Archive for the ‘Bike stuff’ Category

Just ankling along

March 28, 2020

Hey, when you have extra daylight to burn, you might as well break out the matches.

I haven’t shot any video for Adventure Cyclist lately because a bicycle reviewer with a broken ankle isn’t much of a cyclist, let alone a touring cyclist. And we viejos get rust in the cranium if we don’t keep buffing away up there.

So here’s a little mental exercise for me and a little cheap entertainment for you. I can proclaim without fear of contradiction that it’s worth every penny you’ll pay for it.

Dog duty

March 27, 2020

Of course, every minute felt like an hour, so I’m saying I did 66 hours on the sonofabitch.

Made it. Sixty-six minutes and change on the Cateye CS-1000. Winning!

So. Much. Winning.

The playlist included selections from “Powerglide” (New Riders of the Purple Sage”) and “Waiting for Columbus” (Little Feat).

No one who hangs around here should be surprised that the set included “I Don’t Need No Doctor” and “Old Folks’ Boogie.”

And thanks once again to everyone who lit a candle on my virtual cake.

Bike shops are essential

March 25, 2020

Albuquerque’s Two Wheel Drive is shut down, but a FaceButt post says they’re “investigating the potential of allowing repair pickups and more. Per shut-down protocol, no promises at this point. …”
—Photo lifted from the TWD website

Auto shops are essential, but bike shops are not?

We beg to differ.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s order designating some New Mexico businesses as essential and others, eh, not so much, could use a little gentle tweaking. Thanks to Khal S. and the League of American Bicyclists, we can suggest that bike shops be given the all-clear to operate, even if only in some greatly reduced fashion.

Says Ken McLeod, LAB policy director:

“The League of American Bicyclists has received several requests for advocacy support to make sure that bicycle repair shops are designated as essential businesses in New Mexico and other states. … The League of American Bicyclists believes that bicycle repair employees are within the essential workforce described by federal guidance released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. That guidance says that the essential workforce includes ‘Employees who repair and maintain vehicles … that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.’ We think that the correct interpretation is that bicycle repair employees fall within that description. Clarifying that by explicitly including bicycle repair shops as essential businesses would be helpful so that they can continue serving the needs of people who depend upon bicycles for transportation or find bicycles preferable as a low-cost transportation option in this time of crisis.”

LAB has created a campaign page for people to direct messages to the governor on this issue. Ken, Khal and I urge you to circulate the link as you see fit.

STFH

March 23, 2020

The Last Tango in Albuquerque. For now, anyway.

Well, kids, there you have it: Stay the (You Know What) Home.

 

Ride or hide?

March 19, 2020

The Soma Double Cross in townie configuration.

Larry and Pat O’B have been discussing the merits of forgoing outdoor cycling for the moment.

There is some merit to the idea of giving it a miss, especially in Italy, where the toll has been particularly fierce and the authorities want everyone indoors save for brief food-gathering expeditions and other critical tasks.

That sort of lockdown has yet to come to Albuquerque. And I’ve been hobbled for nearly a month. So naturally I’m itching to ride.

But. …

Yesterday I walked for a half-hour, covering a little more than a mile, and that felt nice too.

So, I’m thinking that despite what you see on social-distance media about cycling being The Next Big Thing® (always with TNBT®, our people), it might be politic to ride the trainer indoors and save the outdoor cycling for business trips. Like, say, rides to the grocery.

It’s good PR. And it comes with a couple of side benefits.

One, unless you’re me, you are unlikely to fall off your own two feet and become an unwelcome burden to an already-overtaxed medical-industrial complex.

And two, unless you own a cargo bike and a pair of thunder-thighs, it will curb the human impulse to hoard. The average Joe/Jane can only carry so much in a basket or a backpack.

Thoughts? Sound off in comments.

Happy St. Whatsisface Day

March 17, 2020

Boggy O’Trotter, fresh from an epic 8-mile ride.
The flowers were in case I croaked en route.

Herself and I kitted up (in green, natch) and rode our mountain bikes over to Herself the Elder’s assisted-living home this afternoon.

It was a resupply op (HtE was out of wine) and the choppers were all grounded, so whaddaya gonna do?

