Black and white

White Nobilette, black Privateer.

I was compelled to go to the Dark Side today.

The plan was to roll down toward the Rio and climb back up again, but I got no further than Tramway and Montgomery when the rear tire on the Nobilette went pssssshhhhhhht.

No biggie. In fact, it was my first flat since January. So briskly I relocated from the highway shoulder to the nearby bike path and effected repairs.

But this left me with just one spare tube for a 25-mile loop through goat-head country on a sunny July day in The Duck! City.

Well. Shit. Back to the ranch. Not to stay, mind you, but to grab another bike.

The New Albion Privateer was off its hook and leaning against the Subaru in the garage. Bingo. There were two tubes and tools in the saddlebag and a frame pump slung under the top tube. Moved the headlight and taillight over and off we went.

It’s not so bad, the Dark Side. Just a horse of a different color. Who’s your daddy, Luke?

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29 Responses to “Black and white”

  1. SAO’ Says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I caught my kids watching the finish of le Tour this morning.

    A couple of years ago, at Tour de Fat, they hit it off with the wife of New Belgium‘s former head brewer. And last year, she turned them into fans of Wout van Aert 🇧🇪, mostly because they just like cheering “Woot! Woot! Woot!” But they also like saying “MVP” and “Teddy,” so they root for Mathieu van der Poel and Tadej Pogačar.

    Anyway, during the obligatory helicopter shots of 500 year old buildings, I remembered how much I used to like this time of the year, and how the world needs more people like Mons.

    So going to pour one out for him tonight, and think about how I can channel my existential dread into something positive tomorrow.

    • JD Says:

      SAO: Thanks for the poignant reminiscence of Mons and his many talents/blessings that benefited so many.
      Hoping all the old LUG-nuts are doing well.
      Time marches on and the wheel goes round and round, eh?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Well said, sir. I miss the Live Update Guy era and its cast of characters as well. What a seat-of-the-chamois op’ that was. It was largely improvised, like jazz or standup comedy, but with more than two players on stage. Reminded me a lot of the early days of the rebooted VeloNews, when a bunch of us would be slouching around the Boulder office proofing pages with the help of pizza and beer.

      Counselor Pelkey is still lawyerin’ up in Laramie, and I am retired here in The Duck! City. The others are scattered to the four winds. And Mons is definitely missed. His travelogues were spectacular, a real jewel in our tin crown.

      Incidentally, if anyone still craves a text-based live update. The Guardian does a pretty good one. No limerick contests or Monty Python references, but hey, times have changed. I have a quick peek now and again.

    • Shawn Says:

      Wow. Although I follow the Tour with a semblance of interest, I had also not thought of Mons in a while. A year and a half goes by pretty fast. I don’t have any ale in the house due to deliberate circumstances, but I’ll pull the whiskey out of it’s secret location and have a dram for him while I review the news from France this late evening.

      Yes, those are nice bikes. You were wise to turn back and insure proper rescue gear. It seems as though when one thinks about something and does nothing about it, then that something occurs and one then has to walk home several miles in cleats because the better-half rescue party left her cell phone on the kitchen counter.

      I hope though that you had a nice ride. I got a short one in as well. Nothing new, but the legs enjoyed the roll. Earlier in the day I rescued a couple of bikes from an ageing rider. He is looking to upgrade his legs to some electrical assist and he was willing to part with his road and mtb bikes for a song. Although I sang him a little John Prine, I still needed to give him a few bucks.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        It was damn near the perfect ride. The temps were not insane, winds were light, and I had no additional mechanicals.

        The route was a blend of high-speed highway (Tramway), side streets, and bike path/bike trail. The descent along Tramway to I-25 is a tad hairy in that you’re doing it alongside distracted drivers who think the speed limit is strictly advisory, but there’s a nice wide shoulder and in the gaps between speeding SUVs you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley.

        Down Tramway to I-25

        • Click here to embiggen.

        “New” bikes, hey? What did you score? My man Hal up Weirdcliffe way oftens speaks wistfully of his old steel Univega. These here newfangled comosellamas just ain’t doin’ it for him.

