Wheeled chair

“It’s OK, I have allergies.”


21 Responses to “Wheeled chair”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    So you kept the Zurigo?

    Speaking of trails. When I rode out to El Dorado last weekend on my own cross bike, I noticed that most of the women waved and looked happy while most of the men seemed to have that “I’m training, and that’s serious business, leave me alone” look on their faces as they went by. Reminded me of that Wave Dynamics essay you wrote some time ago. Sigh. But hey, having all the pretty girls saying hello almost had me forgetting that I’m old enough to be their grandfather. Until I look in the mirror.


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The Zurigo is the only alloy/carbon bike in the fleet, and one of just two 10-speed steeds. I also have a couple nine-speeds, a bunch of eights, one seven and the 14-speed Rohloff.

      It’s a versatile all-rounder. You can ride it on the street or the trails, fit moderately fat rubber (I’ve gone to 38mm), and add a rear rack and fenders. Gearing is acceptably broad. And like Dave at Old Town said, “This is a cool-looking one!”

      Meanwhile, I’ve gotten the cold shoulder plenty lately from our fellow cyclists. I wave, they stare. I chirp a cheery greeting, they stare. Maybe everybody has allergies.

      There has been one notable exception. There’s a rock garden I can’t clean near the Pino Trail wilderness boundary, and as I rolled up on it the other day a young woman in mountain-bike togs was sitting atop one of the bigger boulders. When I confessed that I couldn’t ride that mess, she said she and a friend had been working it one rock at a time until they finally got it nailed, and now they were just polishing their finesse and consistency.

      I walked it and met her pal on the other side, a big grin on her face. She couldn’t wait to have another go at it. Ah, to be young again.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I read your road test and figured that was the bike. So do you get to keep them, get a bargain price due to the review in Adventure Cycling, or do you have to shell out dead presidents like everyone else?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Back in the glory days, the industry would throw free bikes around like confetti. Whee!

        In these dark days, once the review’s in the can, and before anyone outside the magazine has seen it, I contact the media person and ask what they want done with the machinery.

        Mostly they want the bike sent back for redistribution to other reviewers. Occasionally I’ll be offered a generous purchase deal. Rarely a media guy will say, “Aw, hell, just keep it.” Very rarely.

        Brent Steelman always gave me bargain prices on framesets, which was insanely generous of him. I always thought his full retail price was too low, considering the quality of his work. And Mark Nobilette likewise cut me a serious deal on the frameset he made for me. I’d like to get Mark to make me a custom touring bike one of these days. But he’s a busy fella.

        • khal spencer Says:

          I’m thinking of commissioning Tom Kellogg to build me a retirement present. Tom and I were classmates back in undergraduate and knew each other from crazy motorcycling shit we did back in those days. We still occasionally keep in touch. I promised I would never reveal the pictures someone took of us the day we all went motorcycle streaking through the Univ. of Rochester campus. For one thing, I would worry that the Office of Personnel Management folks might get hold of them.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Speaking of retirement, my sis and her husband are both pulling the pin next month. She says 31 years spent in social services (delivering, not receiving) are all she can bear.

          Me? I’ve got 41 years in the fake news and retirement seems as far off as it ever was, though I notice my once-mighty income stream has dwindled to a dribble.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            Yea, but in 3 or 4 years you can draw Social Security, and you go on Medicare next year. Rolling in the dough you will be. Maybe Herself will allow you to crash at Rancho Pendejo a few more years. Me? I sold the shovel.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Full soc security is at 66 for both me and the Irishman. I suppose I can hold off claiming it for a couple more years unless I actually have Tom build that bike. I did the math last night and was actually a tad surprised. But hey, it would be the last bike I ever need since it will either outlast me or someone will grease me while I am riding it.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Walking when you can’t see a good line through is wisdom or a testosterone deficiency.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I fall down as well as I ever have. It’s the getting up afterward that seems to take longer.

          As I told the young daredevils, cyclocross didn’t make me a better rider, it just taught me that it’s OK to get off and run when you see something that gives you The Fear.

          The rockpile

          The rockpile. I know it can be ridden … just not by me.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            Maybe a skilled trials rider could clean that. Me, I’m hoofing it.
            Is it a S turn around the big rocks?

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Yeah, it’s an around-and-about, up-and-over kind of a deal. If you stare at it long enough, you can see how it might be done, but the trying of it is another breed of dog altogether.

            A full-suspension bike would probably be better suited to the task than my typical rigid ride, too.

            Those low-speed falls are the ones that get you.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            As Juli Furtado said, “The secret to mountain biking is simple. The slower you go, the more likely it is that you’ll crash.” Word. My max speed has dropped over the years, but my minimum has stayed the same.

          • khal spencer Says:

            There was a narrow ledge in Bayo Canyon that I liked to clear back in the day. Then one day I dropped the front tire into one of the ancient wagon ruts on either side and did an A-O-H straight into the Bandelier Tuff. I thought my forearm had broken but fortunately, it just hurt like hell.

            Being winter, when I got home I took off my jacket and saw my jersey arm was soaked in blood from shearing off some skin during the impact. Somehow that put The Fear into me of the more technical aspects of rock gardens and the like. 64 year old bones heal slowly. I suppose I could have gone back to hitting it fast but I’d rather walk a bit than wear a sling for six weeks.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Ah, Juli. I always liked talking to her back when I was still covering races for that Boulder-based journal of competitive cycling. Good people. Hard racer.

            I hate, hate, hate falling over. That shit hurts. As a consequence I have chosen the better part of valor many times.

            I almost ate it the other day when some oblivious pedestrian dressed to match his surroundings popped up in a blind corner on a narrow bit of trail. I strive to see a few corners ahead but my X-ray vision fails me from time to time. Happily I’ve never been as fast as Juli Furtado or that dude would have been wearing me like a funny hat.

    • Libby Says:

      Thanks for the link Khal! Great read, Patrick.

  2. Libby Says:

    Hope the bad stuff abates soon! A very late spring with plenty of cold and rain. Heavy allergy season shortly.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Libby, it’s hanging on like a tick. Swear to God. Never seen an allergy season quite like this one, with the state deep in drought. Nine percent of the state is in “exceptional drought,” which is as grim as it sounds.

      Throw in the daily red-flag warning and it’s quite a party. Everyone’s hoping the forecast of a wetter-than-normal monsoon season doesn’t turn out to be (wait for it) nothing but hot air.

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Hmm.. double water bottles I spy with my beadie little eyes. What’s a matter…you don’t like carrying hot sacks of possibly tainted water on your back? And sucking it through a hose like a Republican at the NRA teat? Me, once I became the Cycling Tortoise, I began carrying ice water in an insulated rack pack. Yup…you guessed it…ya gotta brake, stop and take some time to get a pull of cold fluids. But meanwhile you might take in your surroundings and see things as they are instead of what you thought they were.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Herb, I usually fetch a couple insulated Camelbak Podium bottles full of ice water, but in this instance I was going for color coordination with the ol’ Mad Dog kit. Style points, don’t y’know.

    • khal spencer Says:

      There are just so many water bottles one can hang on a frame, so since moving to Fanta Se and riding more backcountry, I have rediscovered the wonders of those two Camelbaks that I rarely used in BombTowne. The smaller of the two I own holds 1.5 litres or about two giant size water bottles. On Sunday, I went through a large water bottle of gatorade and 1.5 litres of water while cavorting on one of the trails south of Fanta Se.

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