Posts Tagged ‘Tramway Road’


March 18, 2019

Temps remain a bit below normal in the Duke City, but you don’t have to shovel cool.

Stop? Not me.

It was a gorgeous St. Patrick’s Day in the Duke City, and everybody and his/her granny was out and about, trying to sweat out the remnants of Gaelic brain eraser.

I awarded myself a day off from riding other people’s bikes and used one of my own, the Steelman Eurocross pictured in yesterday’s post.

The great thing about a ’cross bike — the original gravel bike, don’t you know — is that you can ride it pretty much anywhere. And that’s exactly what I did. Pavement, good and bad; singletrack; two-track, whatever.

For instance, it’s great fun to zip down Tramway Road from Juniper Hill, pull a U at the bottom, and ride back up the gullied trail that parallels it instead of grinding along next to the hordes of goggling tram-bound tourists.

It would be easier on a modern gravel bike, like Salsa’s Journeyman Claris 650, with its 2.1-inch 650b’s and low end of 30×34. The Steelman maxes out at 700×33 and a bottom of 36×28.

But if God wanted our lives to be easier He wouldn’t have given us Il Douche.

Shiny side up, please

September 9, 2018

The Bianchi Zurigo, with its oversized alloy tubes, 30mm V-section rims and broad-bladed carbon fork, catches a little more wind than some of the other bikes in the fleet.

The bike was moving around on me in the crosswind as I swept down Tramway Road toward Interstate 25, and I was starting to think that the Bianchi Zurigo Disc, with its fat alloy tubes, broad-bladed carbon fork and skinny 700×35 adventure tires, might not have been the right tool for today’s job.

There’s nothing out there to keep the wind off you, except for the cars passing too close and too fast, and the Bianchi is both a little small and a little stretched out for Your Humble Narrator, who is too lazy to give it a stem more appropriate to his wizened, shrunken carcass.

So there I was, bowling along at speed, thinking back to the time I got into a death wobble on a long, smooth descent at the Air Force Academy, when I noticed three brother cyclists off their machines just ahead, and taking up a not insubstantial portion of the shoulder, too.

I slowed down to ask if they needed anything, and that’s when I noticed the irregular black stripe leading off the shoulder and into the terra not so firma.

“Everything OK?” I asked, coming to a stop.

“I don’t know yet,” replied rider No. 1, the one wearing the fresh road rash. “I hit my head pretty hard.” At that, No. 2 inspected No. 1’s helmet while No. 3 checked the victim’s bike. There was a divot in the lid and a big oval hole in the rear tire, as though some strong fellow had taken a Magnum potato peeler to it. There was some discussion of “shimmy.”

The gent with the dent had that look on his face, the one that says, “This has fucked up my Sunday, and it’s starting to hurt, but at least I went off into the weeds and not out into traffic, where a helmet would have been tits on a bull, or more like tits on a bumper, now that I think about it, which I’d rather not.”

I asked if he needed a phone, but he had one, and dialed up the wife for a dustoff.

“You guys seem to have this under control,” I said to the others, and off I rolled, dialing my sensor array up to maximum. “Wind from the SW, roger. Land yacht off the port stern, check. Does that rear tire feel a little soft?” That sort of thing.

I haven’t had a good high-speed getoff in a while, not even when I got into that death wobble on the AFA, and I’d like to keep it that way.

What we like and what we get are often two very different things, though. So let’s all be careful out there. The world is full of hard surfaces and sharp edges.