        • Shawn Says:

          Well, let’s just say they’re not as cool and classic as an old Univega. They are to be re-distributed (ebay’d) after some cleaning, polishing and adjustment. One is a hardtail 29’r of the non-ferrous metal type produced by the first mass produced MTB company. The other is a plastic fantastic machine of TVT modulus sporting 6 more than 99 componentry produced by the company that battled Napolean up in Wisconsin. They both are for folks in the 1.8 meter measurement range of which I exceed. They are bikes however and have far fewer furlongs and nearest star orbits then the steeds that I have. Until their departures, I will enjoy their periodic moving company.

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    I had forgotten the Privateer in the herd. Could I beg a full picture of it? Like to see how you built it up. The Nobilette remains a beauty!

    I wasn’t the most dedicated LUG nut, but I miss it. My interest in racing was on the wane at the time, but I was always interested in the Mad Dog blah, blah, and blah!

  3. khal spencer Says:

    NBC Sports has been doing extended daily highlights. Sorta interesting. I skipped to the finish of Stage 6 just now.

    • SAO' Says:

      (Apologies if this double-posts. Word Press doesn’t like that Safari remembers my password as both a Word Press and a Mad Dog log in, and I guess I’m back in posting purgatory again.)

      I think we’re getting the USA Network. The kids use the Apple TV remote to scroll through the longer sections looking for the helicopter shots of farm equipment or school kids on the side of the road.They still have their factory original eyesight and hand-eye coordination, so it’s like watching a video gamer as they flash-forward but stop on a dime to check out a fan in a cow suit or a euro-dude rocking a banana-hammock with Birkenstocks.

      Also just realizing it’s been a year since they raced the short track cyclocross series that the local racing school hosts on New Belgium’s back lot. Hockey has turned them into single sport kiddos, which is what happens to pretty much everyone these days. In order to keep the lights on, everyone has to jack up their registrations fees, and to justify the fees, they have to extend the season. It’s hard for a kid to dabble in this, check out that in today’s recreation market. As a result, kiddos have to decide whether they are soccer kids or swimming kids, football vs baseball while they’re still in middle school.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I became a single-sport kiddo early on.

        Despite living in Canada I was never a great skater, so hockey was out (I did collect hockey cards, though).

        When we moved to Texas I tried baseball and to the old man’s astonishment and displeasure I proved completely incompetent and quit with all possible haste.

        Too skinny for football. Too short for hoops (also, no fast-twitch muscles and a complete and utter lack of hand-eye coordination). Hated wrestling. Running was OK, as long as it was unorganized (track sucked). A high-school gymnastics coach said I had potential but that sport conflicted with swimming, which was a known quantity. I was a middling athlete on a number of swim teams from age 8 to 18.

        The only things that stuck were swimming and cycling, because I rode a bike everywhere for transportation. It was either that or walk. Running eventually made it back into my sports quiver, because cyclocross and multisport turned out to be fun.

        Swimming was good for a kid who spent most of his time living in his own head. It was safely anonymous. Nobody outside the swim team gave a shit about it, and so you didn’t have to deal with the distraction of spectators. Thrashing along in the water you couldn’t hear or see much of anything other than your competition doing likewise.

        Don’t get me started on physical education. A good thing for most kids, for sure. But I was either walking or cycling to school, and doing a ton of miles in the pool, and the last thing on earth I wanted or needed was a shit-ton of laps around the track or calisthenics and whatnot. It confirmed my suspicions about the cookie-cutter approach to just about anything. If I’da gotten a pass on the P.E. I’da had more time to take drugs and act the fool.

        • B Lester Says:

          I played HS soccer in the Pleistocene. I was also the worst HS springboard diver in the history of the conference, but I digress…

          We exposed our daughter to every sport imaginable, and she started with soccer. This began my dozen plus years coaching and eventually ascending to the club presidency. Not as glamorous as it sounds. I saw single sport soccer players, and discouraged it as much as I could. Recount an interview with the Greatest- Wayne Gretzky. He said that he and his mates couldn’t wait for hockey season to end so they could go outside and play lacrosse. There are also star athletes that said they played different sports and didn’t pick their fave till late in HS.

          BTW, my daughter ended up a pretty good tennis player and captain of a not so good HS team. She’s still playing today at 24 years old. Daddy be proud.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I think anything that gets you outside and away from your devices, and raises your heart rate more than a peek at the news, is worthwhile.

