Velocirapture

I think the place is closed. Call it an inspired guess.

I took a leisurely ride to Tijeras and back yesterday, with a brief detour to Carlito Springs Open Space.

The place is shuttered for “improvements” — to wit, “roads, additional parking capacity,” etc., et al., and so on and so forth. I’m going on 67 and managed to make the trip via bicycle, but never you mind that, Captain Elitist, with your fancy-schmancy velocipede, outlandish getup, and life of socialist leisure. Some of us have to work for a living.

En route along Old Route 66 I caught up with a group of bicycle tourists bound for Las Cruces. In ordinary circumstances we might have ridden together for a while, discussed the route, gear, eternal verities, and whatnot.

Alas, the circumstances are far from ordinary, so we exchanged compliments from a social distance and went our separate ways. Mine was considerably less challenging, but someone has to be around to reheat the jambalaya while Herself brings home the bacon.

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30 Responses to “Velocirapture”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Talk about sign clutter. Reminds me of the door to my rad lab in the Chemistry and Metallurgy Bldg. So many signs on the door (warning, radiation. warning, potential contamination. warning, high voltage. warning, nasty, vicious chemicals. warning, mad scientists, etc,, ad naseum….) that we got used to not even seeing the signs. Eventually our workplace shrinks, aka the Industrial Hygiene folks, figured out that sign clutter was actually a workplace hazard. We ended up replacing all those signs with one solitary one that listed all the stuff that we played with every day.

  2. SAO' Says:

    Hmmm … thinking out loud, spit-balling if you will … how about, putting the bacon in the jambalaya?

  3. SAO' Says:

    How is the Privateer doing on her maiden voyage?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Y’know, it continues to astound me how nice a ride you can coax out of an inexpensive two-wheeler. This build was not exactly cheap, mostly because of the IRD Defiant crankset and Paul’s brakes. But when you start with $379.99 for the frame and $129.99 for the fork, it’s possible to whip up a very affordable, versatile, serviceable rig.

      • SAO' Says:

        Just keep an eye out for scalliwags, icebergs, and the Kraken.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Nice to a point. We retired the Trek tandem when we bought a Co-Motion Primera. In fact, inexpensive frame talk reminds me that a lot of the Trek’s bits ended up on my Long Haul Trucker. I think I put out less than five hundred bucks a decade ago for that Trucker and it has served me well.

        The ride quality from the Oregon frame is fantastic compared to the thicker tubed, cheaper construction of the Trek. Mind you, the Trek was a great buy and it put smiles on our faces for a long time, but the Co-Motion (are you listening, Dwan?) way outclassed the Trek in handling, roominess for my long suffering stoker, and resilience. Good frames matter!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        So many variables at play. Will this be your only bike? Custom or off the rack? New or used? What qualities of a daily driver will you sacrifice in order to have a proper touring bike (and vice versa)? Will you travel light or heavy? Long trips or overnighters? Racks ’n’ sacks or frame/bar/seat bags? Do you have any generous friends in the bike biz, and if not, where can you safely cut corners to minimize costs?

        Author, poet, and gourmand Jim Harrison, noting the craze for expensive and elaborate cooking machinery, once declared he’d rather spend the money on food.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          Simplicity is one of the three treasures. I think that is true for me more now than ever before.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I agree, Paddy me lad. I just pumped some bucks into the old Forester because I want it to last another 15 years. Likewise I opted to have the 2014 MacBook repaired rather than buying a new one. And friction shifters are multiplying in my garage like mice in a granary. I have nine bikes with bar-end shifters and four of them are friction.

          Of course, a guy really into simplicity would not have 17 bicycles. Still, I consider it a step up from having four Toyota trucks.

          • Pat O’Brien Says:

            Seventeen bikes or 4 guitars, what’s the difference? The difference is that you have made a living writing about bikes and cycling. If I tried to make a living playing the guitar, I would show up, unexpected and empty handed, for supper this evening and remark how comfortable your couch looks.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Friends with couches have rescued me from many impulsive and ill-advised career decisions over the years.

          • Herb from Michigan Says:

            Why you tree hugging Earth Dad you. Actually by keeping the Subaru running you are doing the planet a favor versus say, buying an e-car. First you don’t drive much and second new vehicles require that much more raw materials that come with a very heavy carbon footprint. Same for the Mac. I’m trying to be like you and fix or repair anything I can which is hard when one has the mechanical skills of a garden rake. And then there’s the sad reality that some parts are simply not available. POG is living the expression “keep on keeping on”.

          • JD Says:

            1990 Toyota 4Runner still going strong. 2011 MacBook Pro still going strong. Me? Still going strong!! 🙂

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Herb, in my dotage I’m trying to think about what I need rather than what I want.

            We don’t buy new cars (and I hope I never have to buy another one, ’cause I hate the process). We didn’t have any of our houses built; they were already there waiting for us.

            It’ll be a while before I have to think about a new computer because I don’t have much work to do these days, and if need be I can travel back in time from the 2014 MacBook Pro through the 2012 MacBook Air, the 2010 Mac Mini, the 2006 MacBook, and the 2005 G4 PowerBook, before winding up at the 1999 Power Mac, which is even slower on the uptake than I am.

            My Sony RX100 M3 camera is acting out, which annoys me, because I’ve given the damn thing nothing but light use for three years. So I dragged out my old Canon PowerShot S110 and that’s my working camera for the time being.

