Posts Tagged ‘Voodoo Nakisi’

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.

Before the deluge

August 4, 2013
Soma Double Cross

The Soma Double Cross in semi-touring configuration.

The Thunder God’s mojo must be on the fritz. Once again I got home from a ride just as the rain started to fall.

I snapped a quick pic of today’s steed for your amusement — it’s the Soma Double Cross, tricked out as half a tourist, with a rear rack and silver SKS fenders.

The Double Cross has a Tange Prestige main triangle and Tange Infinity fork; an eight-speed drivetrain (bar-end shifters, XT triple crankset, Ultegra front derailleur, XT rear); Shimano R550 cantilevers, an ancient set of Shimano 600 brake levers and a newish set of Empella Froggleg top-mounted levers; Mavic Open Pro rims, Dura-Ace hubs and a pair of 700×38 Schwalbe Little Big Ben tires; a Giant stem, Deda bars and some truly ancient Off the Front cyclo-cross tape; Time ATAC pedals; a Tubus Logo rack with a Busch & Muller 4D taillight; and an Easton seatpost topped with (of course) a Selle Italia Flite saddle.

This may be the least expensive bike in the garage, though my Voodoo Nakisi will certainly give it a run for the money. Oddly enough, those are the two bikes I ride the most.

Bikes, bikes and more bikes

April 4, 2013
Jeff Jones bikes

The Jones Steel Diamond in its road and off-road configurations. Photo courtesy Jeff Jones

Lately I’ve been enjoying an interlude between bike reviews, which has been nice, as it gave me a chance to get reacquainted with my own fleet of two-wheelers.

In the past week I’ve ridden my trusty Voodoo Nakisi drop-bar 29er, one of my two venerable Steelman Eurocrosses, and the only truly custom bike in the Mad Dog garage, a nifty Nobilette that’s something of an all-rounder, a cyclo-cross-slash-touring bike that’ll take a rear rack and fenders.

This weekend, all that ends with an invasion from Oregon.

Review bikes are en route from Co-Motion (a Divide Rohloff), Jeff Jones Bicycles (Steel Diamond) and Bike Friday (Silk Road Alfine).

I’ve ridden a Bike Friday before — you can read my review of the New World Tourist Select in the archives at Adventure Cyclist — but the Silk Road Alfine is something of a step up, with Shimano’s Alfine hub, Gates belt drive and Avid BB7 disc brakes. Should be a giggle.

The Co-Motion is likewise a belt-drive bike, but with big wheels and the Rohloff hub, which I’ve ridden before on the Van Nicholas Amazon Rohloff (yes, I reviewed that one too). I’ll get to spend a bit more time with the Co-Motion than I did with the Van Nicholas, and I’m very much looking forward to it, as the Co-Motion seems (on the Innertubes, anyway) more or less ideal for the sort of riding I do around Bibleburg.

The Jeff Jones bike, meanwhile, looks like the sort of machinery we all could use come the Apocalypse. That’s it up there at the top of the post, the red bike next to the otherworldly black beast with the tractor tires. I’ll confess to a mild yearning for a fatbike — as in, if somebody gave me one, I’d ride it — but until some product manager loses his or her mind, the Jones bike looks to be about as close as I’m gonna get to that little fantasy.

Glory road

March 29, 2013
Voodoo child.

Voodoo child.

I didn’t get to ride my age this year. Not in miles, kilometers or even minutes.

In fact, the whole first quarter of 2013 has been a little sketchy, ride-wise, thanks to bugs, chores, the natural Irish predilection toward sloth blended with storytelling — say, did I ever tell you the one about the Mighty Dugan?

No, let’s not get started down that particular path. There be dragons.

But today, after wrapping up a bit of video for the folks at Adventure Cyclist, I straddled the Voodoo Nakisi and hit the trails in Palmer Park. It was a casual ride that lasted nearly two hours, which for me these days is something of an expedition.

The afternoon was 60-something and sunny, if a bit breezy, and I must have been just tired enough to not give a shit if I fell over, because I was easily cleaning obstacles that ordinarily confound me.

I stopped at one intersection to pull off the knee-warmers and up rolled a couple of young gents on double-boingers who likewise were having a fine day on two wheels. They professed to be astounded that a gentleman of my years would be riding a cyclo-cross bike on Palmer Park single-track, and I confessed that while it appeared to be your standard unsuspended steel drop-bar bike, it was in fact a stealth 29er with a triple ring and 700×43 tires and thus not so much of a much.

Did the wheels stand the strain? they asked. To be sure, I replied. Built by Brian Gravestock himself they were, using Mavic Open Pros from this millennium and Hügi mountain bike hubs from another. Brian says steel bikes are making a comeback, they confided. I agreed, and with that we went our separate ways.

Back at Chez Dog a neighbor’s landscaper said he’d seen me on the bike and that I looked “like a young man.” He was trying to sell me some yardwork — successfully, as luck would have it — and I forgave him the Good Friday falsehood.

Off the rails

March 18, 2013
Choo-choo.

Choo-choo.

Roads are for the weak.

What a fella wants after too many days spent indoors with runny snoot pressed to grindstone is not the sissified hiss of skinny tires on asphalt but the crunch of gravel under roughly shod wheels.

So Thursday and Friday I broke out one of my own bikes for a change — Old Reliable, the Voodoo Nakisi, with 700×43 Bruce Gordon Rock n’ Road tires — and rode around in Palmer Park, Bear Creek East and pretty much wherever else the cars weren’t.

On my way back to the ranch on Friday I took a side trip along a stretch of lightly used railroad tracks that not long ago bisected a small city of homeless camps. The “No Trespassing” signs are up now, in part to keep the street folks away and in part to save the unwary from getting carpet-bombed by road workers rebuilding a bridge overhead.

Naturally, being the sort who views “No” as encouragement, I pressed on regardless. I survived.