Posts Tagged ‘Salsa Vaya’

Steel(man) is real, man

May 3, 2014
My main racing bike from back in the day, a Steelman Eurocross, slightly the worse for wear after two hours of dusty trail.

My main racing bike from back in the day, a Steelman Eurocross, slightly the worse for wear after two hours of dusty trail.

It was Ride the Neglected Bike Day again today. And I must declare myself a shameless hypocrite.

For years I’ve inveighed against gram-counters, contending that a strong black cup of coffee and a productive few minutes in the reading room pre-ride is immeasurably preferable to flushing a fat wad of coarse notes down the loo of the latest and greatest bike-lightening comosellama.

Well, yesterday I spent two hours aboard the Salsa Vaya on the mean streets, bike paths and bumpy byways of Bibleburg, and today I did likewise astride one of my old racing bikes, a Steelman Cycles Eurocross.

And whaddaya know? I felt considerably friskier on the elderly ‘cross bike than I did on the young gravel grinder.

Let’s go to the tale of the tape, shall we?

The Salsa Vaya tips the scales at 28.9 pounds.

The Steelman Eurocross weighs in at 22 pounds.

Hm. A 6.9-pound dump is not out of the question, depending upon what was had for dinner. But it seems unlikely.

So for the moment I’m forced to declare myself full of shit.

 

 

April fuel

April 19, 2014
The Salsa Vaya takes five underneath a recently renovated bridge above the railroad tracks.

The Salsa Vaya takes five underneath a recently renovated bridge above the railroad tracks.

Y’know what they say about April showers? Well, we should be up to our keisters in May flowers if this weather keeps up. We already have a fine crop of dandelions in the front yard.

Deadlines and various chores have monopolized my attention lately. The House Back East™ has new tenants, and I celebrated by doing a bit of raking and bagging, as the back yard has looked a tad funky since our landscaper vanished mysteriously, leaving a mulching undone and his tools behind. Rumor Control hints at an extended visit with the authorities, but as you know we don’t believe the liberal media here at Chez Dog.

The garage was likewise becoming unmanageable. My half of it, anyway. It looked like the lair of a bike thief who was deeply into the art of stealing but contemptuous of the business end. And so today I tidied up a bit in there, too. Got Herself’s ‘cross bike up on a hook and everything, though there’s still an appalling pile of tires in one corner. And for God’s sake, if you’re a neat freak avert your eyes from the workbench.

In between shifts I took the Salsa Vaya out for a few gentle rides. You know, the usual — city streets, back alleys, pulverized granite paths, single-track, concrete bike path, the works. Everything but I-25, and I’ll get around to that before I’m through.

Today’s Bible lesson is “Thou shalt count the teeth on thy cassette.” That 11-30 cogset ain’t nothin’ of the kind. Big plate on that bad boy has only 28 teeth, which when paired with a 39-tooth middle ring makes me feel my years. Don’t make me use the granny without racks and bags, please, Lord. I’ll quit touching myself and everything.

 

No foolin’

April 1, 2014
The Salsa Vaya, coming to an Adventure Cyclist issue near you.

The Salsa Vaya, coming to an Adventure Cyclist issue near you.

It’s New Bike Week here at Mad Dog Media, a 57cm Salsa Vaya 2 having arrived just in time for what passes for spring in these parts (37 degrees, 10-mph wind, etc., et al., and so on and so forth).

The Vaya is Salsa’s touring and “road adventure” bike — hey, all the roads are an adventure in these parts, Sparky — and it sports all the usual goodies, from braze-ons for racks and fenders and three bottle cages to a Shimano 105 10-speed drivetrain to some big ol’ honkin’ 700×40 Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires that weigh 940g (!) apiece.

The color is Smokey Blue Robinson, in case you were wondering.

We went for our maiden voyage yesterday, just an hour or so of chewing on the wind and inspecting some recently concluded work on the north-south bike path (fresh concrete, yay!). Once the temps inch up a bit we’ll do it again, because the weather wizards are calling for a chance of rain or snow Wednesday night.