Rio Cielo

There’s a little blue sky island up there to the NNW of Trail 365A.

It’s been warm enough the past couple of days that I haven’t felt compelled to crank up the thermostat the instant I ooze out of bed.

Yesterday I could’ve ridden in knickers and arm warmers. I didn’t, of course, because nobody needs to see my pallid calves on a lovely February morning, not even me. I wore tights and long-sleeves like a white man. A very white man.

The Tramway Time Trial record was never in jeopardy, probably due to the extra weight I was carrying, kit-wise. I took just under a half hour to climb from I-25 to County Line Barbecue. And mind you, I had a tailwind.

Looking back the way I came.

In my defense I’ll note that I was riding 30 pounds of bike (a Soma Saga). But then, I’m pretty much always riding a 30-pound bike, so those hairy, Day-Glo items I call “legs” should not have been surprised.

The previous day I had been aboard a 24.5-pound bike, my old DBR Axis TT mountain bike. Yet somehow I remained unimpressive on the foothills trails. I’d blame the boingy fork and seatpost, or perhaps the 26-inch wheels, but I’m actually starting to regain an appreciation for those bits in my dotage. So it’s operator error once again.

Maybe I can learn some mad skillz from Beta, the new mountain-bike mag’ from Pocket Outdoor Media, the same outfit that owns Bicycle Retailer and a metric shit-ton of other sweat-stained publications.

Then again, “beta” means “a stage of development in which a product is nearly complete but not yet ready for release.” So, maybe not. Still, I wish Nicole Formosa and her crew the best of luck in their new endeavor.

Speaking of mad skillz, we decided to go low-tech on coffee machinery. This morning it was a Thermos pour-over that will require an adjustment to the coffee-water ratio. And with one bloodshot eye aimed erratically toward the future I’ve ordered up a six-cup Chemex and an Aeropress.

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20 Responses to “Rio Cielo”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Took the CAAD5 out for a quick hour spin yesterday as it was warm. Was nice.And yes, no time trial records were in danger of being broken. I was timing myself on the La Tierra loop for a while and taking a lot of time off but lately I’ve really tired of competing with myself and just like to futz around on the bikes.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I’ve yet to get one of those 27.5 or 29 inch boingy mountain bikes or even want to. With my small frame at barely five foot six, the small 2005 Stumpjumper works just fine and with my cycling talents, or lack thereof, it seems overkill to buy a new bike. Plus, I actually like the short wheelbase and quick handling of the smaller tires. I guess the big rubber would be good for rolling over stuff but I’ve yet to push the Stumpy beyond its capabilities. Or mine.

      Main problem is that the bike biz increasingly has walked away from tire selection in 26 inch. But again, other than wanting something faster like those old Richey Speedmax tires in 26×2.1 inch size, it works for me.

  2. katholoch Says:

    Thanks for the intel on the new magazine. Although a cyclist of any kind of riding (commute, road, gravel, singletrack), my heart is mainly as a mountain biker. I will check it out.

  3. katholoch Says:

    Good job on the Beta promotion. I signed up. I was sad when Bike went under as I remember seeing the first issue on the newstand at Northstar Resort in Tahoe and loving it from day one. The minute I saw the Mike Ferrentino article I thought I will take a chance and subscribe. Bike had wonderful funny articles and great photography. The bro culture wasn’t always the most inclusive for me, but they covered travel and the adventure of bike so well I could overlook it. I stopped subscribing at some point when I was in grad school and too busy to even ride.

    I specifically remember an article in Bike written by Bob Roll. I guess he was living in Santa Fe and took a mountain bike ride up into the Jemez. The roads can be very confusing up there on the south flank (some now closed as I guess Cochiti Publeo figured out the land actually belonged to them). It was a hilarious article about him getting totally lost and having a “Gilligan’s Island” tour. I wish I could find it, but it was pre-internet (remember that?).

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ferrentino kills it. Always love reading his stuff. And I’ve gotten to talk to him a time or two at Interbike over the years, so, bonus. Now and then I hitch a ride on his coattails, calling myself “Quentin Ferrentino” when I shoot a video, or lately “Fenton Quarantino.” But he’s the real deal and I’m just a poser who keeps getting away with it. So far, anyway.

      Nicole’s good people too. I hope the POMmies give the gang some room to play.

      I interviewed Bobke for The New Mexican when I worked there. He was renowned for doing insane shit in the mountains, like riding his team road bike off the pavement and onto the dirt, and then into the snow, and then clinbing off and postholing around for a few hours. Or backpacking with a ton of bricks or whatever.

      Laurence Malone was in Santa Fe at about the same time, so we rarely lacked for entertainment. Dude would turn up to a race on some thousand-year-old bike wearing equally ancient kit and just murder people.

      Then there was Kent Bostick, and John Frey, and … shit, the list goes on and on.

      Did you ever read any of Bobke’s stuff in VeloNews? It was top-shelf madness.

