Posts Tagged ‘Piedra Lisa’

Happy trails

January 2, 2017
Don't let the apparent solitude fool you — the Piedra Lisa/Embudo Dam trails were crawling with people trying to sweat out their hangovers.

Don’t let the apparent solitude fool you — the Piedra Lisa/Embudo Dam trails were crawling with people trying to sweat out their hangovers.

Right. New Year’s Day has come and gone, and it’s all downhill from here.

Instead of Hoppin’ John and cornbread, deadlines are on the menu — print reviews of the Trek 520 and Specialized Sequoia are due this month at Adventure Cyclist, along with video of the Sam Hillborne. Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, meanwhile, wants a column and cartoon.

The struggle continues.

Bellying up to the bar on New Year's Day.

Bellying up to the bar on New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile, the first ride of the year is in the books. I performed a cassette transplant on the mango Steelman Eurocross to replace a 26-tooth cog with a 28 — 36×26 is too tall for some of the trails I ride around here — and went out and about for an hour.

Riding touring bikes has spoiled me for cyclocross. I need to think about rearranging the technology on this Eurocross, losing the balky old eight-speed Ultegra brifters for bar-cons and aero brake levers; shortening and raising the stem a tad; and going wider with the handlebar. Also, and too, pulling a few teeth on the chainrings, going to 46/34 from 48/36.

And while I’m at it, I could go nine-speed. Forward, into the past!

I’m probably stuck as regards tires — 32mm is what I’m rocking now, and I nearly slid off a greasy off-camber bit and into a ditch full of sharp rocks and cacti because I’m used to riding nice, fat, squishy 38s and up. But I think I’ll be lucky if I can shoehorn a 35 into that rear triangle.

And if I’m unlucky, or unfit? Well, I guess I can always ride the Soma Double Cross, which already has bar-cons and aero levers, plus a triple crank and 700x42s. Gotta look for that silver lining, don’t you know.

Along those lines, consider this: At least Mariah Carey won’t be the next president. Too soon?

Black Lung Friday

November 25, 2016
Welcome to Piedra Lisa, which is Spanish for "Smooth Stone."

Welcome to Piedra Lisa, which is Spanish for “Smooth Stone.”

Gah. I seem to have collected a bug from some’eres. Woke up way too early this morning making sounds like an emphysema ward getting tear-gassed and had to relocate to the guest bedroom unless I wanted to have a heart attack (there was a strong chance that Herself, who enjoys her Zs, might attack it with a nail file).

The guest room was chilly and the bed under-covered, but I figured that if I got back out of it to go hunting a better blankie, I’d either wake all the way up or have a cat sneak in for a nap on my head. So I curled up and endured.

Cycling thus seemed like a real bad idea today so I consulted with my man Hal Walter on his latest book project and went for an hourlong walk instead.

Pretty much everybody in Albuquerque had had the same idea, so I didn’t lack for companionship. I was the only one who sounded like the ghost of Leonard Cohen impersonating Tom Waits from inside an alligator crawling through a culvert, though.

 

The Sandia Blues

May 18, 2016
The Sandias from La Cueva Picnic Area.

The Sandias from La Cueva Picnic Area.

The May weather has weirded up on us here in Dog Country. The folks up Santa Fe way got a shit-pot full of hail the other day, and yesterday we enjoyed the sort of winds that ordinarily are restricted to Wyoming. Plus rain.

But nobody in his right mind who lives in a desert bitches about rain. This adage may or may not apply to me.

Going up. ...

Going up. …

I got a nice little ride in Monday on the Rivendell Joe Appaloosa, grunting my way up to La Cueva Picnic Area off Tramway.

Tuesday looked ugly, and I had a bunch of things to do, so I went for a short run early before the winds got busy.

But as it turns out I might have been better served by riding yesterday, ’cause today is one gray, chilly, breezy sumbitch.

Maybe I’ll deploy a cyclo-cross bike and chase myself around Piedra Lisa for a bit.

Or maybe I’ll just stay inside and try to make me some hay while the sun ain’t shining.

Old, not dead

March 21, 2016
My 1995 DBR Axis TT still sports a little bit of Bibleburg here and there.

My 1995 DBR Axis TT still sports a little bit of Bibleburg here and there.

Daylight-saving time is still messing with my mojo.

I’m not a morning person by nature, but I do like getting my daily exercise in early-ish. But since the early-ish temps have been a little brisk lately, I’ve been waiting until afternoon to crack a sweat — my least favorite time for that sort of thing.

Still, there’s no denying that it’s warmer at 3 p.m. than it is at 10 a.m. And apparently I’m not the only person who likes it that way, because by the time I hit the trail on the old DBR mountain bike yesterday everybody and his grandma was out there, too.

The only decal on the Axis TT.

The only decal on the Axis TT.

I hadn’t ridden this bike in, like, forever — it still sports some reddish mud that may come from the Monument Valley Park trail back in Bibleburg — and it took some getting used to. If you consume a steady diet of rigid, drop-bar, disc-brake 29ers, well, a front-suspension, flat-bar, V-brake 26er is gonna feel a little weird.

And I was never much of a mountain biker anyway. Ask anyone who ever saw me ride one.

So, anyway, after dodging a metric shit-ton of oblivious pedestrians, off-the-leash dogs and other mobile speed bumps, and nearly stuffing it in a tight, downhill, left-hand corner, I said to hell with it and headed for home.

Rolling toward Piedra Lisa I pulled to the side of the trail to accommodate yet another parade of folks, this time a string of mountain bikers, and one said, “Hey, nice Diamondback!”

Dude either knows his vintage machinery or has the telescopic vision of a young Superman, because the only identifying decal on my 1995 DBR Axis TT is at the base of the seat tube, and its only remaining stock bits are the AC crankset and XT derailleurs.

Speaking of bike bits, Nick Legan, the tech editor for Adventure Cyclist, has a new blog going when he has a moment to catch his breath. You should check it out.