Posts Tagged ‘Adventure Cycling Association’

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.

Freewheeling Friday

January 12, 2018
Old Pueblo Road, just south of Hanover Road.

Travel by bicycle. It pays off for the cyclist and the places s/he visits.

My peeps at the Adventure Cycling Association get a little love in this High Country News piece about bicycle tourism and how it’s come to benefit a couple of tiny Montana towns.

Says ACA’s Laura Crawford: “It’s not a get-rich-quick sort of scheme, but a long-term, sustainable investment.”

With no electric buses, major construction projects or flim-flamming of taxpayers required, I might add. In fact, I just did.

Return of Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

April 17, 2015
Out near El Malpais National Monument on a shoot for the Adventure Cycling Association.

Out near El Malpais National Monument on a shoot for the Adventure Cycling Association.

The New Mexico Touring Society, New Mexico Bicyclist Educators and the Adventure Cycling Association are throwing a hoedown on Sunday at Balloon Fiesta Park, right here in Duke City, to celebrate the new Bicycle Route 66 with presentations and speechifying, New Mexican grub and (of course) a bit of cycling.

In honor of the ACA’s visit to my little ciudad, I have been empowered to arrange a number of free six-month trial memberships to the beautiful and talented people who follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or lurk around this blog waiting for me to pull my thumb out and get caustic, funny or both.

Members get discounts on maps, access to special organized tours, and Adventure Cyclist magazine, wherein one may discover glistening pearls of wisdom from cycling authorities who are not me. But I’m in there too.

Click the link and saddle up. See you on the road.

All dressed up (flak jacket optional)

January 9, 2015
We got our java on at Mangiamo Pronto in Santa Fe.

We got our java on at Mangiamo Pronto in Santa Fe.

Ah, January. My least favorite month of the year.

“Uncertainty” is the word that best describes the month named for Janus, god of beginnings and transitions. Wikipedia notes that the word has its roots in the Latin ianua (door), and come January it seems one is either slamming on my fingers or ajar and letting the cold air in.

Paychecks invariably arrive late, and I often get purged from the comp-sub list, so not only am I short of cash, I can’t even see what the editors have done to my work.

Do I still have work? The Magic 8-Ball I’m behind says “Outlook good,” but that thing was made in China, so for all I know this means management has traded me to Xinhua for an iPad Pro, a low-interest loan and some dim sum.

There are a few vacancies at Charlie Hebdo, of course. But I’ve forgotten all the French I learned during grade one in Ottawa, and I bet they make the new guy sit with his back to the door.

Happily, even an old, blind dog unearths a Milk-Bone now and then. As on Tuesday, when I got to ride my bike around Santa Fe and Madrid during a photo shoot for the Adventure Cycling Association, which will be unveiling its Bicycle Route 66 early this year.

It was the second round of a two-day shoot with Santa Fe photographer Michael Clark, and the models got java, lunch and American money for their troubles, which were few indeed.

Didn’t need my Saint Laurent flak jacket or nothin’. Just some Adventure Cycling kit, is all. La vie est belle, non?

Interbike 2013: FaceTime

September 19, 2013

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (MDM) — Before FaceTime, there was face time, and now that I no longer help cover Interbike for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, that’s generally what I spend my first day of the show collecting.

Tuesday evening was the traditional pre-show meal with the BRAIN trust; on Wednesday, I was doing some light trolling for toys with editor Mike Deme of Adventure Cyclist and his trusty sidekicks Josh Tack and Rick Bruner. Tech editor John Schubert joined us later for dinner and drinks.

Mike and I also appeared briefly on Diane Lees’ Outspoken Cyclist radio show, to be aired later this month. You’l be pleased to hear that I successfully avoided the accidental deployment of my favorite monosyllabic Anglo-Saxonisms.

The change in venue from the Sands to Mandalay Bay proved something of a shock to everyone’s navigational systems, and so we spent an inordinate amount of time playing Where The Hell Are We Going And Where The Fuck Are We Now? As a consequence, I didn’t take any pix, an oversight I’ll correct today.

But be on the lookout for some new do-it-all steel bikes, among them the Klatch from Co-Motion (someone decided they wanted to do a gravel race and needed a bike) and the Straggler from Surly (don’t call it a gravel bike or they’ll hurt you).

More later from the show floor, or slightly above it.

The road not taken

September 2, 2012

Life lately seems like an extended intervals session. I could really go for some LSD. And some long, steady distance, too.

Thing is, I’ve soured on all my usual rides. Like a lot of folks, I regularly retrace a number of short, well-worn paths dictated by time constraints. And familiarity, as usual, breeds contempt. There is a road not taken. I’m certain of it. And it’s out there, waiting.

Your Humble Narrator at this time last year

By this time last year I already had one bike overnight under my bibs.

It would be refreshing to hop on a bike and just go somewhere. Ride until the legs complain, then stop for a while. Eat a meal prepared by someone else, sleep in a strange bed, take a bite of breakfast and the morning’s news in some java shop and then get right back after it.

