Archive for the ‘Bike stuff’ Category

Forward, into the past (part 1,672,078 in a series)

June 18, 2018

The road to the clouds. OK, so it’s the road to the tram. But the tram is the road to the clouds, so there, smartypants.

How pleasant to enjoy a respite from summer before its official arrival.

The rain ushered in a brief spell of cooler temps, and I actually considered wearing knee and arm warmers for yesterday’s ride. But the sun eventually came out, and stayed out, so I troweled on some sunscreen instead and got after it.

The Eurocross lacks handlebar tape, but otherwise it’s all set for 1990.

What was intended as a short spin wound up taking a couple hours, and afterward Herself and I slouched on the back patio with refreshing beverages, helping the cats watch the birds.

On Saturday, while it was still raining, I continued my time travels, chucking my favorite Steelman Eurocross into the Wayback Machine for a journey to the era when aero levers and bar-end shifters ruled Velo-earth. That Shimano 600 STI was just too dern modern for me.

While I was about it I added a new, wider bar, a 44cm Soma Highway One, which has less reach and drop than the old 42cm Cinelli Eubios. The Cinelli may be as old as the bike, which says something about Cinelli quality, the luck I was pushing, or perhaps both.

Up the Wazoo!

June 14, 2018

 

I suffered an allergic reaction to advanced technology this morning and went out for a much-needed refresher course in the advantages of stone knives and bearskins.

My Voodoo Wazoo dates to 2005, but is largely a creature of the previous millennium:

• Reynolds 853 main tubes with a Tange Infinity fork.

• Shimano 600 crank with a single 38-tooth chainring and a Salsa Crossing Guard.

• Seven-speed Shimano 105 derailleur.

The Bloo Voodoo Wazoo (file photo).

• Seven-speed Shimano Hyperglide freewheel, 12-28T.

• Shimano Hyperglide Narrow chain.

• Seven-speed Shimano bar-con mounted on a Paul Components Thumbie.

• Shimano 600 hubs laced to Mavic Open Pro clincher rims.

• Continental CrossRide tires, 700×42.

• Vetta saddle liberated from a Team Crest Pinarello Prologo TT.

• Control Tech seat post from God only knows where.

• Easton EA50 stem and Cannondale Fire flat bar with cork grips.

• Real brake levers (that was actually the name of the company: Real).

• Avid Tri-Align cantilever brake (front) with KoolStop pads.

• Dia-Compe 986 canti (rear) with Dia-Compe pads.

• Actual straddle-wire-and-yoke setup for both.

• Time ATAC pedals.

There was none of your fancy “10-speeds,” nor your high-draulical brakificationist grand-doo and foofaraw, nossiree. And we had tubes in our goldurned tires, and we liked it!

Oh, to be sure, it was a little strenuous climbing in the 38×28, and I nearly got centerpunched in a blind corner by a lively young rapscallion riding one of your whatchacallem, “mountaineering bikes,” but all in all it was a pleasant reminder that “old” doesn’t always mean “useless.”

 

Mad dogs and Englishmen*

June 12, 2018

Climbing Simms Park Road on the Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1 with almost 40 pounds of gear and not nearly enough legs.

Well, a mad dog, singular, anyway. Noonday sun, to be sure. And temps in the 90s by the time I returned to El Rancho Pendejo from some weight training and videography with a fully loaded REI Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1, which is the next bike in the hopper for all you eager Adventure Cyclist readers.

Two bottles would about get me to the city limits on a day like today.

If this had been an actual tour of the parched upper Chihuahuan Desert, there would be at least one more water bottle on that bike. Maybe one of those big blue Adventure Cycling Association-label Hydro Flasks, slung underneath the down tube. And p’raps a couple of fat Ortlieb water bags in the panniers, too.

*Englishmen not included.

La Ruta Reducido

June 3, 2018

From left: Pat O’B, Your Humble Narrator and Khalil S. “The boys regret their apparel selection as they begin their prison sentences. It seems they will be targeted by the harder criminals.” | Photo and caption by Herb C.

La Ruta del Rancho Pendejo 2018 is receding in the helmet mirror, the weather gods having decreed that stage two would not proceed as scheduled.

Stage one, a pan-flat, 33-mile out-and-back on the Paseo del Bosque, went off without a hitch, unless you count hunting parking spaces at the Alameda trailhead. Hijo, madre, etc. It was like looking for honesty in DeeCee. I usually bicycle down to the bosque trail, so this was a new experience for me, and I devised my very own parking space, where I imagine no one had parked before.

With the heavy machinery docked, properly and otherwise, Pat O’B., Herb C., Khalil S. and I set sail with a few hundred thousand of our closest friends (save for you, dear readers) for what I and the weatherperson anticipated would be a hideously hot, wind-scoured ride. Not so much. It turned out right nice. Even our handlebar bells were in sync, pealing out nuggets of harmony as we overtook our brethren and sistren in heavy traffic.

From left: Pat O’B, Your Humble Narrator and Herb C. The South Diversion Channel Trail, says the city’s description of the bosque tour, “provides impressive views of an industrial portion of Albuquerque,” if you happen to be feeling industrious. | Photo by Khalil S.

For some reason I never remember to unlimber the camera on these deals, mostly being preoccupied with bullshittery, so we have no “pro” images of the four of us from the Canon PowerShot S110 and its convenient timer for hands-free photography.

Happily, Khal and Herb weren’t shy about pulling out their phones for a few snaps, so we have proof that we were on the bikes and not barstools. At these precise moments, anyway.

Afterward we lunched at Casa de Benavidez on 4th, and then I sped off to the Duke City airport to fetch Herself home from a jaunt to Colorado while the lads amused themselves elsewhere.

