Archive for the ‘Heat’ Category

Screwed again

July 21, 2019

Neither sealant nor lip balm will keep you rolling after you collect one of these bad boys in your tire.

You know what doesn’t give a shit about whether you have sealant in your tubes?

A big-ass screw, that’s what.

I collected this sonofabitch in the rear tire this morning at the bottom of the Tramway descent, just after I’d crossed under Interstate 25 and hung a left on the Pan American Freeway near Balloon Fiesta Parkway.

I heard a short clatter, then a “tick … tick … tick” that told me I’d picked up a hitchhiker, and so I pulled over to have a look-see.

“Th’ fuck’s this, a thumbtack?” I muttered, and then gave it a tug.

Spooge! Fwissssssssh. Phhbbbllllllllffff.

Seriously, it was like one of those volcano projects from junior high. Or Bluto’s zit imitation in “Animal House.”

And of course, it had to be the rear tire, on the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, so called for the Rohloff hub on (wait for it) the rear wheel.

What are the chances of picking up something like this in a bicycle tire? If you’re me, 100 percent.

Did I mention the Gates belt? Yeah, it has one of those, too.

I don’t know that I’ve ever had to deal with a flat of any kind on this bike, which is a testament to its Geax AKA 29 x 2.0 tires. But this fucking screw might’ve given even Superman a hitch in his gitalong if he ever happened to be afoot in Albuquerque.

As I was, on a scorching Sunday morning, hoofing it along the shoulder of the Pan American, looking for a shady spot and trying to remember how to remove and replace the rear wheel on a Rohloff/Gates-equipped bike, a chore I last performed in a workstand at Chez Dog in Bibleburg back in … 2012?

Lucky me, I found a bus bench with a sun shade at Balloon Fiesta Parkway. And then I set about rooting through the ol’ mental hard drive.

Lessee here: Shift into 14th gear. Break out a nickel to loosen the thumbscrew holding the cable box to the hub. Remove the cable box. Open the quick-release lever. Remove the wheel. Bingo.

The bus bench had a convenient trash can that made an excellent workstand to hold the bike while I swapped tubes (just affix rear dropouts to rim of can).

Reinstalling the wheel proved a tad more challenging. Unlike a chain, a Gates belt isn’t a greasy mess. But it kept wanting to hop off the crank or the sprocket as I tried to mate hub with dropouts and brake rotor with calipers. Lacking a hammer, I was compelled to employ patience, which is always in short supply among the Irish.

After a few tries, the belt surrendered, I closed the QR, snapped the cable box back into place, screwed it down finger-tight in case I lost my nickel at the casino on the way back, and hey presto! I had all 14 gears and a slightly soft rear tire (about 30 psi, as it turned out, despite my best efforts with my thousand-year-old Blackburn minipump). That was enough to get home.

And a good thing, too, ’cause I only had the one spare tube. One more flat and it was the patch kit for Your Humble Narrator.

Now how’s that work again? Lessee here. …

So 15 minutes ago? How about 85 years?

July 18, 2019

Don’t let the clouds fool you. That’s steam boiling off my bald noggin.

Seventy-one at 5 a.m. No, not me, the temperature.

And that’s outside, mind you. In the office, it’s 78.

We have at least three days of the roast-a-rama ahead, so it’s ride early or not at all. Hunker down in the air conditioning like we did as kids at Randolph AFB outside San Antone. You were either marinating in poisons and pee at the O-club pool or camped out in front of the Fedders window unit, playing Monopoly. Venture outside and you’d sink into the tarry streets like a dinosaur at La Brea, later to mystify alien archaeologists.

The God of the Tar People, discovered when a skeleton was unearthed by Vulcan archaeologists sometime in the distant future. Historical note: Like many a cartoonist, F.O. Alexander got stiffed for his work drawing characters for Monopoly.

“Chlorine must have been an essential nutrient for these semiaquatic creatures. And their god appears to have been this fellow with the archaic headgear and outlandish facial hair, who seems possessed of astonishing wealth.”

The Masi Speciale Randonneur review for Adventure Cyclist has been shipped, as has the August cartoon for Bicycle Retailer. I’m been thinking not very hard about an episode of Radio Free Dogpatch, but it seems podcasts are so 15 minutes ago, just like blogs. Or phrases like “so 15 minutes ago.”

In other news, Ginger Hitler has taken his song-and-dance routine to another Nuremberg rally, where he debuted a new three-syllable chant (he’s a man of few words, which is to say he only knows a few). A new low? Not for long, according to Kevin Drum at MoJo.

And finally, Le Shew Bigge is heading into the Pyrenees, just in time for Zoom-Zoom Froome — who is absent while recovering from a nasty pre-Tour get-off — to be named champion of the 2011 Vuelta a España after Juan José Cobo rang the Dope-O-Meter®.

