Bikes and books

The Soma Saga, canti’ model, en route to the Embudo Dam trailhead after a leisurely couple hours in the saddle.

Anybody who thinks pseudoephedrine sulfate isn’t a performance-enhancer should gobble a little Claritin-D 12 Hour before the daily bike ride sometime.

I resorted to doping yesterday as mulberry, ash and juniper transformed my mighty two-lane freeway of a snout into a narrow garbage-choked alley, and hijo, madre, what fun it was. I’d still be out there if I hadn’t run out of water and food.

It didn’t hurt that I was riding the Soma Saga. What a La-Z-Boy of a bike that beast is, especially the day after riding trail on the Voodoo Wazoo, with its low end of 38×28; that’s fun, too, but of an entirely different sort.

Si, mijo, ese es un libro real.

If the going gets steep on the Wazoo you just have to suck it up, snowflake. Stand up or get off. On the Saga, with its 24×32 granny, you can sit back and relax. It feels like there’s always another, lower gear.

When the provisions ran out I rolled home and ate a plate of leftover pasta with arugula pesto, some nuts and fruit.

Then I finished reading “The House of Broken Angels,” by Luis Alberto Urrea. He name-dropped Thomas McGuane, Mark Twain and Ray Bradbury in a New York Times Q&A, and acknowledged Jim Harrison and Richard Russo in the book itself, so yeah, goddamn right I was gonna read him, and in actual analog-book form too.

The story reminds me somewhat of “The Milagro Beanfield War,” by John Nichols, in that every Spanish-speaking reader in every border town in Estados Unidos and Mexico alike is going to say of it, as an Alamosa bookseller did to me of “Milagro,” “This book is really about us, you know?”

I got my copy used at Page 1 Books. Go thou forth and do likewise.

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17 Responses to “Bikes and books”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Lazy-Boy of a bike is right! My rim brake Saga has earned a permanent place in the garage.

    The snot locker down here is also still in rebellion. When the mulberries and ash trees quit, maybe we will get a break.

    I will go to that bookstore on my next visit to Duke City.

  2. Dale Says:

    Too bad to hear you suffer from the effects of mulberry pollen, but if you can beat the birds to the berries later on -WOW. A big handful of mulberries over a bowl of real vanilla ice cream is a treat.

  3. Mark Rothschild Says:

    canti- Double Cross…Rivedell-ed HERE

  4. Mark Rothschild Says:

    Quit Danc’n ’round the Mullberry Tree..Neked!!!

  5. mooremediaone Says:

    Kinda sad that the Saga canti is no longer. Disc only now.

    The more I ride my commuter bike (Soma Wolverine) with disc, the more I realize I miss rim brakes – especially in the front!

    Will Grant Peterson be the last hold out on rim brakes?

    Oh, BTW did you read about his “hail mary” to save Riv from financial disaster?

    As far as books, I am currently reading “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil de Grasse Tyson.

    I might be in a hurry, but still read astrophysics books slowly. A great read non the less.

    Good luck with the allergies!

    -doug moore

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Discs are everywhere. Discs are rampant. Hey, just like bullshit (h/t to George Carlin).

      The Velo-Orange guys are still mostly rim-brake, but I see they’ve let the disc camel stick his nose under the tent flap. Not Grant.

      And no, I hadn’t heard about Rivendell’s financial woes, being deep into the navel-gazing here lately. I would encourage everyone who has an uncommitted dollar to spend it on some cool Riv gear at once, immediately, if not sooner. This church of ours needs more heretics.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Amen to more heretics. I might score one of their very compact cranks shortly for the Soma ES. Also, thanks to you and your faithful followers, I have been considering a new dirt bike to replace the Niner. The SOMA Juice caught my eye since it has rear rack mounts. With a steel fork and some fattish tires, well I just might open my wallet and have the ole M&M Cycling friends build it up just the way I want. And, I will move as many of the components from the Nine to the Soma as I can.
      Now I am going to chase some tandem wheel in a red flag warning. Duh…..

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Before I forget, Rivendell’s Sam Hillborne is a canti bike now. I kinda wish I hadn’t leapt at the long-reach-caliper model (which I still love, and which garners much kudos from observers, passers-by and all people of quality).

      Anyone looking for a fine do-it-all bike with rim brakes should scope out the Sam.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    We have an excellent brick and mortar new and used bookstore in the DeVargas mall. Right next door to the friendly local gun shop. Keeps me busy for hours looking at stuff….

    I compromised on gearing since I only have one cross bike, the Salsa LaCruz. 48-34 on front and either 11-32 or 11-34 on the back. None of that 38-28 stuff for this old, overweight geezer. Now get off my lawn with that overgeared thing, you hear!

  7. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I have a 24×42 low gear on the mountain bike. Spins out around 4 MPH. The 34×11 top gear spins out around 22 MPH. Why put more gears on a bike than you need?

    • khal spencer Says:

      I found a 13-30 Sheldon Brown Century Special gathering dust in the garage last year. I had originally bought it in pre-compact crank days and then relegated it to the spare parts drawer. When I found it I promptly put it on the CAAD-5. The 13 cog works fine for the speeds I ride these days and if I am on a downhill, I let gravity do the work. Meanwhile, that 30 on a road bike comes in handy. If I want to go lower, I have to rummage around for my spare old XT derailleur that indexes with the Shimano brifters on that bike.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        That was a find! I have a compact 105 (34×50) on the front and a 11×34 on the back of the Soma ES which works for me and the terrain around here for now. I’m bringing that one with me in June. I am also bringing the Niner mountain bike with the SLX 2×11 drivetrain. You are welcome to try them if you like. The ES is a 54CM frame and the Niner a medium size.

        • khal spencer Says:

          I’m a runt and generally run a 51 or 52 cm frame but could give it a try.

          Pat and Pat–should I bring down the Salsa La Cruz and the mountainbike?

        • psobrien Says:

          Based on Patrick’s video of the trails around Rancho Pendejo, I am bringing my only dirt capable bike, the Niner mountain bike. For the path and road riding, I am bringing the Soma ES. The Niner has 29×2.1 tires and the ES is 700×28.

        • khal spencer Says:

          The mountainbike and La Cruz with both sets of wheels would do fine. I have 700-32 Richey Speedmax Pros on one set of wheels and Conti Gatorskins 700-25 on the other. The mountainbike is a now-ancient Stumpjumper with 26″ hoops.

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