a gasket anytime soon.

Anyway, I hadn’t ridden it in the better part of quite some time, and I ordinarily shun the trails on weekends, but today I took a chance and had a wonderful time. There were lots of folks out, but I encountered zero attitude problems. Nothing but smiles and friendly greetings, with lots of the old Alphonse-and-Gaston action. (“After you, Alphonse.” “No, you first, my dear Gaston.”)

There was one down side. I was descending a narrow bit and saw a father and son on mountain bikes climbing toward me, so I pulled over to give them room to maneuver. As they approached Pop explained to Junior that a descending rider should always yield trail to one ascending, adding that I “was setting a good example.”

Thus, with a single phrase, my career was ruined. I wonder if it’s too late to get my old rim-rat job back on The New Mexican copy desk.

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22 Responses to “A good example of a bad example”

  1. Sharon Says:

    “The combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.” Not characteristics found in abundance anymore. Maybe just trying to retip the scale a bit to make up for folks like Scaramucci.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Gotta admit, Sharon, it was nice to see people enjoying themselves for a change. You stare into the Mac for too long and you get the impression that everyone is one tweet away from firing up the old Yugo with the garage doors closed.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    A civil, friendly, courteous, and chivalrous Mad Dog? Is it possible? All bark and no bite?

    I think Sharon is right. O’Grady for President 2020! I would love to see the White House in your first year on “Bike To Work” day.
    Hundreds of bikes parked around the fountain on the South Lawn, big red striped tents set up for a BBQ and kegger after the office closes, and Keb Mo and Bonnie Raitt on stage warming up for the after dinner concert. And not a Mooch or Putin to be found anywhere near the joint.

    The combination of that Steelman on that trail is sweet. Like you, I got some dirt time on two wheels today. Soothed me, even though I had some back costumed oblivions, with their earbuds inserted, on their black carbon stealth bikes pass me with nary a good morning, on your left, or kiss my ass. I would like to deeply insert their earbuds where they would have to eat a bushel of sweet corn, washed down with Go Lightly, to get them out.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The Steelman is excellent for most of the trails around the Elena Gallegos area, Pat. But up a little higher is where I stuffed my left paw into the stickers.

      That section is rideable on a ‘cross bike — shoot, you can ride most of these trails on a road bike — but you gotta be focused on the trail instead of the voices in your head. When the mind wanders, the body often follows.

      Don’t make me be president, please, please, please. I wanna be retired like you.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        This retirement gig is pretty sweet! You guys will get there. We might get back up there this fall. Need to get a hitch on the Corolla for the bike rack.

  3. mooremediaone Says:

    Wow, Patrick. I know I’ve seen pictures of your Eurocross elsewhere on your site, but clicking on the photo on this post – and all it’s high-def-ness, really opened my eyes.

    Gorgeous bike – no matter it’s old-school-ness. Ride on.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      M’man Brent Steelman really made nice stuff. I’ve bought five framesets and a fork from him over the years, and I wish he was still in the business, just in case I ever come into some money and Herself takes her eye off the ball for a second.

  4. Carl Duellman Says:

    i got scolded for running a stop sign on my ride this morning. bad example indeed.

  5. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Trying to “ride my own damn bike” a couple more times before my flaming re-entry into the US of A. Sadly, via CNN and the inner webs I know too well what’s been going on back there. Trying to enjoy my last few days in a civilized country (politics here in Italy are just as dysfunctional, but everybody at least has healthcare, 2nd best in the world) before I get back and start up my weekly cranky calls to my so-called representatives in Congress. Can this “Mooch” character be for real? You really can’t make s__t like this up!!!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Il Moochini has come and gone, like a fart in a tornado. What a Shakespearean tragedy that was. “Mooch Ado About Nothing.”

      When do you return to Zone Interior, the Land of the Big PX?

  6. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Please forgive me Patrick for hijacking the thread for a good news story. My little town won $120K of tourism advertising money in a Arizona contest for best tourism pitches and ads. The town used cycling and international cuisine as the main points of the pitch. Come on down, the riding is fine.


  7. ryansubike Says:

    Nice to get out on two wheels in the dirt, I got in some gravel on the John Wayne trail today – Pilgrim; A lovely ride, great views, blue skies, 700x47c’s soaking up the trail and a pint of Imperial IPA at the end. A good day indeed. I think I even saw Alphonse and Gaston sharing some Gauloises and a carafe of house red.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I love riding drop bars in the dirt. I’d be doing that today if it hadn’t pissed down rain last night, like that time Noah went into the Ark bidness. I expect a few of the proper lines have changed and I hate surprises (see left hand, cactus).

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Same plans here, sans drop bars, and same weather. Still sprinkling here. Hung the bikes back on the wall for another day. I think I will give the basil plants a hair cut and make some pesto.

        • JD Dallager Says:

          Pat and Patrick me lads: Greetings here from the Bibleburg environs and, for us, 7500′ elevation in Black Forest. Short growing season our way; but the basil, chives, garlic, and parsley are thriving this year. Pesto, salsa, and guacamole are my sorta strong suits, so would love a few recipes that light your fires….or palates… as the case may be.

          Ciao…..auf wiedersehen…..au revoir……bon appetit…..etc.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          JD, it seems WordPress is having some comment posting issues. Let’s see if this one shows up. If so, I will follow up with recipes, simple as they are.

  8. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Basic basil pesto recipe:
    1 1/3 oz of fresh basil leaves
    1/2 cup of cashews
    1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
    2 large garlic cloves
    In a blender blend together cashews and basil leaves while drizzling in the olive oil. Add garlic and blend until smooth. Makes 10 tablespoons or servings. Wheres the grated parmesan? When I added it to the pesto, it tended to clump when mixed with the hot pasta. So, grated cheese goes on when plating. 146 calories per serving and 2.3 grams saturated fat according to Sandy’s calculations. Speaking of the smarter half, she makes really good cranberry merlot sauce. Excellent on top of some vanilla gelato.

    Cranberry Merlot Sauce
    1 cup merlot
    1/2 cup sugar
    12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (fresh best)
    1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1 chopped granny smith apple
    In medium sauce pan combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer to 10 -12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fresh or frozen cranberries will pop while simmering. Allow to cool and refrigerate. As long as there are fresh cranberries available, we have this in our fridge. Really good on oatmeal too.

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