Mister Jones and me tell each other fairy tales on Trail 365.

Summer is leaving a few heat records behind as it lurches toward the off-ramp in a blue shroud of exhaust.

Even the space aliens are fleeing Roswell.

“Right, we’re off! Back to Vulcan, which should feel positively wintry by comparison. Live long and prosper. Or not.”

As I will never be smart, I pulled the Jones down from its hook and went kyoodling around the Elena Gallegos trails under the blazing sun. But there were plenty of other dummies impeding forward progress there, so I headed south for a quick inspection tour of Trails 365 and 365A.

Despite the heat the singletrack was crowded by vegetation, some of it spiky, and I found myself wishing I’d worn high-rise socks and maybe a pair of Kevlar shin guards. Perhaps 365 isn’t getting much use these days; I’ve noticed some similar narrowing of the trail between Candelaria and Comanche during my weekly runs. Makes it hard to spot the buzzworms until you’re right on top of ’em.

After a bit of lunch I went after my own vegetation with lawn mower and weed whacker, further enhancing my reputation for questionable decision-making. I was sweating like a Minnesota farmer in trouble with the bank and thinking seriously about ordering up a gravel truck and/or an airstrike.

At least there aren’t any hurricanes in the forecast. I don’t know that I’d care to surf the diversion channels down to the Rio Grande. I’d rather ride my bike.

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25 Responses to “Refried”

  1. JD Dallager Says:

    Woo-wee, PO’G: Pretty hot up Bibleburg way too. Most of the true single-track here (about 1 foot wide) has 3 feet high grass/weeds/etc. immediately adjacent that just love to remove the hair from your legs….and embed prickly whatchamacallits as souvenirs. If that doesn’t get ya, the goat-heads will surely ruin the day quickly for those not running tubeless.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    You sure that isn’t Mrs. Jones you are bonding with?

  3. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    O, man. You got to go with Billy Paul on that one, m’man.

    • psobrien Says:

      You’re right! I laid hands on Mrs. Jones in your garage when you weren’t looking. Thought I might get it in the bike rack without you noticing, but she had a flat tire.

  4. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    And of course, here’s the tune I’m referencing.

    • psobrien Says:

      That’s the music you hear right before you crash. Mrs. Jones is what you hear when you’re flowing.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The lead singer always reminds me of Adam Arkin in “Northern Exposure.”

      Speaking of music, how’s that new guitar treating you?

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        He does. Acoustic archtop guitar tone is unusual, especially if you are used to a flat top. But, I just wanted to play it unplugged for practice, which I need badly I plan to use it more with an amp, so it will be getting flat wound electric strings soon, along with adjust the string height down. Then, I can feel like a guy who bought a mid life Corvette and can’t drive for shit. But, the Godin was MUCH less expensive.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          And the Godin is better for your brain-box too. Learning and growing, learning and growing.

          I’ve thought about taking lessons, but then I remember how much I hated them as a kid. I wanted to get all Ray Manzarek but my teachers always insisted I work my way up through Bach and Beethoven.

      • SAO' Says:

        Very similar yet very different Adams.

        Duritz could never say “I’ve got ten inches of Solingen steel aimed between brisket and wishbone” with a straight face. Arken was one of so many great guest stars on that show.

  5. SAO' Says:

    Hey! Some good news for once!

  6. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Lawn mowing? Weed whacking? Gawd, how I hate that sort of thing. At our new place in Sicily there might be some flower pots and a herb garden on the terrace – that’s as much yard work as I ever want to do. One last ride in Monferrato today, then everything gets packed up and put away before we head south on Saturday with a ton of luggage.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve always hated yard work. Asthmatic, allergic — just what a fella needs to keep his pipes open, stirring up the dust and pollen with power tools.

      One of these days we’re gonna dial the greenery down to something manageable, heavy on the xeriscape. It’s stupid to have this much lawn in the desert. But the transition costs a ton. Just thinking about the numbers gives me The Fear.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        What happens if you stop watering the lawn – doesn’t it kind of go back to “natural”? Never once watered our lawn in Iowa, it got what fell out of the sky. Paid our neighbor who had internal combustion toys of every type to run his collection of mowers and whackers over it enough to keep the place from looking abandoned.
        Nothing but paving stones around our new place – my big effort will be to keep parked cars from blocking the bike entrance to the ground floor. There are a couple of planters blocking it now, shoved up there by some twits who want to park their car there….but this will change as the planters will be moved back into place once we sign the papers….we hope not to have anyone’s car towed….but…

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Some lawn is good, I think. It helps keep the house cool when the sun flares over the Sandias. That sucker is like a death ray in summer.

