Smoke gets in your eyes

How many horsemen does the apocalypse have these days, anyway?

Most mornings I get a fine clear look at the Sandias as I shamble around El Rancho Pendejo, opening windows to air out the joint.

Today? Not so much.

New Mexico Fire Information and InciWeb both report a handful of fires in our fair, dry, and windblown state. One of them, Los Charcos, is just down the road a bit, on Isleta Pueblo. There are three more down in the Gila National Forest, plus some more in Arizona, and the Duke City has issued a health alert for this morning. Our gentle 45-mph zephyrs should send the forest exhaust elsewhere by this afternoon.

Los Charcos was human-caused. Happily, it — unlike the humans and their megadrought — is nearly under control.

And the windows? They’re closed.

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35 Responses to “Smoke gets in your eyes”

  1. psobrien Says:

    Older guys getting down.

  2. Charley Says:

    Unfortunately, in the great Southwest this is the season for fires.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    That explains the haze I saw up at Vista Grande Overlook. Looked like fire smoke but I had not kept track of Inciweb.

    • Herb from Michigan Says:

      Hey Khal are those wheels comfy or stiff? I know the aluminum frame in that size is not overly forgiving. Whose fork?

      • khal spencer Says:

        Those Shimano paired spoke wheels are plenty stiff but not as stiff as I suspected they would be. They are a little more compliant since I replaced the Vittoria Open Pro 700-23’s with 700-25’s. But stiff enough with that CAAD5 frame. Also, an unholy bitch to mount tires onto them.

        These were not a planned purchase. I scored a pair of Alex ALX 320 wheels as a factory freebie with a Redline cross bike purchase in 2004 and put them on this bike. I really liked the Alex wheels but the rear hub fractured while I was visiting friends in Boulder, CO and the wheel tacoed, leaving me SOL and 400 miles from home. I found this set of Shimano wheels, used, at a Boulder bike shop and that saved my trip.

        The carbon fork is the original Cannondale Slice fork on that bike. I bought the frame and fork new in 2003. Originally built it up with a Chorus group and then when I got a Six-Thirteen and migrated the Chorus-10 to the new frame I scrounged the sale ads and the CAAD is now set up with Dura Ace 9 spd brifters and a variety of bits and pieces of other Shimano stuff for running gear. I found an old XTR rear derailleur that indexes to the Dura-Ace hardware so I can run really low gears on this bike.

        Just to spite O’Grady for writing up all these new bikes he gets to ride for free, I wrote up a review of this one a couple years ago.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Smoky here today from fires on the NE side of Tucson.

  5. JD Dallager Says:

    36F and blowing snow here in the Bibleburg environs! Solstice is only 11 days away!! This could put a slight damper on my sandal lines tan!!!!! 🙂

  6. Shawn a little north of the Ross Ice Shelf Says:

    Overcast and -10F right now. But it’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow, although a little cooler…. Oh, but that’s at McMurdo in Antarctica, not where I’m at. I’m “in the Gorge” and it’s cool and wet. Two things that I really don’t mind when fire season is here and water is short. And besides, it’s summer. It will get a lot warmer soon enough.

    Khal, what is the difference between the six-thirteen and the evo? Are the front ends on both your caad10 and six-thirteen stiff? I put a lot of stress on the head tubes of frames and I need to pick up a new-to-me bike with a stouter fork and head tube.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Mine is a CAAD5 not an EVO. Don’t know anything about the CAAD10. The CAAD5 was your typical Cannondale Boneshaker although not as bad as the eighties and nineties examples.

      The 6-13 has carbon tube centers and aluminum lug ends so it has some compliance, esp. with traditionally spoked wheels. I bought it in 2005 after herniating a disk in my back. The rough ride of the CAAD was killing me and I had bought it a size smaller (50 cm) than my old rides (53 cm) and after the lower back disk herniation, I could barely get on the tops, say nothing of the drops. The 6-13 is a 52 cm example.

      I don’t know much about any subtle differences in forks. Both have carbon forks. The 6-13 also has a carbon steering tube, which actually scares me.