I had planned to snap a few candids of the crew on today’s mountain-bike ride, especially if anyone wound up plucking cactus thorns from their bibs, but the planet had other ideas.

Between fires, high winds, and impending heavy rain and/or hail, we agreed to employ the better part of valor, which is to say “discretion.”

At long last, rain. My fault: I washed and lubed the bicycle I intended to ride today.

We might have been able to pull off a quick hour on the trails — by noon, the gods had huffed and puffed to no particular effect — but there ain’t many places to hide in the upper reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert when they finally start tossing the icewater and electricity around and about.

So Pat scurried off home to Sierra Vista, Khal remained in Fanta Se, and Herb headed north to inspect The Arts so that he might tell the wife he’d done something of merit over the weekend. Me? I caught up on news and chores. The party never stops.

Next year we might shift the Ruta north to Khal’s neighborhood. There’s plenty of cycling to be done in our old hometown, lots of top-shelf grub, and The Arts aplenty in case any of yis tilt in that direction.

Finally, thanks to Pat, Khal and Herb for joining me, and another round of happy-birthday wishes to Pat, who celebrated his 69th with us.

 

 

Hot time in the old town

May 30, 2018

New Mexico must have a patent on these cloud formations. And if it doesn’t, it should.

Looks like the inaugural Ruta del Rancho Pendejo will be a warm one, with highs in the 90s and 80s, though there’s a chance of afternoon showers on Sunday.

The very latest in fluid acquisition and retention technology.

This last we will believe when we see it.

Never fear, however. Your Humble Narrator, with an assist from Adventure Cyclist editor-in-chief Alex Strickland, has acquired a number of advanced hydration-delivery devices for distribution to all participants.

We regret to announce, however, that Roseanne Barr will not be joining us for the weekend’s activities. She’s apparently decided to take a fresh direction. Some sort of gravity deal.

And it seems to be quite the show. I haven’t seen anyone go downhill that fast since Missy Giove was shredding the gnar.

Fire on the mountain

May 26, 2018

The view from below the tram.

When I sallied forth for the day’s ride I saw smoke and assumed that some asshat had been careless in my vicinity.

Nope.

A local TV station says that the haze bellied up to the base of the Sandias is from the Buzzard Fire, a 12,400-acre blaze in the Gila National Forest.

This doesn’t mean that asshats have not been careless in my vicinity. After observing the smoke I started noticing the cigarette butts scattered along the shoulder of Tramway Boulevard. I thought I’d count them but it proved impossible. It seemed more important in the short term to focus on the asshats trying to kill me with their cars.

Back to work

May 19, 2018

The Bianchi Orso 105, intended for everything from “commuting to centuries, long distance touring to backroad bikepacking,” according to the company website.

Just as I was getting used to the idea of not having much to do, being a geezer whose increasingly feeble revenue stream depends on the depleted wells of bicycling and journalism, suddenly I have two bikes to review for Adventure Cyclist, and one of them posthaste, if you please, as another reviewer’s bike seems to have gone someplace without him.

REI’s Co-op ADV 1.1, a classic triple-ring tourer tarted up with hydraulic disc brakes.

The new arrivals are a Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1, a $1,299 tourer from REI, and a Bianchi Orso 105, a $2,100 “all-road” bike with its roots in the venerable Volpe line.

Some people snicker at the idea of buying a bike from REI, but I’ve reviewed a couple of Co-op’s Novara predecessors and felt they delivered solid value at a reasonable price. “The Novara Verita,” I wrote, “will take you everywhere but to the cleaners.” The Mazama adventure bike was likewise “light on the wallet” and fun to ride.

I have some time on Bianchis, too. When she was affiliated with the organization Sky Yaeger loaned me a Castro Valley for a spell, and I liked the Zurigo Disc enough to add it to the fleet, though it suffers from an alloy frame, carbon fork and disc brakes, a.k.a. the Three Horsepersons of the Apocalypse.

The Co-op will be first out of the chute, and boy, am I glad I have some kilometers under my bibs, because it weighed in at 34.7 pounds before I installed the pedals. Expect to see me paying frequent visits to that 26-tooth granny ring. I guess that’s why they call it “work.”

Speaking of adventure, T.E. Lawrence died on this day in 1935. Keep an eye peeled for all them derned kids on bicycles, hogging the road.

Off to (not) see the Wizard

May 15, 2018

This picture won’t prove it, but the bosque trail seemed pretty busy for a Tuesday.

Seasonal temps, blue skies, a tailwind for most of the homebound leg … what’s not to like?

It being the birthday of L. Frank Baum, himself a scribe of some small renown, I decided this morning to embark on a journey.

Didn’t make it to the Emerald City (that derned yellow brick road doesn’t appear anywhere on my map), but I did reach the bosque, which has greened up nicely. Standing in for tin men, scarecrows and cowardly lions were cyclists, skaters and joggers.

Temps were seasonal, which is to say in the 80s, and the wind was favorable, pushing me back uphill toward home. No tornado, no balloon, no ruby slippers — just the breeze, the bike and those old black Sidis.

And neither wicked witch nor flying monkeys impeded my progress. I guess they’re all busy in DeeCee.

 

 

Wheeled chair

April 27, 2018

“It’s OK, I have allergies.”

Treed

April 25, 2018

The acequia just south of Interstate 40 and the Paseo del Bosque.

Chihuahua. I thought I was past the worst of the seasonal allergies until yesterday afternoon, when the ol’ snotlocker went haywire on me again, streaming like autoplay video.

I blame the mulberries, and perhaps the cottonwoods. Though it must be said that doing a three-hour ride down to the bosque and back was probably not exactly what the doctor ordered.

I enjoyed it, though. And it sure beat being reminded yet again that our government is a whorehouse without piano players in which a select few get laid while the rest of us get screwed.