Posts Tagged ‘Voodoo Nakisi’

Song of the wind

October 16, 2018

An east wind scours the Sandias (wind not pictured).

I decided against ’crossing it up today, and hoo-boy, was that ever a rare smart move.

The wind had its own idea of a good time, and I found myself grinding into the teeth of it aboard the Voodoo Nakisi, underdressed and overgeared.

If I’d been on a Steelman with its 36×28 low end I’d have turned around, I shit thee not. But the Voodoo has that 22T granny ring, and you bet your ass I was using it, early and often, as the cold wind raged from the northeast.

Working my way around the Elena Gallegos trails I encountered the occasional hiker bundled up like a sherpa summiting Everest. It wasn’t that cold by the numbers, maybe the mid-40s, but the wind was making a liar of the thermometer.

It reminded me of a ’cross I did back in Colorado, with the wind completely off the charts. Occasionally some poor sod would shoulder his bike for a run-up and get spun around like a weathervane.

I was surprised nobody got screwed right into the ground at that race. But it was probably frozen solid, and I remember how hard it was to pound in the rebar while setting up the barriers.

Meanwhile, back in ’Burque, the tailwind was so fierce on the homebound leg that I had to ride the brakes. True fact. I actually got home before I even started the ride and nearly ran into myself coming out the front door.

That Voodoo that I do

March 14, 2018

Remember the “Suburban Singletrack” video I posted a while back? This is a sequel of sorts that takes in some of the foothills trails south of Indian School Road. I threw in some northbound bits, too, including a rocky stretch that I usually reserve for running.

The Voodoo Nakisi taking a break before a fast downhill near the Elena Gallegos picnic area.

Different trails, different bike: Last time I rode the flat-bar, single-ring Voodoo Wazoo; this time it was the drop-bar, triple-ring Voodoo Nakisi.

What can I tell you? Sometimes it’s useful to have that 22×26 low end.

I’m particularly pleased to have been able to clean one sharp, rocky, left-hand hairpin that’s been confounding me regardless of the bike I’m riding. I’d been going wide, but turns out tight was right.

Who knew? Not me, brother. I’ve been dabbing on the sonofabitch for three years.

Next I’ll have to shoot some video of the Elena Gallegos trails, which I rode today. Those draw a bigger crowd. The trails, not the videos.

The stone mind

January 6, 2018

Way down there somewhere is the Duke City.

My Bicycle Retailer and Industry News column may be a thing of the past, but I still have deadlines, and Lord, how them sumbitches can fill a feller’s dance card.

I’ve been burning daylight over the Giant ToughRoad SLR 1, exchanging emails with former VeloNews comrade Andrew Juskaitis, now senior global product marketing manager for the Big G, and after an extended stretch of demonstrating my profound ignorance I decided yesterday that it was time to ride one of my own damn’ bikes for a change.

It had to be steel, of course, with drop bars, rim brakes, and tires with inner tubes. And with the weekend promising congestion on the trails I thought it might be nice to get a quick off-road ride while the gettin’ was good.

When is a rock not a rock? When it’s a Buddha.

So the Voodoo Nakisi and I set off for the usual casual loops around the Elena Gallegos Open Space.

Well, almost the usual.

Our local trail network is well marked with signs for people who like to follow maps (Trail 365, 305, etc.) and for those who don’t (Trail Closed for Rehabilitation). But there’s the occasional unmarked stretch that makes you go “Hmmmm.. …”

On a whim, I followed a couple of those yesterday, just to see where they went, and one of them meandered upward until it became frankly unrideable (by me, anyway). So I got off and wandered around for a bit, assuming I was more or less up against the wilderness boundary, taking snaps with the iPhone and just enjoying being away from the office.

I looked down at the Duke City, and snap, and then looked up at the ridgeline, and … holy shit! Check out that rock formation. It looks like a Buddha sitting zazen with his back to all of this.

Well, it does to anyone with an overactive imagination, anyway. It seemed too heavy a stone to carry around in my head, though, so I bowed to it, left it where it was, and got back about the business of avoiding business.

• Editor’s note: Further bows to “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings,” compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki.

Oh deer

November 28, 2017

Trail 366, if memory serves. You can ride this sucker on a road bike, and I have.

After another morning spent cranking away on the Fuji Touring for review purposes I devoted the afternoon to tooling around the Elena Gallegos trails on my trusty, dusty old Voodoo Nakisi MonsterCrosser®.

There were a half-dozen deer to the left of me and about the same to the right. Don’t want to hit one of these dudes at speed on the old MonsterCrosser®. It will end badly.