Yes, that’s 2011. We’re not all the way back to 1934 yet, but we certainly seem headed in that direction.

 

Yeah, but it’s a dry Hell

July 27, 2018

And you thought it was hot where you are. On June 28, the temperature in Quriyat, Oman, hit 109 — and that was the low, “the hottest low temperature ever recorded on Earth,” according to The Washington Post.

As a buddy noted, you gotta give the Chinese credit for going the extra mile to make their climate-change hoax look like the real deal. Why, they went so far as to make it rain here in ’Burque. I thought that was a little over the top, but what isn’t these days?

The hardboiled eggheads of climate science, as usual, predict the worst — roads melting, airplanes unable to take off, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

The good news is, there’s water on Mars, which is really close to Earth this weekend. Cowabunga! Come on and safari with me!

Yeah, but it’s a dry heat

June 27, 2018

“Hot enough for ya? Har har har! Hey, that’s a joke, son. What are ya, some sort of pussy? Ho ho ho!”

We’re still waiting on that “early” monsoon season here in the Duke City.

While we wait, pretty much all the forests have been closed for fear of fire, and thus the streets are full of mannerless douchebag fatheads who miss shoulder-checking elderly hikers into the trailside cholla whilst shredding the gnar-gnar.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service advises that today’s temperatures, expected to range from 98 to 105 degrees depending upon where one parks one’s van, “pose an elevated health risk to sensitive people,” of which I am one, as any regular reader of this blog will testify.

No wonder Dougie Lamborn cruised to victory in the GOP primary yesterday. It’s abundantly clear that Hell hasn’t frozen over. It’s just relocated to the Southwest.

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.

Ballad of a fat man

June 21, 2017

I raised up my head and I asked, “Is this where it is?”

And you know something is happening but you don’t know what it is.*

Do you, Mr. Jones?

* OK, so I’ll tell you. It was a short bike ride on my Jones 29er, early in the ayem, before it got too bloody hot (100.5° right now). The one-eyed midget stayed home, where the air conditioning is. I don’t know how Bob Dylan found his way into this post when he couldn’t even make it to the Nobel ceremony.

Hot dog!

June 20, 2017

The Boo keeps his tongue handy because you never know when something edible might wander by.

As the outdoor temperature crept slowly toward the century mark, Mister Boo, sleeping off a medium-heavy solstice snack, gave quiet thanks to Willis Carrier, inventor of the modern air conditioner.

• Late update: Boom. Made it. The century mark. Good times. Maybe not.

Hot town, summer in Duke City

June 16, 2016
It was a wee bit hazy with a scent of smoke in the air as Mister Boo enjoyed his promenade this morning.

It was a wee bit hazy with a scent of smoke in the air as Mister Boo enjoyed his promenade this morning.

Smokin’ hot in the Duke City this morning, and for the immediate future as well.

We have a nice little fire cooking away down southeast of here, and a couple others elsewhere. The smell of a forest burning revives a memory of our storied Bibleburg days and provides a preview of my anticipated afterlife.

Taking a few hot laps around the Elena Gallegos Open Space on the Jones 29er.

Taking a few hot laps around the Elena Gallegos Open Space on the Jones 29er.

The heat is tough on the turf, which is slightly scorched due to someone not noticing that a sprinkler head had gone sideways. (Thanks, Obama!)

And it’s no party for the pets, all three of whom have whiled away the day sleeping. Mister Boo is barely interested in his meals, which ordinarily would be a sign of the Apocalypse but in this case indicates that it’s just too bloody hot to eat.

Or cook, for that matter. Last night Herself and I dined on a hunk of smoked salmon, sharp cheddar, crackers and a big-ass salad (note the crucial hyphen there; a big ass salad would be something else entirely).

Tonight I think it’s gonna be some hot Italian sausage, onions and peppers, a tomatoey, garlicky thing, perhaps over orecchiette, a pasta I’m really starting to appreciate.

Elsewhere The Stupid is swelling like a boil on the buttocks of the body politic. Sen. John McInsane (R-Off My Lawn) is spastically trying to walk back a brain-dead crack he made about Obama’s responsibility for the massacre in Orlando (time for your meds, some soup and a nice nap, Johnny me boyo). And Rumor Control hints that Cheeto Jesus may be less interested in the presidency than in his own cable network.

Seriously? We’ve all watched the GOP sawing feebly away at its skinny wrists with a butter knife for eight long years. Suddenly Ronald McDonald McTrump accelerates the process with a “Game of Thrones” flourish that leaves 16 heads rolling in the aisles, and all he wants for his trouble is a fucking job in TV?

Well, son, that’s one hell of an opening act. But what d’ye do for an encore?