            Frankly, I feel inclined toward divesting myself of a whole lot of stuff that’s not finding much traction these days. Which is a hazardous state of mind, what with Herself being an eBay whiz and all. I say the word and it will be bare walls and floors around here before you can say “Where’d all my shit go?”

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            JD, you can’t kill a Toyota with a silver bullet dipped in a marinade of garlic, communion wine, and a splinter from The One True Cross. Those older MacBook Pros are a tough bunch, too. Herself is rocking a 2012 I hotrodded a bit and makes the sonofabitch hit A above High C some days.

          • Hurben Says:

            In the interests of Simplicity, (that’s my excuse), I’ve just become the proud owner of a 1985 Bridgestone MB-2 MTB. (which, given the lisence sticker on the down tube, spent time in Ann Harbour, Michigan)

            Suddenly it’s all flannel shirts, jeans & not trimming my beard.

            I may even be humming a few Grateful Dead tunes but I’m also currently reading ‘Fare thee Well’ & it’s a bit of a downer..

          • khal spencer Says:

            I bought an MB-2 in Honolulu in 1988 and sadly, gave away. Wish I still had it. Nice cobalt blue color. The drive train was way too tall for me but back in those days, it didn’t occur to me how easy it would be to swap out cogsets.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Steve Frothingham at Bicycle Retailer has an MB-1 that he’s restoring, using as much period-correct gear as he can find. Now he’s hunting some NOS seven-speed Deore XT hubs so he can build a wheelset.

            Never had one myself, more’s the pity. I started with a rigid Trek Antelope, switched to a rigid Stumpjumper, and then worked my way through a couple-three Specialized alloy hardtails before winding up with the ti’ DBR Axis TT hardtail, which I still have.

            I’ve been thinking about going to a rigid fork on that one. In the name of simplicity, of course.

          • S Says:

            Great points, Herb, about e-cars. And the jury ain’t out on battery disposal. The last thing I did in the Army was waste about six months researching a UN-library’s worth of treaties over some barges full of lithium ion batteries that we couldn’t dispose of. Ended up handing that project off to my unfortunate successor. Last I heard, that damn boat was still circling the planet in search of a port. I’m not a huge Elon Musk fan, or even a little one, but it seems he’s always quick to talk about new battery tech but never seems to get around to old battery disposal.

        • khal spencer Says:

          I’d rather spend money on riding and eating than having flashy stuff, which is why it took me till 66 2/3 years around the sun and being paid more than I am worth to finally go hogwild and get the Ti-bike. Even then, after our conversation I went with the cheap seats for components. Most of my stuff is somewhat prosaic by current elitist white privilege standards. When the click stuff starts to break, I have a couple bar end sets that can be set to friction mode.

          The LHT was the result of having too many parts sitting in the garage needing a bicycle, and me needing a winter commuter. So the Surly, along with matching my mood much of the time, could fit fat rubber plus fenders, hang lights on it till it looked like the Queen Mary, add my work pannier, and be my full time inclement weather/long day, short night bike when I was riding to work every day up in Bombtown.

          The one thing it is not is comfy when completely unloaded and riding on high pressure tires. But that is easily fixed with wider rubber, too. Its a great bike and many tourists swear by them. I wonder if the 700c version is more compliant, but they don’t make it in runt rider version. I wasn’t complaining, just saying if you want a silky champagne ride, its tough to do on a lite beer budget. I love that Surly (my problem is I fall in love with all my bikes–they are like children).

        • Pat O’Brien Says:

          Maybe this one?

          https://www.somafabshop.com/shop/product/23073-soma-fork-crmo-mtb-26-canti-blk-440mm-80mm-3476

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            The very same. I have a RockShox Judy SL rebuilt by HippieTech on the bike now, but after all these years of riding rigid 700c/29ers I have a hell of a time working with 26-inch wheels and a boingy fork.

          • khal spencer Says:

            For the LaTierra trails up here, my 2005 Stumpjumper with the little 26 in. wheels and boingy front and back suspension works just fine. I actually like the way the small diameter wheels spin up. Its just that they also tend to drop into ruts the bigger stuff rolls over. But as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The bike still is more offroad bike than I need.

          • Shawn Says:

            I put one of Soma’s Cr-Mo rigid forks (black w/ rim brake posts) on my bike earlier this year. It works out well. I installed it after performing some other front end work on my classic 26″ hardtail bike. That same bike that was recently hounding a rider on Colnago gravel rig (cue the papal choir tone here), for an hour and a half up one of the long and wonderful forest roads in my area. I eventually had to pass him on the tricky rough road downhill on the other side. Whoosh ! (cue the Molly Hatchet “Flirtin’ with Disaster” here).

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Good to hear. Maybe if I were more aggro on the mountain bike, shredding the ol’ gnar-gnar and whatnot, I would need and make more use of a suspension fork.

            But I ain’t, so I don’t.

            I pulled the Marzocchi fork off my Voodoo Loa ’cross bike and went rigid on that one. Now in that case I found I missed the boingy fork a bit, mostly because it didn’t boing much — basically it just buffed the rougher bits out of the lousy Crusty County roads.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      It’s hard to go wrong with a SOMA frame and fork, and then build it up just the way you want it.

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