As I was motoring along, enjoying the ridiculously warm weather (68, a degree shy of the record), I caught a glimpse of a big gray booty ambling through the scrub and hit the binders.

Sure enough, a sizable herd of mule deer was cruising the ’hood. So I stopped and snapped a couple pix with the battered Canon 300 HS, which has decided to start working again, kinda, sorta.

Mule deer are not nature’s geniuses. Back in Weirdcliffe we used to joke that you could hunt them with a Twinkie and a ball-peen hammer.

But they look serene, majestic and brilliant when compared to the ruminants grazing the nation down to the bedrock in DeeCee. There is nary a problem in the world that a Republican legislature cannot make worse.

That Voodoo that I do

September 10, 2017

The Voodoo Nakisi, parked up near the Pino Trail outside the Elena Gallegos picnic area.

Labor Day may be the unofficial end of summer for a lot of yis, but for me, it’s always Interbike.

In the olden days, when I was still a man instead of whatever it is that I am now, I would have already squeezed at least one cyclocross under my bibs by the time Le Shew Bigge rolled around.

Your Humble Narrator working a barrier at one of those long-ago cyclocrosses.

But my final race was in 2004, and as the Last Roundup in Sin City approaches I’m mostly rolling around to no particular purpose, on whichever bike amuses me at the moment, free of licensing, race number and organizational responsibilities (that first race of each new season was usually the one I promoted).

This aimless pedaling about keeps me out of the office, where the temptation is to overload the wagon like some dumb-ass pilgrim lugging all his proud-ofs to the frontier.

Do I want to do any podcasting from Interbike? Video? If one or the other, or both, which MacBook do I take, the 13-incher or the 15-incher? Thank God I’m down to one functional camera. That’s one equipment-selection decision successfully avoided.

Unless I want to buy a new camera. …

No, goddamnit, knock that shit off. Confine yourself to the bloggery. Avoid the hernia.

I always think it would be fun to do something different, and I always wind up doing the same damn thing — wandering around with a pad and pen, talking to people, an informal process that can be knocked all to hell by these consarned newfangled ee-lectronical comosellamas.

It’s all good fun until someone gets hurt. And that someone is likely to be me. If I wanted to carry a rucksack with a hunnerd pounds of gear for money I’d join the damn Army, is what. I got the haircut already.

In other news, Red Ryder has gone to The Big Roundup In the Sky. And no, he didn’t shoot his eye out.

Vuelta a Voodoo

July 1, 2016
No, this isn't deep in the Amazonian jungle. This is Trail 341, just west of the non-bikeable wilderness.

No, this isn’t deep in the Amazonian jungle. This is Trail 341, just west of the non-bikeable wilderness.

The first ride of July is in the bag — 90 minutes on the trails surrounding the Elena Gallegos Open Space — and now I will shun the singletrack until the Fourth of July weekend is over. From now until Tuesday morning the trails will look like the aisles at Interbike on day one.

I was rocking the old Voodoo Nakisi with slightly overinflated tires to avoid pinch flats and rolls (I really need wider rims) and despite my best efforts managed to (a) keep the rubber side down, and (2) avoid centerpunching a small flock of early-bird weekenders.

Tomorrow Counselor Pelkey and I commence coverage of Le Tour over to Live Update Guy. We struggled mightily with the notion of cranking up the NRRBBB® Machine again — frankly, I was advocating a LUG-free July — but in the end we decided to bite that big yellow bullet and see if it blows our heads off. See you there.

Vision quest

December 3, 2014
The view from an overlook atop what I think is Trail 365A, south of the Embudo Canyon trailhead.

The view from an overlook atop what I think is Trail 365A, south of the Embudo Canyon trailhead.

Yesterday was a bit overcast, and there were things to do, many, many of them, so I didn’t sneak out for a skull-flushing bike ride until 3 p.m.

With Mister Boo still on a rigorous doping schedule — jeez, you’d think he was riding for Astana or something — I can only get away from Rancho Pendejo for a couple hours at a time. So, given that, and since it was late, I just explored a couple unfamiliar trails branching off the Foothills Trail near the Embudo Dam trailhead.

I didn’t drop down the other side toward Interstate 40, but so far I haven’t found anything I can’t ride on the old Voodoo Nakisi Monstercrosser®, which has 700×43 Bruce Gordon Rock n’ Roads for traction and that nifty 22×26 bailout gear (23.6 gear inches) for emergencies and/or sloth. Had I known I’d wind up liking this bike so much I’d have ordered two framesets and built a disc-brake version with wider rims for really fat tires. Alas, the model is no longer with us, having been discontinued.

