Turning up the volume

The backyard maple is springing (har) to life.

With spring on the horizon seasonal allergies have me by the snotlocker with a downhill pull. So it’s probably not smart to spend a couple hours daily pedaling briskly among the junipers.

But as you know, I will never be smart.

The start of the descent from the wilderness boundary at Pino Trail.

The bikes of choice lately have been a pair of fat-tired 29ers, the Jones Steel Diamond and Co-Motion Divide Rohloff. And I’ll concede it’s been a pleasant change to have smaller gears and bigger rubber — 2.4 and 2.1, respectively — on the dry, sandy trails.

That said, both bikes also weigh around 30 pounds with pedals, seven more elbees than either a Steelman or Voodoo, and thus there is something of a trade-off involved here. Bigger cushion, harder pushin’.

And it’s not as though these more trail-friendly setups give me mad skillz. I still can’t clean the rock garden on Trail 341, just below the wilderness boundary at the Pino Trail. And if you think I’m gonna shoulder either of these beasts to run the sucker you’re not any smarter than I am.

Still, fat tires or thin, it’s all good fun. Especially if you don’t get skunked, as an off-leash dog did the other day a little further down the trail. Would’ve been nice if the owner had mentioned it before I reached down to scratch the little stinkbomb’s ears.

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12 Responses to “Turning up the volume”

  1. JD Dallager Says:

    “Bigger cushion, harder pushin’!” I love it, PO’G! 🙂

    Oh…..you were talkin’ about the tires! 🙂

    And speakin’ of Spring, pollen count is “High” here today in the Bibleburg area. Still beats staying inside on the trainer.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I have a filthy mind, JD. But it beats having none at all, I guess. Unless a fella wants to go into politics, in which case you need to have a soulectomy as well.

      Boy, the pollen is wicked bad here today. My snout looks sandpapered. But as you note, it still beats the trainer.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    The mulberries trees are starting their pollen storm here; sometimes mulberry pollen clouds are so dense it looks like smoke coming off the tree. If Sandy gets around mulberries, the rest of her day is spent carrying around a box of kneenex. So far, a couple of benadryls a day is keeping my allergies in control. So, I will be chasing a tandem wheel again tomorrow.

    Yes, there is more pushin’ with fat tires on steel frames. But, you can go faster downhill when dodging the ocotillos!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Mulberries are the work of the Devil. Much bad juju. But junipers are pretty friggin’ bad too.

      I need to starting dialing my tire pressures back. I think 20 psi is probably plenty for around here, and I’ve been rocking 30, which gets a little bouncy in the rocks.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        No worries about pinch flats?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Pat, I recall Jeff Jones telling me he went as low as 10 psi on his rides, and he’s a lot more aggro than I am.

        On the other hand, he was living near Medford, Oregon, when we chatted, and based on my only ride around there (outside Ashland) I’d say his terrain is a little more forgiving than mine.

        The Jones has some big ol’ Velocity Blunt 35 rims on it, so maybe the risk of pinch flats is lower than with, say, the Mavic Open Pros on my Steelman. The Co-Motion uses Velocity Dyads, which are also pretty burly.

  3. katholoch Says:

    I learned to ride single track at Elena Gallegos, specifically Trail 341. I don’t know if conditions have changed a lot on Trail 341, but my memory is that I was able to ride the entire thing–which makes me feel pretty darn good now, 20 years later.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The local trail wizards reroute sections from time to time, to let eroded bits heal, but this particular rock garden looks like a permanent feature to me. I’ll snap a pic next time through.

      I can’t ride the bugger in either direction and it’s making me crazy. But then I was never any good in rock gardens, even when I was young and healed quicker.

    • JD Dallager Says:

      The older we get, the better we were! 🙂

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Funny what you find when you move houses and actually look at your shit.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Turn up the volume….

  6. JD Dallager Says:

    Unrelated: I believe this is our Larry and Heather in the photo midway thru this article: https://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/milan-sanremo-2010-pez-to-the-poggio/

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