Archive for the ‘Bike stuff’ Category

If you prick us, do we not leak?

August 28, 2016
Medicine, Buddha.

Medicine, Buddha.

Flats. Gah, etc.

The goatheads are after me again. Seems as though I can go for months without a puncture and then suddenly it’s pow, pow, pow. Or, more accurately, pssssshhhhhhh, hissssssssss, fyyyyisssssss.

This rhymes with “bliss,” but is not synonymous.

The smart Duke City cyclist runs goo-filled inner tubes or some tubeless setup to avoid needless pedestrianism. But as you know I will never be smart, so I generally wait for a puncture to replace a standard tube with a gooey one. And sometimes even then I’ll just patch the hole and drive on.

If cycling were really the new golf I’d have a caddy to do this for me, or some sycophantic huckster eager for my thoughts on his notion for a left-handed smartphone. “Just try to keep up, punk,” I’d sneer, and of course he couldn’t. It’s a Mad Dog-eat-dog world.

Yesterday I found a slow leak in the rear tire of the Sam Hillborne — it’s always the rear, isn’t it? — and instead of taking the usual half measures I instantly replaced both inner tubes with goopy tubes. Take that, goatheads. Y’pricks.

Miles to go

August 15, 2016
Holy bike-ped bridge, Batman! This one crosses I-25 near Paseo del Norte.

Holy bike-ped bridge, Batman! This one crosses I-25 near Paseo del Norte.

The last month has been mildly productive, cycling-wise. I’m actually logging something like mileage.

(Cue the sound of frantic knocking on wood.)

The North Diversion Channel Trail as seen from the saddle of a Rivendell Sam Hillborne.

The North Diversion Channel Trail as seen from the saddle of a Rivendell Sam Hillborne.

Despite the liberal application of SPF-30 sunscreen I’ve developed one of the ugliest farmer tans in Christendom. And I’m thinking about adding another bike to the fleet just because I can.

More riding means less news-reading, although some bits are unescapable, as is the notion of having my next bike built by General Dynamics Land Systems. I’ll need a few more miles under the bibs to pedal an Abrams touring bike, though.

I’m not going anywhere — just spinning my wheels, as per usual, doing laps around Albuquerque. But if the weather holds it would be nice to do a bike overnight to Santa Fe, along the Turquoise Trail.

All I need to do is wire a rear-facing GoPro to a dynamo hub and then wi-fi the video to a bar-mounted iPhone. They say you’ll never see the one that gets you, but it sure would be nice to have some exciting footage for the funeral.

 

The Bernalillo Triangle

August 4, 2016
At the Triangle you can ride up to the Sandia Crest, if that's your idea of a good time. I haven't done it in about a quarter century.

At the Triangle you can ride up to the Sandia Crest, if that’s your idea of a good time. I haven’t done it in about a quarter century.

Remember that training ride I was contemplating, the one based on the old Watermelon Mountain Classic?

I rode the tail end of it yesterday on the Soma Saga (cantilever edition) and remembered one of the reasons I usually did poorly at the ‘Melon: inconsiderate motorists hogging the descent through Sandia Park-Cedar Crest to Tijeras.

There’s not much in the way of shoulder, and what there is is mostly covered with debris, and the traffic lanes are mostly covered with assholes. Plus there’s that one surprise climb just south of the Triangle that I always forgot about. But other than that, yeah, good times. Maybe not.

I did my recon as part of a 36-mile out-and-back from El Rancho Pendejo, and a mighty nice ride it was, too. There’s a sidewalk-slash-bike path on the climb from Interstate 40 to the Triangle, so a cyclist needn’t endure any buzzing on the way up. And since I was rocking 700x38mm Schwalbe Little Big Ben tires with goopy tubes the debris mostly wasn’t a problem. But damn, some folks need to get theyselfs reacquainted with they manners.

Anyway, now all I need to do is scope out the 25-mile section from Bernalillo to the Triangle and I’ll be ready to ride, just as soon as I get a rear-view mirror, a Glock G26, and some climbing legs.

 

Not the campaign trail

August 2, 2016
The Joe Appaloosa enjoying a bit of dirt time north of El Rancho Pendejo.

The Joe Appaloosa enjoying a bit of dirt time north of El Rancho Pendejo.

How’s your August so far?