        But we’ve got about three times as much as we need, I’m guessing. And the flower beds are a pain in the ass. I’m not into the upkeep, not one little bitty bit. Though I do like the flowers.

        A smart fella would hire a pro to handle this stuff. But as you know, I will never be smart.

        • khal spencer Says:

          O’G, I take it your and my better halves are into flower beds and greenery? Costs a fortune up here with the summer water bill, given the monsoons were pretty much a bust our way.

          We Xerescaped the back third of the lot. A quarter is raised beds and fruit, so we get some eats out of it. The rest is just pretty and green. Sigh. But I have seen enough rocks as a geologist to not want gravel everywhere, even if dolled up with cactus.

  7. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Hard-Tail…had more fun on those than the pogo stick varieties and with a hell of a lot less maintainence and $$. Good lord those early front shock forks were awful. Spring loaded, elastomer, oil-damped, I blew em all up. I remember coming off a kindergarten level ledge at Slick Rock and having an early Rock Shock implode on impact. What a wicked ride it twas indeed out of there to the parking lot.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Remember the Manitou 4? That was OE on my DBR Axis TT, if memory serves. About 0.5mm of travel and it looked like a double-barreled shotgun.

      The Jones is pretty comfy with those 2.4-inch tires, as long as you keep the psi low low low. The bar is a little broad for our narrow trails, but I choke up on it a bit to keep my knuckles away from trailhead gateposts and cholla.

      Marin’s base-model Pine Mountain looks like a fun bike for the local singletrack. And it’s cheap, too. But it has them consarned newfangled hydro-lick brakes.

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        Gots me one of them there Pine Mountains. Only mine is at least 12, maybe 15 years old. Was sorta of working with Ritchey back then so it’s clad entirely with Ritchey stuff cept for the SRAM derailleurs. Oh and the Ritchey seat went bye bye too. It never mated well with my buttocks.
        The new version of the Pine looks like a fine choice. I wonder about the 1 by 10 having never tried it.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        What IS it with the wide handlebars anyway? I thought it was so you could attach various gizmos (horns, lights, phones, GPS, etc.) on the bar and still have room for your hands, but the bars that come on MTB’s these days are ridiculous!
        Bars too wide make my shoulders ache, so I cut off 3-4 inches off the ends of the Scott things we used in Napoli and they were still too wide!!! Bars too wide, stems too short – makes zero sense to me, but perhaps humans have changed in proportions since I was born?

        • Herb from Michigan Says:

          Bet you are still riding in the classic position being more or less bent forward at a 45 degree angle? But when you sit more upright, the bike and your body begs for wider bars. Our old cycling coach would have us stand straightened up fully and measure the distance between relaxed hands. Then have us bend over at the waist and dangle the hands naturally out in front of you slightly. Lo! Major change in your spacing and narrowing of shoulders. But as a cycling vet you already know this Larry. I just posted since there may be some reader that wandered into the blog while looking at bike porn.
          But like you I do scratch my head on some of the high end mountain bike bar widths since no matter how you sit; they are simply too wide to be practical.

          • larryatcycleitalia Says:

            We don’t use that “sit up and beg” position we see so often, especially with those on MTB’s, (or e-bikes) so that might be it. First thing I did with the Scott bikes was put on longer stems and cut the bars down. Dunno how anyone can ride bolt-upright with all their weight on the saddle, but they twiddle away on these tiny gears so what do I know?
            Meanwhile, the pros on the road are slamming their stems into the kind of low position I couldn’t get into 30 years ago!!!
            One thing I know for sure – every time I see someone who can’t ride down a twisty road descent for s–t, when I look I see their bars are too high, making for terrible weight distribution. It’s a struggle just to get ’em to put their hands on the drops instead of up on the brake hoods! Even some pros are guilty of this – you can tell the guys who know what they’re doing in a second.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      My last, and only, full suspension mountain bike was a Cannondale Super V. It was a lot of fun going down hill. But, like most single pivot designs it would pogo while climbing unless you pedaled perfect circles. You could pretty much forget about getting out of the saddle.

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