          I still jog a bit, as the spirit moves, and do short hikes. I’m riding 100 or so miles a week, and keep thinking about doing a tour up to Colorado, but I’ll need more distance in my legs to get that done. And I recently resumed some light resistance training, a discipline I dislike and have trouble maintaining.

          Can’t bear the thought of getting back in the pool, though. The same 25 meters over and over and over again. The scenery never changes.

  4. SAO' Says:

    Of course, the Law of the Luck of the Irish says that, had you rolled along on the Nobilette, you would have flatted that recently replaced tube at the mathematical intersection of maximum distance from home and peak heat of the day. In fact, I think you can use distance x temperature to predict the geographical location with the highest density of goat heads and puncture weed.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Truer words, etc. I learned my lesson in that regard in rural Crusty County after flatting on the mountain bike several miles from home and finding nothing but punctured “spares” in the saddlebag. I had to stash the bike in some trailside scrub and jog back to Chez Dog — including the milelong, 430-vertical-feet finale — in Sidi mountain-bike shoes.

  5. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I want the truth and don’t sugar coat it. I can take it….
    Do you have a loaded and ready seat bag on each and every bike or if not; how many of them are employed and what is in them? I’ll come clean here. Each of my 3 bikes has a rear rack and a dedicated rack pack. Appropriate tube(s), multi tools and monster tire levers. A hat in case I want to go in somewhere without looking like a dork and a super light pair of cover shorts to cover well… know what lycra does to an old body. And each pack has a pump and lock/cable. Why the duplication? Cause I never seem to be able to remember to transfer the pack from one bike to another and don’t like sorting out various tube size for each ride.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Now that’s organization! Well done, sir; well done indeed.

      The Fleet includes too many bikes to decorate with racks and bags (though I also have plenty racks and bags). But there is a bit of method to my madness.

      I use three Jandd saddlebags, one small for the bikes that use 28-35mm tires (road and cyclocross), and two larger ones for bikes that use 38-50mm tires (touring and MTB).

      The small will take two tubes and a pair of tire irons; a Park mini-tool wrapped in a bandana goes into a jersey pocket.

      One of the mediums is dedicated to the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff and the Jones, because they run the fattest tires (2.0 and 2.4, respectively). The other gets passed around anything with 43mm rubber or less. Each can handle two tubes, two tire irons, and that bandana-wrapped Park tool, plus a wrench for adjusting Paul’s cantis if need be.

      Several of the bikes have mini-pumps mounted. Anything with a pump peg shares my Zéfal frame pump. Cyclocross bikes get a Blackburn mini in a jersey pocket.

      I do have rear racks on four bikes, and two Arkel TailRider rack trunks I could put to work. But I rarely stop to shop or socialize while on the bike, so I don’t need to carry street duds, locks, and whatnot.

      My system isn’t foolproof, but so far I haven’t found myself trying to stuff a 32-50mm tube into a 28mm tire.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      The important words here are “too many bikes.” The perils of being a bike testing writer I guess. Two Arkel Tailriders should equate to two bikes, but since Herb set the standard, you can keep three. Don’t ask how many guitars I have!

      • JD Says:

        So, PO’B …… Inquiring minds want to know …….how many guitars do you have?! 🙂

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        OK, Herb has 3 bikes that he’ll admit to, I have 5 guitars, and who knows how many bikes Patrick has.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Uh, lessee here, I bleeve the official count is 18 bikes, two guitars, one flute, and two tin whistles. I useta have a Yamaha keyboard but it went away before we made the move to The Duck! City.

        • JD Says:

          Huh??!! I thought you were looking for a flute. Amirite or amirong?????

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I still have my old Boosey & Hawkes flute from seventh grade, but it’s in poor condition. Barely playable at this point, and investing any more money in repair/upkeep is starting to feel silly.

          So now and then I shop around, price some entry- to midlevel instruments. But I just don’t know that I’ll get $1,500-$2,000 worth of amusement out of one, given my middling skillz.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Each of my bike has the fully locked and loaded seat pack. Otherwise, I know what would happen. 20 miles down the road, all the stuff would be loaded on the wrong bike. Of course I only have eight bikes, unlike some here…

  6. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Come to the dark side, Uke.

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