Mine’s been great. I got 90 minutes of trail time on Rivendell’s Joe Appaloosa today, and two and a half hours on their Sam Hillborne yesterday.

The Sam Hillborne rolls northbound along the Paseo path.

The Sam Hillborne rolls northbound along the Paseo path.

This is loads more fun than waiting for Ronald McDonald McTrump to shit out of his mouth again. Dude erupts more consistently than Old Faithful. But if you keep the iPhone locked away in a Ziploc bag, and stuff the bag into a jersey pocket, you don’t get drenched until you get home.

Speaking of drenched, the weather wizards advise that a “sustained monsoon moisture plume” is working itself into a Trumplike frenzy, which is good news in a place that just wrapped up a scorcher of a July and was seeing its third-driest year ever.

It would be nice to see less rain more often — flash floods are about as much fun as droughts, as the homeless dudes hunting for their belongings along the I-40 trail will tell you — but like the GOP, we’ll take whatever we can get.

Vuelta de Bosque

July 25, 2016
The northbound view.

The northbound view.

With the Tour in the books, I actually managed to saddle up while it was still coolish outdoors and went for a long, pleasant spin along the Paseo del Bosque trail.

Southbound, en route to the Rio Bravo turnaround.

Southbound, en route to the Rio Bravo turnaround.

Raptors and bunnies were playing hide-and-seek for keeps as I zipped down the Paseo del Norte trail, which drops off the North Diversion Channel trail and feeds into the bosque trail, and there were plenty of two-wheelers out and about as well, despite it being a workday (bums).

After enjoying a slight tailwind out, I decided to skip the 5.4-mile circuit south of Rio Bravo, which turned out to be a poor decision — I missed making my 62nd-birthday mileage by the length of the loop. And the headwind for the return leg was not so much of a much, though the steady climb back to El Rancho Pendejo was the usual struggle.

Speaking of struggles, it sounds as though Comrade Eeyore’s cadres are going all Little Red Book on pretty much everyone at the Democratic National Convention, including Dear Leader himself. Good times. Maybe not.

And yeah, I know me some Little Red Book, yo.

And yeah, I know me some Little Red Book, yo.

I feel their pain. As a retired commie myself, I enjoyed voting for the old socialist in the primary. And I’m certainly not feeling that old smash-the-State love from The Hilldebeast, though Comrade Downhill Bill speaks highly of her running mate in comments. Comrade Pierce approves, too, albeit with reservations.

But you go to vote with the system you have, not the system you wish you had. Ask any old Red.

And if the choice is between Ronald McDonald McTrump and The Hilldebeast, well, that’s no choice at all, is it? You pinch your nose, vote D, and then go home and give yourself a swirly for three or four hours in a toilet full of cheap gin.

 

Smoke ’em if you got ’em

July 12, 2016

 

Yes, I shot it through the windshield. No cyclists were harmed in the making of this image,

Yes, I shot it through the windshield. No cyclists were harmed in the making of this image,

“Do not scorn day trips. You can use them to avoid nervous collapse.” — Jim Harrison, “Going Places”

We had a rest day in Le Tour on Monday, and Tuesday’s stage looked like a snoozer, so I abruptly decided to get the hell out of the scorching Duke City for a short road trip, the idea being to scout out a post-Interbike tour.

Mister Boo requires a bit of oversight, and I don’t like to impose on the neighbors, who have other things to do besides baby-sit a geriatric dog, so I wanted to keep my excursion short and sweet. Salida, I thought. Good cycling town, serviceable eats, haven’t visited in a while, not too far away.

Naturally, as soon as I pulled the trigger on the hotel room, the Hayden Pass fire erupted.

I will never be smart.

The troll of Tramway

July 6, 2016
"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

“Who’s that tripping over my bridge?” roared the troll.

If you can’t stand the heat, get under the overpass.

The Tour stages cut deeply into the cool morning hours, so we Live Update Guys can’t get out and about until 10-ish most days.

Today it was already 80-something when I finally got rolling, and 90-something when I got home. Drank two bottles and snarfed down a gel but found myself slightly weary for some reason. Go figure.

The only shade to be found on the entire two-hour ride was underneath Tramway, between Manitoba and Spain, so I took a brief photography break before resuming my climb back to the air-conditioned barn.