The Boo has another follow-up appointment with his veterinary ophthalmologist this morning, and I’m hoping that he’ll enjoy longer intervals between medications henceforth, for his sake and for mine. I’d like to start getting some longer rides in, and I expect he’s getting sick of me grabbing him by the skull four times a day to hose down the only eyeball he has left.

Moving in, on, and around and about

October 9, 2014
The main living area at Rancho Pendejo. A couple Brangoccios will soon adorn that far wall.

The main living area at Rancho Pendejo. A couple Brangoccios will soon adorn that far wall.

Rancho Pendejo is coming together, bit by bit, inch by inch.

The Pink Room is now Livable Green, as is the master bedroom. The living room is likewise livable, but not green, with the furniture more or less arranged, some works from my old college pal Michael Brangoccio on the walls, and the home-theater setup ticking along nicely, serving up Blu-Ray, streaming video via Mac Mini, and KUNM-FM. And the kitchen is open for business whenever I’m inclined to cook, which lately is not often. Folks actually make edible grub here, and it’s been fun playing culinary explorer.

The bike stops here: Just east of Rancho Pendejo sits the Cibola wilderness.

The bike stops here: Just east of Rancho Pendejo sits the Cibola wilderness.

We’ve also been exploring the local trails, which are abundant, eclectic and accessible pretty much from the front door.

The excellent Tramway bike path can be found just a couple blocks west on Comanche Road. And there’s a bike lane on Comanche itself that runs most of the way west to the North Diversion Channel Trail. The Paseo del Norte trail will get you there, too, but there are a few hiccups along the way.

Just a couple blocks east is Foothills Trail 365, a short stretch of which makes a nice out-and-back run for Herself. I’ve been hiking around and about there, jogging the uphills to see how the knees feel, and yesterday I took the Voodoo Nakisi out for a short exploratory ride on the trails that fan out from 365 and stumbled across the entrance to a bit of local wilderness, all of three miles from Rancho Pendejo. Fat city.

We got a light rain last night, and there’s more of the same in the forecast, so I’ll probably give the trails a rest today, maybe have a whang at the Tramway instead. It goes without saying that neither of the two bikes I brought from Bibleburg sports fenders. Duh.

Leaf me be

November 8, 2013
There's Voodoo in them thar leaves.

There’s Voodoo in them thar leaves.

Hm, sure is a bunch of leaves on the lawn there.

Say, there’s a bicycle smack dab in the middle of ’em, too.

Now, what d’you suppose would be more fun — raking those leaves or riding that bike?

What’s the temperature? Sixty-five, you say?

Well, I think that answers our question du jour, n’est-ce pas?

Hot time in the old town

August 20, 2013
Fountain Creek Trail

In the trees at the southern end of the Fountain Creek Trail.

We missed a temperature record today, but not by much — the official high was 89, just a few degrees short of 2003’s record of 93. I can hear Patrick chuckling (“You call that hot?”) all the way from Arizona.

Naturally, being a sluggard and a knucklehead, this mad dog was out in the noonday sun with the Englishmen, riding the Voodoo Nakisi down and back along the Fountain Creek Trail. One of these days I’ll start rolling out of the sack bright and early, like Herself, who is up and at ’em at the crack of dawn.

Yeah, right.

The recent heavy weather has done something of a number on the trail surface in spots. Ordinarily it’s no big thing to ride a cyclo-cross bike on the Fountain Creek Trail — hell, most days you could handle the 37-mile round trip on a road bike — but the recent rains have scoured it pretty good in places, stripping the trail down to hardpan gullies here and piling sand up there. Happily, I was riding 700×43 Bruce Gordon Rock N’ Roads, which could smooth out the bumps on the highway to Hell.

And the greenery! You never see Colorado this green, not this time of year. The far end of the trail, where it peters out near some dude’s hayburner hotel just west of Fountain, was strangled half to death with the same weeds that have been clogging snotlockers here at Chez Dog. The irrigation ditch at trailside by Fountain Creek Regional Park was running high, too, the water nearly level with the trail.

Up north, meanwhile, the big boys were riding the Tour of the Northern Colorado Ski Ghettos, but I wasn’t paying attention. I dislike ski towns so much I won’t even visit one to ski, much less to watch someone else ride their bikes.

It’s a shame the race won’t visit some lesser hamlets, burgs and whistle stops that could really do with a tourism bump, but then the organizers don’t put these things on out of the goodness of their hearts, eh? Them that’s got shall get, as the old song goes.