I chose the old DBR Axis TT because it has 26-inch wheels (easy to throw a leg over); fat tires (squish squish squish); and boingy bits (boy-boy-yoinnnnng), all of which help minimize the impact to the bum ankle, which is wearing one of these doodads. Swapped the Time ATACs for flat pedals too.

No land-speed records were set. But it was nice to be riding a bicycle that was actually going somewhere.

Revolver

March 9, 2020

It is not dying. But it is sucking.

Hey, what can I tell you? The old Beatles album seemed appropriate for today’s indoor-cycling soundtrack.

“Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.”

Downstream appears to be where we’re headed, a’ight. In the SS Wall Street, a cruise ship full of coronavirus and cheap oil, captained by a drug-addled golf cheat with a crew of button-down barnacles, lampreys and other hangers-on.

Tomorrow may never know, but today isn’t exactly up to speed, either.

Move

March 8, 2020

Move. Just not too much.

“Move” is the first cut on the 1957 Miles Davis album “Birth of the Cool.” And that’s what I did yesterday. Move.

Not much, mind you. It’s still just over two weeks since I broke that ankle, though it seems more like two years. But I’ve been treating the fucking thing like it’s made of Waterford crystal and all of a sudden I was sick of its bullshit.

Yesterday’s playlist. I probably should’ve gone for “Kind of Blue,” but I needed to get my head out of that particular space for a while.

So I clomped out to the garage, pulled the rim-brake Soma Saga down from its hook, clamped it to the old Cateye Cyclosimulator CS-1000, and went for a short “ride.”

It wasn’t as stupid as it sounds, probably. I did a half hour in low gears. Three-point-five miles with Miles, for an average speed of 7 big big mph. I was wearing my Darth Gimp boot on the starboard side and a Vasque Clarion hiking boot on the port, which kept me more or less symmetrical. Also, I dropped the saddle a couple cm to allow for a certain lack of flexibility in the wonky bits.

Sure, it felt creepy at first. If you’ve ever broken a bone you know that feeling — “Should I or shouldn’t I?” — about taking the damaged goods off the shelf for a little look-see.

“OK, yeah, right, here we go, show me what you got you miserable motherf. …”

But it went OK. The swelling continues to diminish, I’m seeing more definition in the foot, and with any luck I won’t need that bespoke piñon-and-turquoise peg and a Norwegian blue (lovely plumage) for my 66th birthday.

Incidentally, “Birth of the Cool” is also the title of a documentary about Miles, the man and his music. You can catch it on PBS.

Sunshine patriots

February 15, 2020

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), demonstrates his readiness posture for the press.

Herself has three days “off” each week, but the “off” part is short for “off her rocker.”

Yesterday she pulled a full shift with Herself the Elder (eye appointment, lunch, New Mexico ID, etc.). And today she attended the local Donks’ 2020 ward meeting (she is a precinct chairperson and narrowly escaped sentencing to the pre-primary convention).

Tomorrow she has to give me a haircut. Yeah, yeah, I hear you laughing out there, but it’s harder than it sounds, chasing down and eliminating rogue hairs on my vast expanse of scalp. Like mowing the lawn for someone who doesn’t give a shit about lawns. Why can’t a fella go bald all over at once, is what I’d like to know.

In solidarity I went for a couple nice bike rides in the sunshine while the cats napped in sunny spots. Tough work, but someone had to do it.

R.I.P., Dirt Rag

January 30, 2020

Ah, Dirt Rag, we hardly knew ye.

Well, this sucks.

Dirt Rag has been in the bicycle-journalism racket exactly as long as I have. We both rolled around in 1989, though I was mostly on a road bike.

American Cyclery is getting a seismic refit and, eventually, it is to be hoped, a new owner.

I never thought of myself as a mountain biker. And Dirt Rag was never just a mountain-bike mag. Maurice Tierney and the gang were into art and culture and all manner of good shit. Did you know Mo is a deejay at KALX, 90.7 FM in Berserkly? True fact.

Also, this:

The oldest bike shop in San Francisco is on the block. American Cyclery built my Soma Saga Disc for me, and they did a stellar job. I haven’t had to do jack shit to that bike except ride it and fix an occasional flat.

I thought Friday was the day when all the bad news dropped. Trust the bike biz to get it wrong.