      • Shawn out biking in the Gorge Says:

        The Cannondale aluminum frame bikes were popular for racing back in the 80’s. They apparently were stiff and like you say, real bone shakers. I can imagine the new aluminum frames are much more compliant. I ride an old carbon frame out of Taiwan and it has a 1″ steerer. Fortunately it uses an aluminum steerer tube but it is pretty flex-y. I need to round up something that has a stouter front end and in comparison to what I ride now, I’m sure just about anything would be better. It seems to me that I read something about a Sagen bike being auctioned off recently. I’m sure that bike has a nice stout front end for sprinting. Maybe I’ll have to cash in the Fenn treasure box that I recently found and see if I can win me that VelociPope mobile….

        • khal spencer Says:

          The eighties examples were stiff, fast, and more importantly, cheap. I was in graduate school when I bought my first Boneshaker, a 1985 Cannondale SR300. It had deathly lousy brakes, an OK Sun Tour derailleur, and from what I recall, cheesy wheels. But it was damn fast. My friend Bill Meyers, who was a sedimentology professor in the department, bought the SR500 which was glorious by comparison. Wish I had eaten more ramen noodles and held out for that. My dissertation advisor went All In and bought this awesome, Campy Record equipped Bianchi race bike that put us both to shame. Fellow grad student Chuck Herzig showed up with an Eisentraut. Those were fun days on eastern Long Island as we barreled all over the east end in glorious abandon.

          Holy smokes, the original catalog.

          Click to access 1985.pdf

          Back in the day, Cannondale had a trade in policy on new frames so I always upgraded every few years, swapping out the old frame for a new one and plopping down a hundred bucks and doing the wrenching in the garage. Now that I can afford a really nice new custom bike like the ones O’Grady reviews, I’m too old and feeble to justify it so I keep the Cannondales. They have served me well.

  7. Herb from Michigan Says:

    “But it was damn fast” you say. Hell Khal go back to 85’ and any/all bikes were fast compared to how the motor works these days. Me being the motor of course and no longer a V10 Ferrari version.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      At my best, I was a 2.4 litre Toyota pickup engine. Not very fast, but I could cruise at 13mph all stinkin’ day.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      John Crandall at Old Town in Bibleburg was a Cannondale dealer back when I got “serious” about cycling, but I never went that route (though Herself did). They were just too stiff for me, and the fat tubes looked weird to a guy who started out on steel bikes. I always thought of Cannondales as crit bikes, and I was even worse at crits than I was at road racing, mountain-bike racing, multisport, and cyclocross.

      I did go aluminum with Trek and Specialized for a while, then sampled carbon and titanium. But I eventually went back to steel, which for me still offers the most bang for the buck. Though if Moots wanted to build me a custom ti’ bike, and someone else was picking up the tab, I wouldn’t say no.

      I want clearance for 35mm rubber at minimum (38-50mm is better); wheels with 32 spokes; rim brakes; and a nine-speed drivetrain (friction bar-cons work just fine, though I can live with Shimano’s indexing shifters). I’m not opposed to a triple crank (46/34/24T or something in that neighborhood) or a weirdo double like IRD’s Defiant (46/30T). For cassettes I like an 11-34T, please, and thank you.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Back in 1985, I looked at several nice steel bikes and they all cost more than the SR-300. One Eye-tallian example rode really smoothly but cost a bit more and was a bike shop owner’s bike he was selling. Since I knew practically nothing about racing bikes back then, I thought stiffer was better and went for the cheap seats, the first generation Cannondale Boneshaker. Yes, I recall that bike knocking some of my fillings out. But I got used to it, and the Long Island roads back then were in pretty good shape.

        Agree with you now that if I get another bike, it will be more of an all-arounder, probably steel, and with enough room to put fatter rubber on it.

        • Shawn ... nella Gola ! Says:

          I was spoiled back then (’83) and spent all my money on a Campy-equipped Bianchi Campione del Mondo, in celeste of course. Although with the exception of the brake levers the Campy was only Nuovo Record and not the Super stuff. But it was a great bike and I had it until I wore the frame out (cracked headtube) about 10 years later. I got an SLX version as a replacement and put all the old Campy gear on that frame.

          As for Cannondales back then, I lived an area for a time that was a Klein mecca. Cannondales were referenced as Cannonfodder. But as Khal knows, they were considered good frames and I raced against a bunch of them on my celeste Bianchi. I suspect that many of them outlasted the life of my Bianchi.

      • Dale E. Brigham Says:

        Patrick, you have perfectly described my Soma Pescadero, all the way down to the bar-cons (mine are 8-speed), the Sugino triple crank, and the 11-34 cogset. I even have one of those “weirdo” IRD 46/30 double cranks awaiting transplantation whenever I get up the gumption to do so (must wash the bike first, which is an overwhelming obstacle to the perpetually lazy).

