One Marin, hold the fire, please

Going down. …

There are days — approximately seven per week — when I’m delighted that I no longer work for a daily newspaper.

… and going up.

Instead of following fires, terrorism and ruthless, blithering idiocy for fun and profit, I get to ride my bikey bike.

Or, in this case, someone else’s bikey bike.

The Marin Nicasio is next in the review pipeline, and while product manager Chris Holmes watches copters chatter in and out of the Petaluma airport I get to pedal one of his products up hill and down dale here in the Duke City.

There will be more of this sort of thing today. I may not work for a newspaper anymore, but I still have deadlines.

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23 Responses to “One Marin, hold the fire, please”

  1. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Shorts and short sleeves in October? Oh yeah, you live in a desert. I forgot. Here on the soon-to-be-frozen plains of Iowa we might get a few days like that next week, probably because I washed, serviced and hung up my good bikes for the season? But I’ll get my revenge as my “winter” bike’s just as much fun to ride as the good ones. I’m riding it now with some Panaracer “Gravel King” tires under the fenders.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The forecast for the next few days is a good one, Lorenzo old scout. No freezin’ season yet, though I did wear jeans while grocery-shopping this morning (50 degrees, horrors).

      How do you like the Gravel Kings? I bumped into Panasonic’s Jeff Zell about a jillion times during Interbike but never thought to put the arm on him for some rubber.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        I can’t say much yet about Gravel Kings. I’ve just ridden a few kms on them at present. I had grave doubts putting them on as they seem anything but supple, especially compared to the Challenge Parigi-Roubaix skins I had been riding on. The Challenge rubber is marked 27 mm but measures out to more like 29 mm while the Panaracers, marked as 28 mm are barely 27 mm.
        The Challenge tires are notoriously fragile in the sidewall so the idea with fitting the Panaracers was to get more resistance to rock damage but a nicer ride and less rolling resistance compared to the 35 mm rather knobbly tires in the blog photo. My gut feeling is the Gravel Kings in this size will be too narrow to be much good on the kind of dirt roads (far more gravel than the nice hardpacked white roads of Tuscany) we have here in Iowa, but until I get out there I can’t say. Perhaps tomorrow?

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Update on the Gravel Kings – they’re coming off and the Parigi-Roubaix tires going back on for now, though I’ve got a 32 mm pair of GK’s on the way. The 28’s that barely measure 27 are just too damn harsh, having that harsh nylon-carcass feel and but don’t have enough air volume to make me try to run ’em at less than 60/70 psi front/rear to soften things up. Maybe the 32’s will be better, but I wonder if I can drop the pressure low enough even with those?

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Ah, bummer. I’m riding some Schwalbe 32s right now, the Spicers, and they’re not bad on the road at 85 psi and under.

          I think I’m only running 28s on one bike — my old DBR Prevail TT. Conti Ultra Gatorskins, those are.

          Neither is what I’d call a gravel tire. I ride 32s and fatter for the most part, especially if I plan to scoot into the dirt.

          • larryatcycleitalia Says:

            Oh well, it was an experiment. And I’m spoiled by riding most of the time on cotton-casing tires like Vittoria. The 28’s will end up on an Eroica bike in the future so no big loss. Meanwhile the Challenge tires are back on and oh-so smooth and supple in comparison. The GK 32’s on the way will no doubt be harsher too, but I’m hoping the larger section will let me lower the pressure to get a decent ride + far less fragility than the Challenge rubber. If our roads were gravel like Tuscany’s white roads I wouldn’t much worry but they’re not – so I hope the GK’s in 32 might be an OK compromise. I’ll keep you posted.

  2. larry brown Says:

    off the subject-
    VeloNews acquired by Pocket Outdoor Media
    should I subcribe

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Working on Sunday? Oh yea, deadlines. Nice pix and interesting use of handlebar real estate. I see barrel adjusters on the shifter cables computer, and an Incredibell. Is the other thing a front light or video camera? The second picture looks like you are climbing back to Rancho Pendejo from the Paseo del Bosque trail.

