Posts Tagged ‘Co-Motion Divide Rohloff’

Jonesin’

February 1, 2023

Mr. Jones and me tell each other fairytales.

Now and then I think it’s time to thin the velo-herd, so I start taking neglected bikes out for re-evaluation.

“Why are you still on a hook here after all these years?”

“Uh … because you’re a bike hoarder?”

“Oh, yeah, right. Carry on. Next!”

Now, anybody who talks to his bicycles when he’s not arguing with the voices in his head probably should not be evaluating anything without the guidance of trained mental-health professionals in a residential setting.

Yet, here we are, with all these voices and bicycles and daylight to burn. Someone has to take hold. Herself is slightly preoccupied, having the full-time job, plus the eBay side hustle and her volunteer work for the local Donk collective on behalf of The People, whoever they might happen to be.

And anyway, she only has two bikes and one voice, the one she uses to rebuke me for scattering bikes and bits all over the house.

But I digress. As usual.

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff was getting a lot of love in January. There is no good reason on God’s green earth that I should (a) own this bike, and (2) like it. But I do, with its stout German gizmo hub and shifter mounted near the stem, the Gates carbon belt drive, and even the disc brakes.

And every time I think I should send it away, I treat it to some trail-and-tarmac combo platter by way of a fare-thee-well and come away cooing, “Nope, naw, nuh-uh, not gonna get rid of you. Not this time.”

Mr. Jones and me, stumbling through the barrio.

Yesterday it was the Jones and I who were getting reacquainted in the Elena Gallegos Open Space.

Both tires were flat when I pulled the Jones off its hook — no surprise, since I hadn’t ridden it in nearly nine months, and I only run 15 psi front and 20 rear. I pumped ’em up, they held air, and off we went.

Now, in my garage, the Jones is something of a weirdo, with its 170mm triple crank, wildly upright position, and swept-back H-bar atop a fork that looks like the uprights at State Farm Stadium. At a prom it would be the oddball in the oversized thrift-store duds slouching in a corner, looks like he cuts his own hair with a Buck knife and no mirror.

But it’s XT all around, with a 19.3-inch low end, and those plump 29×2.4-inch Maxxis Ardent tires soak up an awful lot of rough stuff that a 33mm cyclocross tire just ricochets off of like a stray round from the passenger window of a Civic street racer blowing the red at Central and Pennsylvania.

So, anyway, what was envisioned as a casual one-hour afternoon outing turned into 90 minutes of trails with the sun dropping faster than the New Year’s ball in Times Square.

And once again I came away cooing, “Nope, naw, nuh-uh, not gonna get rid of you. Not this time.”

“Next!”

Sun’s out, guns out

January 19, 2023

Looks cold up there. Let’s stay down here.

The weather turned a wee bit brisk this week. January can be that way, even in The Duck! City, with hired assassins throwing hot lead at decent people’s houses.

When we’re talking 30-something with wind and gloom outside, I’ll stay inside, or lace up the running shoes and go pound ground for a while. A short while. I’m not training for anything other than staying above the auld sod a while longer.

I’ve gone running twice this week, and stayed indoors once. But today the sun was out. Just 35 degrees, to be sure, but still; big yellow ball in sky. Which it apparently will not be tomorrow. Cloudy, cold, windy, 50 percent chance of snow, yadda yadda yadda. In other words, January.

Snow on the Crest, mud on the trails. But hey, the sun was out, and so was I.

With that in mind, I layered up, grabbed the Co-Motion, and got out there. Not for long, mind you, but I was riding a 30-pound touring bike on singletrack, so extra credit, please.

When I climbed off to take this photo some dude wearing VeloNews kit soldiered on by. I didn’t recognize him, but then I wouldn’t, having walked away from that low-speed crash back in 2016.

It took them six years and a change of ownership to stop sending me free copies of the magazine, which kept shrinking like a solo breakaway’s lead on a long, flat stage. I sold all the kit on eBay.

Son of a beach

January 15, 2023

“We are not amused.”

Miss Mia Sopaipilla is doing her Queen Victoria impression again, so you know it’s not going to be sunny and fiddy-sumpin’ today in The Duck! City.