When I arrived home I saw that Ronald McDonald McTrump was panhandling his Twitter followers, so I graciously offered him the steam off my piss. Haven’t heard back yet. There’s just no pleasing some people.

Self-funded campaign, me arse.

Self-funded campaign, me arse.

Wreck on the highway

July 2, 2016
Say hi to Sam Hillborne.

Say hi to Sam Hillborne.

The first day of what appears to be a very long Tour de France is in the bag. Thanks to everyone who joined us at Live Update Guy. And chapeau to Mark Cavendish, who avoided a last-kilometer pileup — one of several on the day — to win the stage and take his first yellow jersey.

Too, a special “ow, wow, yow, zow” goes out to everyone who hit the deck on Stage 1. The body count would seem to include — well, just about everyone except for Cav’, me and Charles Pelkey (office furniture and road furniture rarely become entangled).

Alberto Contador in particular looked like he’d been attacked by a deranged chef with an assault cheese grater. One wonders whether he’ll have to be strapped onto his bike, El Cid-style, in order to start Sunday’s stage.

I wasn’t strapped to a damn thing when I rolled out for my own ride, aboard a brand-spankin’-new Rivendell Sam Hillborne (see pic above). No clipless pedals on that bad boy, not even toeclips and straps — just flats. So I rode in street shoes, baggies, an emblem-free Pearl Izumi jersey and a Rivendell cap unencumbered by helmet, just to make the Safety Nazis crazy. Took ‘er out on the highway, too.

I wish I could change this sad story that I am now telling you. But there is no way I can change it. For somebody’s ride is now through.

Vuelta a Voodoo

July 1, 2016
No, this isn't deep in the Amazonian jungle. This is Trail 341, just west of the non-bikeable wilderness.

No, this isn’t deep in the Amazonian jungle. This is Trail 341, just west of the non-bikeable wilderness.

The first ride of July is in the bag — 90 minutes on the trails surrounding the Elena Gallegos Open Space — and now I will shun the singletrack until the Fourth of July weekend is over. From now until Tuesday morning the trails will look like the aisles at Interbike on day one.

I was rocking the old Voodoo Nakisi with slightly overinflated tires to avoid pinch flats and rolls (I really need wider rims) and despite my best efforts managed to (a) keep the rubber side down, and (2) avoid centerpunching a small flock of early-bird weekenders.

Tomorrow Counselor Pelkey and I commence coverage of Le Tour over to Live Update Guy. We struggled mightily with the notion of cranking up the NRRBBB® Machine again — frankly, I was advocating a LUG-free July — but in the end we decided to bite that big yellow bullet and see if it blows our heads off. See you there.

Mooned again

June 28, 2016
Morning, moon.

Morning, moon.

I knew yesterday would be a lovely day when I stepped outside with The Boo and saw the moon fraternizing with the foliage.

“Oh my,” said I, or something very much unlike that.

Near the top of the La Cueva picnic area.

Near the top of the La Cueva picnic area.

I had planned a longish road ride but burned a little too much cool daylight early on, walking The Boo while it was not yet scorching, watering plants, and viewing with alarm (the Limeys appear to be having Bregrets over Brexit). Those folks need a king, or at the very least a leader who hasn’t got shit all over him.

So do we, come to think of it.

Anyway, instead of logging four hours of saddle suffering, I spent about half that time climbing hills in the ‘hood, and that was just fine.

There’s not a lot of velo-traffic on a Monday, so I’m spared the stony “What are you doing on my road?” looks from the shaven-legged set. The four-wheeled traffic is up, but that’s fairly easy to dodge if you know the roads and there aren’t any three-time losers behind the wheel with a nearly empty 30-pack of Busch for company.

“She’s just really having a hard time in jail,” says her lawyer. Hey, counselor, that’s why they call it “jail” instead of “happy hour.”

Today is looking less bicycle-friendly, alas. I’m wrapping my print and video reviews of the Velo-Orange Piolet and sending the bike back to its owner; collecting a Rivendell Sam Hillborne, the next bike up for evaluation; thinking about my next column and cartoon for BRAIN (thank the suffering Christ that we go back to monthly publication after two more issues); and hitting the grocery.

I need some brain food (no, not BRAIN food, brain food). Looks like Counselor Pelkey and I will be calling the Tour de France over at Live Update Guy, if we can find some ether to spray in the carb and a couple rattle-cans of yellow Rustoleum.

 


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