Posts Tagged ‘Space Horse’

Tick, tock

October 19, 2012
Sinton Trail, Oct. 19, 2012

The yellow leaves are fading fast and falling to earth. There’s a metaphor here somewhere; I’m sure of it.

Now we wait. The UCI has announced that it intends to disclose its course of action in USADA v. TCWSNBN on Monday, but tonight the object of their intention is addressing a gala hoedown marking the 15th-anniversary of Livestrong, once known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which remains its official title.

This means that ink-stained and pixel-pocked wretches worldwide must postpone the drinking of lunch, dinner or breakfast until Big Tex either (a) says, “It’s a fair cop, but society is to blame,” or (2) re-enacts the Hitler-in-the-bunker scene, but this time in first-person Texican instead of German and without the postage-stamp ‘stache. Either way, the poor bastards will have to file something, which will only make them bilious and vengeful come Monday.

I already did my little bit of business this morning, fielding a few e-mails from editors and watching a vanity not get installed in the downstairs bathroom (see “Return of the Shit Monsoon). So I left the revelation watch to others and took the All-City Space Horse out for a pleasant 90-minute ride, which seems to be just about my speed lately,

I had been prepared to be critical of the bike, because I had noticed some knee discomfort while riding it that didn’t occur while astride anything else. The pedal-shoe interface seemed without fault, as I have Shimano SPDs on several other bikes.

Finally I broke out the tape measure and checked saddle height against two other bikes that weren’t bugging me and lo and behold: The Space Horse was way off. I’d sack that mechanic if he didn’t know me so well. Dude reads my mail and knows all my passwords and is wearing my pants as we speak. So much for my chops as a fount of velo-wisdom.

Now I’m back at the ranch and enjoying a delicious glass of dinner because I’m not the guy who has to write the story, when and if there is one. And my knees don’t hurt, either.

• Late update: A standing o’ for The Boss and no fresh revelations. A third option (iii) that I hadn’t even considered (see “fount of velo-wisdom,” above). Still, it’s good news for me. The last time I lost a bet on a Big Tex story I had to dress up as Betsy Andreu for a week.

Space Horse-in’ around

September 8, 2012

The All-City Space Horse, ready to ride. I went for a 58cm this time, following a run of mostly too-short bikes, just to see what’s what.

There’s another new cayuse in the stable, albeit temporarily — an All-City Cycles Space Horse. I only have the one short ride on it so far, for all the usual reasons, but I hope to enjoy some extended saddle time next week before toddling off to Interbike to slobber over all the rest of the new toys.

All-City is one of the brands clustered under the umbrella of Quality Bicycle Products, which also covers Surly, Salsa, Foundry and Civia, among others. I stumbled across the outfit at last year’s Interbike, after a four-year absence from the show, and I liked the retro look of the Space Horse. Hey, who doesn’t pause to glance at a bike called “Space Horse?”

The bike is another one of those sturdy utilitarian steel machines I’ve grown to appreciate, like the Soma Double Cross or Surly Cross-Check. With eyelets for racks and fenders fore and aft and clearance for 700×42 rubber, it can serve as a commuter, a grocery-getter or a lightly loaded touring bike. You can also just ride the damn’ thing for the pure pleasure of riding, if that’s what blows your skirt up. But don’t expect to see any dopers riding it, penitent or otherwise, because it’s made of 4130 chromoly and a 58cm model weighs nearly 25 pounds without pedals.

The Space Horse can be had as either a complete bike or a frameset, for those of us who, like Your Humble Narrator, always seem to have at least one bike’s worth of parts cluttering up the garage, where the car wants to be. Mine arrived as a ready-to-ride bike, and beyond noting that Shimano is making the ugliest friggin’ cranksets in this universe or any other, I’ll keep my big yap shut until it’s review time.

Anybody else riding new machinery? Let us know about it in comments.

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.