        One does have to bite the bullet hard when paying for those Paul Engineering Racer brakes (for the pair, about half of the frame price). Long ago Brent Steelman told me to man up and pay for the good stuff when building up a Eurocross 525, and I have never since regretted buying any Paul products (I could say the same about Chris King headsets), regardless of price.

        I see you on a 58 cm. Pescadero (I am 5’10’/74 cm. saddle height and ride a 56 cm.), as you look to be taller than me. Nice, normal 73/73 angles on that one. It is truly the all-round pavement/gravel/dirt road/light trail bike. Tell Herself you will build it up with “spare parts” and sell off your other bikes (do neither). Come on, you’ve been a good boy. Spend some of that Guv’mint Pandemic money. It’s your duty!

        Dale (the devil at your ear)

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Dale, I’m looking really hard at one of those. My Sagas are both 58cm, so that sounds about right. The 55cm Double Cross has always been a tad small.

          I wish our boy Brent hadn’t hung up his torch. That dude could do the bizniz. And he’s absolutely right about using the best bits you can afford … though even the cheap stuff works pretty a’ight today. I have Paul’s brakes on three bikes, with two more sets on the garage shelves, and Chris King headsets on four or five bikes.

          An IRD weirdo adorns my disc-brake Saga, and I need me another one or two of those cranksets, ’cause I love ’em, along with the Sugino doubles and triples. Most cranks these days are ugly as a White House lawyer with his dick caught in the zipper, but not those.

          • Dale E. Brigham Says:

            Yes, Patrick, the sheer ugliness of pretty much any modern crankset these days is astounding. They (Shimano, SRAM, FSA, etc.) took the loveliest part of a bike, and just destroyed it. Campy still has some pretty ones, and the vintage-style Sugino, Velo-Orange, and IRD cranks look good, but the rest of them look like they fell off of a truck full of Wal-Mart bikes. Mon Dieu! Dale

          • khal spencer Says:

            I looked at a couple new subcompact doubles, but they looked like they would break a mirror.

          • Shawn ITG Says:

            How about a nice blue anodized Kooka crankset. It would match those Pauls quite well. That is if you wanted to pay the Dura Ace price for it.

  8. crankyoldguyonabike Says:

    I found an CREST C’dale from 1989 at a garage sale for $25 back in 2008. It needed pedals, saddle, & tires. Rode it on Sunday. More smiles per dollar than any of the others hanging in the basement.

    • Shawn í Gilinu Says:

      That’s great ! What a deal. Did you brush your teeth when you got it all built up? I always keep an eye out for deals like that. Perhaps I’ll find that estate sale with the Colnago C-40. I’d be dancing like Fred Astaire if that were to be the case. “I’m in heaven…”

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I bought an old Team Crest Pinarello Prologo TT from the Denver Spoke way back when, along with a Mavic Comete disc. Man, what a cool bike that was. But what a waste of machinery. It was the velo-equivalent of the old fat bald dude who buys a Ferrari because he thinks it will make him handsome.

        • khal spencer Says:

          In two garage sales, I found a Miyata 310 in nearly new old stock shape for twenty five bucks and a Univega Specialissima in the same condition for, I think, seventy five.

          The Univega just needed a new chain as the old one was rusty from the tropical air. Only other change was I put a half step plus granny (48-44-24) on it from my old Motobecane, which by then was pretty long in the tooth with a cracked seatpost binder lug, to replace the way too tall triple crank that came on the bike to seriously consider it a touring rig.

          The Miyata had an ant colony in the handlebars that I flushed out with a garden hose and then I had to break the frozen seatpost loose with a six foot pry bar, liberal penetrating oil, and my neighbor holding the frame. When we heard a snap and I got rotation on the pry bar, we were thankful it was the seatpost spinning rather than a spiral fracture in the seat tube.

          Those two bikes lasted me a long time. Wish I still had the Univega but Back in the Day, like an idiot, I didn’t appreciate it and eventually sold it at a fundraiser for my neighbor, whose husband died a bit prematurely. The Miyata was my go-to commuter for many years in Honolulu. I donated that to a kid’s racing organization once we moved to Los Alamos and bought a Redline cross bike as a commuter.

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