Freewheeling Friday

Old Pueblo Road, just south of Hanover Road.

Travel by bicycle. It pays off for the cyclist and the places s/he visits.

My peeps at the Adventure Cycling Association get a little love in this High Country News piece about bicycle tourism and how it’s come to benefit a couple of tiny Montana towns.

Says ACA’s Laura Crawford: “It’s not a get-rich-quick sort of scheme, but a long-term, sustainable investment.”

With no electric buses, major construction projects or flim-flamming of taxpayers required, I might add. In fact, I just did.

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26 Responses to “Freewheeling Friday”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Are those road chainrings on a touring rig? Or does it have one of those ultrawide cassettes hidden under the panniers?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That’s an ancient square-taper XT crank, K — 46/34/24 rings, with an 11-32 cassette. XT rear derailleur, Ultegra Triple front.

      Eight-speed, of course, with bar cons. Nothing but the latest and greatest for Your Humble Narrator.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Ooh. Almost identical to the rig on my Long Haul Trucker, except 9 spd.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’m actually thinking about selling the old Soma Double Cross, since I seem to be (ahem) a tad overbiked in these parts for some reason. Plus the frame has always been a bit small for me.

        But I’m really attached to some of its bits. Dura-Ace hubs, Open Pro rims, XT crank, Paul’s cantis … you get the idea. Nothing worse than an unrepentant hoarder. Collector. Whatever.

        • khal spencer Says:

          My better half constantly asks why I need 7 bikes while I only have one ass to park on them. That’s only seven and includes the tandem!

          I like a lot of the old stuff. It works with panache rather than flamboyance. Both the Cannonballs are currently shod with old fashioned(tm) 32 spoke two or three cross wheels on Open Pro rims. One set on Campy Chorus 10spd and one on Shimano Ultegra 9 spd. I have a couple sets of really “stiff and light” paired spoke wheels for each bike but at my age, real comfort beats imaginary speed.

          So what size is the Soma?

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Old stuff is good stuff. I pulled all the townie bits off my Voodoo Wazoo the other day, added 700×42 knobbies, and have been charging around the trails on it.

          That sucker has seven-speed 105, one 38T chainring, 14-28 freewheel, flat bar, thumbshifter, mismatched cantis (Dia-Compe 986 and Avid Tri-Align), and Shimano 600 hubs laced to Open Pro rims.

          Talk about old school. …

          Meanwhile, the Soma Double Cross is a 55cm. I don’t mind that size on my Eurocrosses, but it feels a bit small with the Soma for some reason. Tange Prestige main tubes with Tange Infinity fork, intended for cyclocross, commuting, and light touring. They don’t make this canti model no mo’, which is a tragedy.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Seems the various companies define size as it fits their fancy. C-C, C-T, C to halfway to the top, “gee I dropped the tape measure”, sloped tube, different top tube lengths, etc. Drives me batshit. Just have to sit on it and ride and see if it works.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            And don’t forget my fave, cockpit length. At first I thought it was a new kind of saddle cutout.

        • Jim Says:

          Don’t sell!! Remember N+1. Had an old Soma Smoothie come through the shop recently – beat & abused & broken. Left looking like new – keep ’em rolling!

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            I do hate to part with ’em, as a peek into the garage will tell you. I particularly regret the selling of a couple GT ‘cross bikes and one Voodoo Loa ti’ ‘cross bike that would have been perfect for the neighborhood trails.

            Alas, as has been proven over and over and over again, I will never be smart.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            The Jones is all I need. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

      • Herb Clevenger Says:

        Wow…cept for the headset it’s 1984 again. I love it and myself have reverted to the older components and even have shoes and shorts that fall into the vintage category. Meanwhile I’ve had many a computer or e-device that crapped out after only 2-3 years. Good thing no one is trying to pay their rent selling me bike stuff or they would suffer certain eviction. Although I have bought a Lezyne floor pump and frame pump(s) along with a new Feedback workstand and trueing stand.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I still have a pair of Sidi cyclocross shoes with the old-style slotted cleat, and a pair of Lyotard pedals to match. No stainless Christophe toe clips, alas, but some Alfredo Binda toe straps.

          • larryatcycleitalia Says:

            EROICA man! We had a blast at the CA version last year. Gorgeous 70’s and 80’s machines. More Masi bikes in one place than I’ve ever seen.
            Meanwhile, my friday was “freewheelin’ through the skies” to Italy. Sun says it’s Saturday morning here but my body still thinks it’s the middle of Friday night. I’ll pack up a bunch of stuff and head down to catch the ferry to Sicily tomorrow. With some luck I’ll be enjoying a pizza at my favorite place by Monday evening. Laugh that off Drumpf!

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I spy an Arkel Tailrider. They are somewhat heavy things (1.5 pounds). I assume they are built like tanks as most of Arkel’s stuff. What do you think about your Tailrider?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I like it, Pat. I have two, one with attached Dry-Lite panniers and one without. They can be a little wide for some narrow racks, but if I use the model with the panniers I get two more attachment points and thus a bit more stability.

  3. Libby Says:

    Great article. I’m a sucker for for the money details/what things cost in communities. Plus, you have an who employer was cited in a positive way. Not fined, maligned, groping or in violation.
    About the buses: we have the old, stinky kind in these parts.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It’s always interesting to see how small towns brainstorm to keep the lights on, Libby.

      Sometimes it works the other way, of course. Weirdcliffe used to benefit from the Hardscrabble Century back in the Nineties, but after an ill-conceived chip-seal job on the main highway into town the tour became less popular and eventually disappeared.

      It didn’t help that traffic on the return leg, along U.S. 50, had grown substantially. I can’t imagine riding that stretch of highway today.

      So both Florence (the start town) and Weirdcliffe (perfect spot for a lunch break) lost some easy and clean money. Florence has the Supermax now, of course, and Weirdcliffe has ranching and trophy homes, but I bet both of them would like to diversify a tad.

  4. Carl Duellman Says:

    it’s funny that just by being hospitable a community can survive.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    And now for something completely different…

  6. Hurben Says:

    One of our recent Prime Minister’s cornerstone policy was a cycle trail from the North to the South of NZ.

    Shortly afterwards, some local cycling celebrities , ( the Kennett brothers) launched a competitor to the Tour Divide,,

    not this time but maybe next, it’s incredible to see how local communities have embraced this.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That is nice to see, Hurben. Bibleburg never warmed up to the Race of Many Stupid Names in its various incarnations — not in terms of spectatorship anyway — and racing seems to have a very low profile here in the Duke City these days.

      Maybe it’s because of the same-ol’, same-ol’ factor. “Ho, hum, more fairies in Lycra going round in circles, what’s on teevee?” Something more Great Divide-ish might have more appeal.

      Lots of cyclists here, though, and plenty of them are commuters, which is likewise good to see in a town with such a pervasive car “culture.”

  7. B Lester Says:

    Dems my goto pedals. Nice comfy mountain shoes and that nice compact mountain cleat means you can get off the road rig without walking around like a duck.

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