      • katholoch Says:

        The best sentence in Bob’s article was something along the lines of “This is when you realize that planning a ride while sitting and watching the Three Stooges with your kid is not the same as actually doing it.”

        I haven’t ever really paid much attention to VeloNews, being a mtn biker and all. I’ve gotten more into reading about events with the EF Racing Alternative Program. They are doing a good job of opening up road and barely road racing to the gravel crowd.

        Road racing otherwise has never captured my interest a whole lot. Too hard to understand the ins and outs of all the jerseys, etc.

        • JD Says:

          Kath: Agree on the EF Racing videos of pros doing alternative racing/riding (Leadville, DirtyKanza, GBDuro, etc.), fitting right in as everyday cyclists, and NOT coming across as so-called “elites”. Lachlan Morton is outstanding!!! Seems there’s nothing he won’t try. A big boost for cycling in my view.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        This was back in the Nineties, when VeloNews still covered mountain biking. In fact, I wrote up an edition of the Cactus Cup in which Bobke ate shit hard on a desert circuit and rolled in bleeding like a gunshot victim. But a few years earlier he was still racing the road, and writing these insane diaries about being a Yankee in the Euros’ court.

        I wrote a “Friday’s Foaming Rant” about it in 2002, and I see the VN bots scooped it up and moved it over to their new setup, botching a bunch of line breaks along the way.

        I still have hard copies of the magazine going back to March 1989, which was when I started cartooning for them. I should look up some of the old Bobke bits.

  4. SAO' Says:

    Khal has probably heard this one before. A lot of garbage cans on the beaches of Hawaii have “mahalo” printed on the lid. “Thank you for properly disposing of your trash.” But tourists see the cans and think, mahalo must mean trash. Hey, please pick up your mahalo.

    We had a major minor home improvement project a few years ago, and the painters brought their supplies over a few days before they were scheduled to start. There was Ocean Mist for the kitchen, Wool Skein for the dining room, York Grey in the foyer … and the ceiling paint was labeled… wait for it … “cielo.”

    So of course, next time around, we went to the Sherwin Williams page, and like good haoles we wanted to speak to the manager because we could not find our favorite paint color, Cielo, anywhere on their website.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I love language, and dialect. Probably a function of moving around so much as a kid, and then later on as a (chronological) adult.

      It was always a challenge trying to puzzle out exactly what my San Luis Valley buddies meant when they dropped obscure Spanish words or phrases into conversation. A couple go-rounds with high-school Español wasn’t much help when it came to deciphering Spanglish.

      • SAO' Says:

        I’ve seen them a hundred times, but I still reliably crack up at the “how much watch?” banter in Casablanca and the Nooba Strabba line in European Vacation.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Hah. I’d forgotten about that bit in “Casablanca.”

          Mr. Leuchtag: Come sit down. Have a brandy with us.
          Mrs. Leuchtag: To celebrate our leaving for America tomorrow.
          Carl: Oh, thank you very much. I thought you would ask me, so I brought the good brandy. And – a third glass!
          Mrs. Leuchtag: At last the day is came!
          Mr. Leuchtag: Mareichtag and I are speaking nothing but English now.
          Mrs. Leuchtag: So we should feel at home when we get to America.
          Carl: Very nice idea, mm-hmm.
          Mr. Leuchtag: [toasting] To America!
          Mrs. Leuchtag: To America!
          Carl: To America!
          Mr. Leuchtag: Liebchen – sweetness heart, what watch?
          Mrs. Leuchtag: Ten watch.
          Mr. Leuchtag: Such much?
          Carl: Hm. You will get along beautiful in America, mm-hmm.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Reminds me of the bhenchod t-shirt story.

      My big problem on moving to Oahu was picking up the nuance of everyday behavior. Such as looking someone in the eye on the East Coast meant you were being honest and forthright. In Paradise, it meant you were being confrontational. Using the Neew Yawrk voice was fatal to establishing rapport. Oh, and asking for beef didn’t mean round steak. It meant you wanted to rumble. Etc.

      And of course, ma-ha-lo said in a drawn out matter was quite the bit of sarcasm meaning pretty much “eat shit, clown”.

      I learned more local culture from the SOEST Dean’s facilities management team (and my Hawai’i raised wife) than I did in formal learning. Meena was always willing to quietly kick me in the shin when I was being offensive to local culture. Gary Wai, a “local Chinese” guy was the facilities manager and all those guys were locals. I loved working with them because they worked for SOEST rather than the University and felt like they had a seat at the table. Spent quite a few days sloshing around in the facilities core of our building with them when we had to fix or rebuild the air handler on my clean lab. Unlike the university folks, the SOEST blue collar folks treated the labs like it was their own kuleana.

  5. Pat O’Brien Says:

    On another note, it seems republicans in your old hood have made national news. There’s a song for that.

  6. Pat O’Brien Says:

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