    By the way, Michael Brangoccio’s (Mombo) paintings are really special and unique. I especially like the ones titled Punching Bag and Horizontal. That was a creative group you were a part of. Since I started college at 30, I missed out on those kind of friendships. Made friends with staff and faculty instead, but none that I stayed in touch with.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Well, as it turns out, I did most of my work indoors today, backing up videos, reformatting SDHC cards, handling correspondence and whatnot. I felt like I needed a day off the saddle.

      I managed to get out and push the mower around, so the day was not without its exertions, however feeble.

      We did have an interesting crew all those years ago. Mombo I met at Adams State College, and after I took a year off for bad behavior and then transferred to the University of Northern Colorado, well, Mombo was up there too.

      He’s been an artist ever since I’ve known him, and his work has evolved tremendously over the years. We have quite a few of his pieces hanging here at El Rancho Pendejo.

      He gave the best answer to a critic that I ever heard. The dude was sneering at one of his works, saying his kid could do stuff like that, and Mombo replied, “Sure, but he wouldn’t know why.”

      Whoops, almost forgot: Yup, the other thing is a light. I’ve been rocking headlights and tail lights lately. Don’t know if it helps, but I figure it can’t hurt.

      And that climb is a short stretch from Tramway Boulevard up Tramway Road, toward the actual tram. It’s part of my bike-evaluation circuit, which a GPS app newly added to the old iPhone tells me gains 1,421 feet in 20 miles. The best part is getting a whiff of the barbecue from County Line at the bottom of the hill.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    His art is amazing. That critic should have gone out of business after Mombo’s come back.

    I have a front light, but I have run out of room for it on the ES and the handle bar bag on the Saga blocks it. So, I am thinking of getting one of these Paul light mounts.

    No riding for me today either. Just a long walk with Sandy, and a short one with the Duffer. Nice.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Well, we had a hard frost in Fanta Se and the tomato plants were casualties in spite of me building a PVC pipe and plastic sheeting emergency shelter. We were reduced to tears. Meanwhile,

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I was a die hard Cannondale fan until they started to go downhill from their motor sport experiments and our local dealer turned to shit. My three favorites were a Road Warrior 2000, F900, and Super V. Loved the Headshock jerseys too! Switched to Trek, then Niner and Soma. Enjoyed your look back on the CAAD 5 bike. The welds and paint jobs on those USA made C’Dale frames were works of art. I once had a guy ask me if my Super V was a carbon frame.

      • khal spencer Says:

        That frameset in basic black with excellent welds is just too nice for me to consider parting with it. I had thought about selling it after I herniated a disk in 2005 as I had a pretty deep drop on that bike, but with the stem extender I can ride comfortably and avoid worrying about the bit of ugliness the riser puts on an otherwise nice bike. To me it is as much function as it is form, which is why the Nashbar massive seat bag is on there too. It is handy on long rides or centuries.

  6. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    “…saying his kid could do stuff like that, and Mombo replied, “Sure, but he wouldn’t know why.”
    Very clever, but after spending some extended time around artists a few years ago I learned that some of them actually get others to do the ‘splainin, so I’m not convinced they always know why.
    I AM convinced that the ‘splainin is the key to getting the experts to show up and do their tut-tutting, even if some of the experts then decide the WHY rather than the artist. Just like most successful enterprises, it’s not enough to have a good product, the marketing mojo is the key. Rapha is my #1 example.

    • Libby Says:

      Rapha now owned by a Walton of Walmart. Larry, are you going to settle in Sicily or Tuscany?

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Ya gotta hand it to the RAPHA folks, they created a totally made-up brand name with expert marketing to sell clothes made by contract producers. Nothing wrong with the product (I know who made a lot of it) but folks paid a lot extra to cover the costs of the marketing-mavens. Now they’ve (smartly IMHO) sold-out at the top of the game and are laughing all the way to the bank.
        Toscana is for rich folks, we’re going to spend most of our time down where it’s CHEAP and much, much nicer in the winter – Sicilia

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