Can you tell that “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” were among the first books I took to heart? Subsequent readings and re-readings of “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Travels With Charley,” “On the Road,” “The Dharma Bums,” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Lonesome Dove” and “Blue Highways” have only fertilized my tinkerish tendencies, rooted in a military brat’s peripatetic upbringing and a perpetual short-timer’s attitude as regards traditional employment.

I had hoped to squeeze in a short cycle tour this summer. Nothing ridiculous, no cross-country excursions, just a few days spent rolling Colorado roads and trails to flush out the headgear, hit the reset button, reboot. But one thing or another kept getting in the damn’ way. Exploding toilets. Spousal travel. Veterinary issues. And No. 1 on the hit parade? Work.

As a professional paranoid I try to keep a number of revenue streams flowing — writing, editing, website wrangling, cartooning — knowing that the slightest change in the journalistic climate could transform one or more of them into a bone-dry arroyo. Thus, though I don’t have a job per se, free time is surprisingly hard to come by. It seems something always needs doing.

So between extended bouts of doing, I finally dialed the deal down to what the Adventure Cycling Association calls a “bike overnight.” Ride somewhere, spend the night, and ride home. I did one last year, right around this time, to Pueblo and back. The upcoming week or two seemed perfect. The Vuelta a España remains ongoing, but the Colorado State Fair is history, Labor Day will be done and dusted and I don’t have a print deadline until after Interbike.

Alas, as the Yiddish proverb has it, “Man plans, God laughs.” The last item in our downstairs-bathroom restoration is supposed to arrive on Wednesday, followed by the plumber on Thursday, and I have to work on Saturday and Sunday. Plus Herself has another professional road trip queued up that will require someone to assume responsibility for critter management. Guess who.

Ah, well. It seems I also have another bike inbound for review, an All-City Cycles Space Horse, so duty calls. The two of us may not see as much new country as Captain Call and the Hell Bitch, but I’m hoping to get bucked off and bitten less often.

Giro today, Mooto mañana

May 27, 2012
The Mooto XYBB

The latest bike in the Adventure Cyclist review chain.

OK, as Giros go, that one did not suck. Props to Ryder Hesjedal for the win — I thought he was gonna lay it down a couple-three times in the final time trial — and to Purito Rodriguez for a much more honorable defense of the maglia rosa than the one he put in yesterday.

Bear Creek

The Bear Creek trail, just east of the Nature Center.

It was an honest-to-God nail-biter and if Al Gore hadn’t invented the Innertubes we’d never have been able to see it live on our computers. Best president we never had, is what.

Post-Giro I went for a hilly, windy shakedown cruise on the latest bike in the Adventure Cyclist review chain, a Moots MootoXYBB that arrived rigged for the Apocalypse with 29×54 rubber, Old Man Mountain racks fore and aft, and titanium everything from stem to stern except for the nifty leather bits from Brooks. Woof. I’d tell you more if you were members of the Adventure Cycling Association.

Tomorrow there will be more of the same, kinda, sorta. Less Giro, as in none, and much more Moots. I need to ride this rascal someplace sexy, where the basements are not full of breaker-tripping dehumidifiers, half a carpet and heavily edited drywall.

Divide and conquer

June 9, 2010

Now here’s a goddamn bike race for you. Only one stage — but it’s 2,745 miles long, from Banff, Alberta, Canada, to Antelope Wells, N.M., and there are no soigneurs, domestiques, chefs, team cars, buses, officials, checkpoints, etc., et al., and so on and so forth. Strictly a garage-band sort of deal. Ride or die.

The Tour Divide runs along the Adventure Cycling Association’s Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, and the association has just hired the women’s record holder for the event, Jill Homer, as project manager and deputy editor of Adventure Cyclist magazine.

I like this note in the rules:

7. Tour Divide is a web-administered, do-it-yourself challenge based on the purest of wagers: the gentlemen’s bet or agreement. Nothing to win or lose but honor.

How refreshing.

Stoned again

March 12, 2010
Texas Canyon, in Arizona, of all places.

Everything's bigger in Texas, even when it's in Arizona.

I remember being impressed by Texas Canyon when I was 26 and leaving Colorado Springs for a job at The Arizona Daily Star.

Back then I was piloting a 1973 Datsun pickup that contained my entire life, including a motley mutt name of Jojo who followed me everywhere like a debt collector.

This time around I was 55 and herding a 2005 Subaru Forester full of bike crap, camping gear and journalism tools, and the only dog in the hunt was me.

But it’s still an impressive sight. Looks like God had a few rocks left over and decided to store them here.

Lord, I’m southbound

March 11, 2010
I-25 in New Mexico.

I always like those stretches of highway that look like launching pads.

The road goes ever on and on, as Bilbo sang. This one is Interstate 25 in New Mexico, and if you’re riding with me it goes south with stops at Frank and Lupe’s El Sombrero in Socorro and the High Desert Brewing Company in Las Cruces.

You will recall that Bilbo and the gang rarely let a good road trip interfere with eating and drinking. Ponies being smarter than Subarus, I saved my drinking for the end of the day’s travels.