Off to (not) see the Wizard

This picture won’t prove it, but the bosque trail seemed pretty busy for a Tuesday.

Seasonal temps, blue skies, a tailwind for most of the homebound leg … what’s not to like?

It being the birthday of L. Frank Baum, himself a scribe of some small renown, I decided this morning to embark on a journey.

Didn’t make it to the Emerald City (that derned yellow brick road doesn’t appear anywhere on my map), but I did reach the bosque, which has greened up nicely. Standing in for tin men, scarecrows and cowardly lions were cyclists, skaters and joggers.

Temps were seasonal, which is to say in the 80s, and the wind was favorable, pushing me back uphill toward home. No tornado, no balloon, no ruby slippers — just the breeze, the bike and those old black Sidis.

And neither wicked witch nor flying monkeys impeded my progress. I guess they’re all busy in DeeCee.



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14 Responses to “Off to (not) see the Wizard”

  1. JD Dallager Says:

    “No fun in following the money if it isn’t even going to hide.” Wish I had thought of that……BUT, I will use it! 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Charlie has a way with words, for sure. He brings the snark with malice aforethought.

      Speaking of word-slingers, I would be remiss if I didn’t note the passing of Tom Wolfe. I read a bunch of his early writing, including “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” back when I was testing quite a bit of it myself, but sort of lost track of him after “The Right Stuff.” When Hunter S. Thompson showed up on my New Journalism radar it was kind of like watching a gorilla crash a garden party. You have to keep your eye on the gorilla.

      I’m not certain I even have one of Wolfe’s works cluttering up the joint, though I have some Breslin and (obviously) plenty of HST. Dammit, now all the secondhand bookstores will be marking him up.

      • JD Dallager Says:

        So why “clutter up the joint” when you can have it all on a “thumb drive” in your pocket/laptop? Oh yeah, I’m 71……what do I know about today’s tech?

        Can you imagine the Catholic Church and a few other organizations when people started to be able to read?

        Knowledge, even if BS, is power! 🙂

        • Herb from Michigan Says:

          Ooh I don’t like ebooks at all. Prefer my Trout Fishing in America (R.Brautigan) in hand and manual. Love the patina the pages take on over the years. My aging patina…not so much.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I have quite a few books in ee-lectronistical format (both Kindle and Apple’s iBooks). In fact, I just snagged the iBook version of “The Grand Tour,” by Adam O’Fallon Price.

        But I still like the sensation of holding an actual book. When I bought “The House of Broken Angels,” by Luis Alberto Urrea, I got a used copy from a local bookstore, in part because he said he prefers the physical book to the virtual.

        Plus I read really fast, too damn fast, and holding a for-real book slows me down a bit.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    That’s very fine indeed, and easy to like. Nice pix. Based on the fork, and a vague memory of that handlebar tape, I’m guessing you were on the Nobilette. If so, it’s been a while since you rode it. Amirite?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      O, indeed, Pat. If I’m going longer than 30 miles on road I like to ride the Nobilette. It’s just so bloody perfect. I was on it Sunday, but that was its first outing in May. On April 24 we did 43 miles together.

      Lately I’ve been riding short, mostly off-road, on the Voodoo Nakisi, Steelman Eurocross, etc. Couple 20-mile road rides on the Bianchi Zurigo and DBR Prevail TT. Fun fun fun.

      I’m gonna have to give the Nakisi some love here directly. Lord, I am beating on the poor thing. It will get me for that one of these days if I’m not careful.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I spent my free time yesterday and today detailing, lubing, and adjusting all three of my bikes. Got the Soma ES done for a ride tomorrow morning. The Niner is almost done, I’m putting new brake pads in tomorrow, for a ride on Saturday. The Saga will be finished tomorrow as well for a Dave Alma Memorial ride on Sunday morning to Coronado National Memorial. He’s the guy who got hit last week by the drugged up driver. The shoulder on the road out to the memorial is getting pretty rough, but the Saga should smooth it some, and the lower gears will help on the last 3.5 miles which climb 600 vertical feet to the monument. Plus, like you say, it is just so damn comfortable.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Poor Dave. Any more on that story?

        You’ve got me feeling guilty about the woeful state of the Voodoo Nakisi. I dealt with a front flat, but that was just whistling past the graveyard.

        Thing is, I’m afraid that once I get started on the fix-’em-up I’ll never stop. You know how it is. You replace a cable, then you decide the housing is showing its age … next it’s the chain, and suddenly the chainrings look all sharky, which means the cassette is next … and just look at the wobble in that rim, and holy hell it just keeps on a-comin’.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          Nothing more official on the story. The guy would did it is in jail charged with second degree murder. The guys at the shop, after talking to the wife, said she was riding up to meet him from the other direction. Instead of meeting him, she rode up on the scene of the murder with her husband laying under a sheet surrounded by first responders. That is simply heartbreaking.

          I was on the bike washing kick because Sandy is still gone, and I am trying to stay busy to keep the damn clock running. And, I am the worst of the home wrenches. If cables and chainrings need attention, the bike goes in the rack and to the shop. I should learn to do more. Someday……..

          • psobrien Says:

            Sorry, his name is Dave Alva, not Alma. There is a ghost bike up where it happened. Shit.

          • larryatcycleitalia Says:

            Hey, at least it sounds like you bring a CLEAN bike into the shop for service work. That’s a whole lot better than most folks. Back-in-the-day we’d get some so disgusting that we’d have to wash them (and charge the customer) before touching ’em!

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            Thanks Larry. I always tell the guys (Mike, Martin, and Stephen) at the shop that bringing in a dirty bike for them to work on is like going to the dentist without brushing your teeth.

          • larryatcycleitalia Says:

            We used to say it’s more like going to a proctologist without wiping your a__!

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