Happily, it was sunny and fiddy-sumpin’ the past couple of days, so I was able to get out and about on a two-wheeler, in this case the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff.

My man Chris Coursey, a beach bum and journo who rose from his humble origins to become Santa Rosa’s mayor and then a Sonoma County supervisor, probably longs for the days when he had to drive to the California coast to see a few gajillion tons of water in motion.

Friday and Saturday marked my first off-road rides of 2023, and they were a nice change from running, which I will probably return to today, if I can pull myself together in time to beat the rain to the punch.

Yes, the wizards are predicting rain, and even a small chance of snow, so I guess we’re getting a little spillover from the atmospheric rivers that have been drenching the West Coast.

I’ve never had to contend with weather like that, and I hope to keep that lucky streak unbroken. It makes the occasional four-foot Colorado snowstorm look like a day at the beach with a cold sixer and a hot girl.

Deer me

February 16, 2022

“Three for the buffet, please.”

They’re baaaaaaaaaaack. …

They’ve always been here, of course. They leave evidence all over the yard. But it’s rare to catch them eating our foliage in broad daylight.

With aridification at a level not seen since mule deer and Native A’s had the run of the ranch around here, plus a mountain lion said to be working the Elena Gallegos Open Space, it’s no surprise a deer or two or three decides to take five here in the Compound, munch a bit of lawn with a side of birdseed.

I was exploring a bit myself yesterday. There’s an arroyo slicing through Bobcat Boulevard NE that I’ve been meaning to check out, and since I was aboard the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff with its 50mm tires and 19-inch low I dove into it on a whim.

A brief diversion.

It started out as your typical sandy wash, then quickly narrowed to some nice twisty hardpack. A friend had told me it was possible to ride it to Foothills Trail 365, but with fauxdobe haciendas on either side I was wondering if I might wind up on someone’s patio, having a pointed property-rights debate with their Rottweiler.

Nope. My friend was right. After negotiating a few rocky bits and some old snow and ice, I found myself on 365, near Trail 230, an part of EG’s open space that I know well. So I cut over to the ranger station, dove down Simms, and retraced my route to the arroyo to ride it in the other direction, toward Tramway.

This section of the wash stays broad and loose until reaching a concrete apron that leads past Little Cloud Park and under Tramway. Hang a right just before the dropoff and you can ride another diversion channel back under Tramway and pick up the north-south bike path near Paseo del Norte.

It goes without saying that if you like riding diversion channels you want to indulge your whim in dry weather, unless you also enjoy flume rides to the Rio Grande. It seems we have plenty of dry in the long-range forecast.

Mission accomplished

August 31, 2021

The backyard maple is shedding leaves, and it’s not even Labor Day yet.

’Twas a glorious day to ride the bike in ’Burque.

Nobody told me I had waited too long, or left too soon, or was just plain doing it wrong. That I had left my wife and cat behind raised nary an eyebrow among the chattering classes.

This may be because El Rancho Pendejo remained firmly under the control of said wife and cat; their autocratic ways are not exactly breaking news. Herself has been in the driver’s seat since 1990, and Miss Mia Sopaipilla has been a key member of the ruling class for nearly half that time.

In my absence they do exactly as they please, which is pretty much what they do when I’m around, the United Nations and Geneva Conventions be damned.

The only uproar arose when I returned after 90 minutes of pooting around in the foothills on the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff.

“What’s to eat around here?” they yowled. The knives were out, along with the forks. Can a call for comment from The New York Times be far behind?

Socialist wheelism

May 2, 2020

Forward!

I actually shot this last May Day, but I don’t think I ever got around to using it for anything.

When Herself and I rode out yesterday for our own small International Workers Day parade, we were clad in red, but it was Mad Dog Media kit we were wearing, and I was aboard my red Steelman Eurocross, not the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff.

The People were out in force as well. With temps in the 80s, and there only being so many DIY home projects one can bear, we saw quite a few folks out and about, the highlight being a couple walking one Chihuahua and pushing the other in a baby stroller.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is relaxing some restrictions, allowing some retailers that had been closed to do business via curbside pickup and delivery; reopening state parks and golf courses; and allowing gun shops to resume operations via appointment only.

While short outings for grub and exercise are officially approved, the general stay-at-home order remains in effect through May 15, however. Socialist distancing remains a thing, as does masking. And while the GOP is raving that the gov’ is not doing enough to return New Mexico to Bidness As Usual®, the gov’ — who has been getting some ink for her work in response to the coronavirus crisis — says further steps depend on us continuing to tamp down the spread of The Bug.

“This public-health crisis has also become an economic crisis,” she said. “There’s great urgency to address both.”

Added Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase: “We have to move carefully. slowly, step by step.”

Sounds a lot like rehabbing a broken ankle, only a helluva lot harder. The trick is to lose the crutches without winding up flat on your back.

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. …

Wind and water

March 29, 2019

Wisterical.

You know it’s spring in New Mexico when (a) you have to water the wisteria and (2) the wind is blowing about a jillion miles per hour.

Nonetheless, Ride Your Own Damn Bike™ continues with a vengeance. Since I ran out of review machinery I’ve been on the Voodoo Nakisi, Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, Nobilette, Bianchi Zurigo and Soma Double Cross (this last for a grocery run).

Today it was Sam Hillborne’s turn. Didn’t quite beat the wind home, but in New Mexico if you don’t ride in the wind, you’ll never leave home.

I suppose I should be following the adventures of Douche Baggins in “Lard of the Rings,” but I just can’t seem to warm up to Frodo’s ne’er-do-well cousin and his trouser stains from New Hobbiton. They make the Sackville-Bagginses look like the Kennedys.

Inspecting The Fleet

March 26, 2019

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff takes a break so a herd of young dudes can shred the gnar without rear-ending some poky senior citizen.

Being at liberty, more or less, with all my paying chores completed, I’m riding my way through The Fleet as something of a palate-cleanser. Sure beats riding a desk.

First up was the Voodoo Nakisi, which is overdue for an little love. Brake pads at the minimum; chainrings, chain, cassette, wheels and brake calipers at the maximum. The last two items I have on hand. Decisions, decisions. …

Unzip over to Voler to join the team! Use the Secret Code (OLDGUYS15) to get 15% off your purchase. And no, goddamnit, for the last time, it does not come with fries!

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff has gotten out three times in the past week, and it needs tires. The old Geax AKA 29×2.0 rubber is not getting ’er done on the Duke City trails. They’re heavy and not particularly solid in the loose stuff, which in the absence of precipitation is pretty much everywhere, especially in the scary bits.

I saw a dude on a plus rig nearly slide right off the oh-shit side of a sketchy descent yesterday because he couldn’t find any traction. I like traction.

Today it’s the Bianchi Zurigo. This 55cm aluminum-and-carbon rig is a little small for me but I like it anyway. Or I did like it. It’s been a while since we’ve been out together.

Today’s high is supposed to hit the low 70s. I find that hard to believe. Still, I had to peel off the arm warmers yesterday and was wishing I’d worn shorts instead of knickers, so spring must finally be here.

Until it isn’t, of course. Never trust a sunny day.

Rohloff! Gesundheit!

March 21, 2019

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, off the hook and back on the trail.

I peeled my snout from the grindstone in order to take a short ride yesterday, and I’m glad I did, because the wind cranked up to 11 last night and it’s still there today.

Also, and too, rain. Which is nice. But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna go ride in it.

Unzip over to Voler to join the team! Use the Secret Code (OLDGUYS15) to get 15% off your purchase. And no, goddamnit, for the last time, it does not come with fries!

Especially since I finally succumbed to the siren song of Non-Drowsy Claritin-D 12 Hour. God damn. I think I lost five pounds blowing my nose this morning. Must be all that grindstone dust.

Anyway, I’d hauled the Co-Motion Divide down to Two Wheel Drive a while back over a leaky Rohloff hub and thought I’d give ’er a whirl now that alles ist besser. It’s far too nice a bike for me but I rode it anyway. You can’t stop me!

It needs some more love — better tires, and a little hammer time for the rear Avid BB7 caliper, which insists on dragging its fixed pad.

A smart fella would go to TRP Spyres. But as you know, I will never be smart.