Shark. Fin.

Laptop-OverWhew. Another Tour is in the bin, and just in time, too.

Vinnie “The Shark” Nibbles arrived in Paris with his lead and skin intact, two Frenchies made the podium for the first time since the lads raced with wooden rims, smoking cigarettes, and Charles Pelkey and I called the sumbitch from start to finish at Live Update Guy. Thanks to any and all of yis who popped round to watch us flail. If you enjoy that sort of thing, we’re gonna be doing it again for the Vuelta a España.

Now I can finally relax a bit, if your idea of downtime is immediately banging out a column and cartoon for Bicycle Retailer, shooting and editing a video for Adventure Cyclist, and wrangling a herd of tradespeople — movers, plumbers, arborists, painters, bankers, and Realtors™ — in preparation for our impending move to Albuquerque. Fuck me running, if you’ll pardon my French.

Herself will be southbound directly, taking up temporary quarters in Duke City as she starts the new gig, while I remain behind at Chez Dog, dealing with deadlines, managing the menagerie and assisting the house-hunting process from afar with my usual wit and wisdom.

“Nope. Nope. Nope. Hate it. Ug-ly. Sucks. Nope. Nope. Nope.”

It doesn’t help that we’re out of practice, having stayed put for 12 years. Too, we’ve been extraordinarily lucky as regards house purchases, having dealt exclusively with friends and relatives thus far. Still, eventually we’ll find a place we like, accumulate some soul-crushing debt, and that will be that. We’ll be New Mexicans again.

¡Que triste es la vida loca!

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37 Responses to “Shark. Fin.”

  1. md anderson Says:

    We’ve lived in the same place for 23 years now. I shudder to think about ever having to clear it out. Both kids are mostly out and we managed to saddle them with some of the flotsam and jetsam that accumulated in that time. My husband retires in early 2015 and then he can get busy on the “honey-do” list. I figure we should have the chateau just as we want it in time to sell it in our old age.

    Best of luck in the house hunting. Come on, admit it. You are secretly thrilled to be leaving Bibleburg for the Land of Green Chile.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The temptation is to burn the place to the ground and flee. My friend Hal and I have a standing joke based on the Thomas McGuane novel “Something To Be Desired,” in which the protagonist’s ne’er-do-well father, looking over a disordered campsite, says, “We’re looking at under a hundred bucks. Let’s walk away from it.”

      So whenever one of us faces some sort of calamity, the other says, “We’re looking at under (your amount here). Let’s walk away from it.”

      But yes, you’re right, we are looking forward to returning to New Mexico. Colorado has its charms, not least of which is familiarity. But you know what they say about familiarity.

  2. sharon Says:

    We bought new carpet and had it installed in the bedrooms this past week (we have tile everywhere else). What we learned about moving all the stuff: the furniture is the easy stuff. It’s everything in the closets, that’s the killer. It’s amazing the amount of stuff that is hiding in the closets, the pantry and the cabinets. The good side of it is that you get the chance to edit and throw out a bunch of things you don’t need or want anymore.
    Good luck on the move preparations Patrick.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Oh, man. You don’t even want to look in the closets around here. The only reason we have room to walk around in this 1,100-square-foot house is that the closets are packed to the gunwales. You got any idea how much space the collected works of VeloNews (1989-2014) and Bicycle Retailer (1992-2014) take up? I do. And no, don’t ask.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    I finally started dumping old magazines. My wife is starting to bug me about why anyone needs five bicycles and a tandem given I only have one hind end, not knowing that in my case that discussion could quickly lead to irreconcilable differences.

    Downsizing will be difficult when it happens and indeed, when looking at some of those highly overpriced, badly worn out little brown boxes in The City Indifferent, my response has also been “Nope. Nope. Nope. Hate it. Ug-ly. Sucks. Too small. No garage. Nope. Nyet. Nope.”. Then again, since the new/old truck seems to be running reliably, there is a spare Subaru in the garage and a full set of mounted snows that can be sold to make space. Unlike bicycles, I can buy the argument about having too many cars.

    At least in the Duke City, your mortgage dollar goes a lot farther. Of course the fringe benefits (100 degree heat, out of control cops and meth addicts, etc) are a tradeoff. Saw some nice places yesterday over by UNM that would cost 100-150k more in Fanta Se.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I don’t know why I keep the VNs and BRAINs. I rarely use them for research, and it’s not like my deathless prose and art require archiving for future generations of O’Gradys, of which there will be none.

      And don’t get me started on the garage. Good God awmighty. Looks like some crackhead is just motivated enough to steal bikes but too lazy to sell ‘em.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Speaking of magazines. I think my stepdad in Buffalo, NY has every American Rifleman dating back to 1964. Surprised the foundation has not cracked in that house.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Any magazine that has an O’Grady classic which is not stored digitally, keep. The rest should hit the recycle bin. Whaddaya think?
    In Duke City you are about 450 miles closer to the dry warmth of Tucson and Sierra Vista when the snow flies in Albuquerque. Come on down, the riding and hiking is fine.

  5. john Says:

    The New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast recently published a memoir of her parents’ decline and death, in graphic-novel style, entitled “Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?”.

    It’s extremely funny in parts, but brutally frank — her folks didn’t make it easy — and in many places deeply poignant.

    As one who is starting to get on, and whose own parents have shuffled off not that long ago, one of the things that struck me most about the book was how difficult it was for her to deal with the mountain of crap left in the apartment that her depression-era packrat parents had lived in for many decades. I’m hoping I have the discipline not to do that to my own kids!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We were ruthless in disposing of Mom’s stuff when she passed. But I notice we’ve accumulated some of our own since. And she was the Depression baby, not us.

      Happily, we’ve nearly always lived in small houses, 1,110 square feet and under. This does restrict the acquisitive impulse.

      But I have about eleventy-seven Macs of various types, and a bazillion bicycles, despite being able to ride only one at a time (and having only two spots on the Subaru’s roof rack).

      And the books! You’d think that with all these tomes I might have acquired some book-learnin’ over the years. Nope. Still dumb as a sack of hair.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      We too have lived in small, this one started at 1100 then ballooned to a whopping 1400 sq ft, houses. So if something comes in, especially furniture, then something must go out.

  6. Larry T. Says:

    BRAVO to the Shark of the Straits! The kid stayed upright, hauled ass going down, up and on the flats while others either couldn’t keep up or couldn’t stay upright.
    Less shit’s better…you’ll see when it’s gone. We’re in that mode too, preparing for an eventual move across the Atlantic (we hope) and a quick one starting in September for almost a year. I’m amazed at how fast I forget about the shack here and the contents inside. A bike (or three) some clothes and a few other accessories are enough – we’ll test the theory by living in a ROOM (though the wife gets an office too) in Rome for most of that time. It’s worked out OK for us in the past so…?
    Sell whatever ya can in Bibleburg and move the easy stuff (cash) with you to your new digs. Your mag collection’s gotta go sometime, I sold most of mine off on ebay. Groups of 5-10 issues of the old Winning or Bicycle Guide went for reasonable loot, believe it or not.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Keeping the rubber side down is a big first step toward climbing that podium in Paris, to be sure. Vinnie Nibbles didn’t make any mistakes, or if he did, they were so inconsequential they passed unnoticed.

      Italy in September, eh? I’ll be in mid-LUGgery of the Vuelta with Consigliere Pelkey and visiting Interbike with Adventure Cyclist. Somehow I think you’re getting the better deal here.

  7. khal spencer Says:

    By the way, Patrick. Let us all know when you actually are both going to be down in the Duke City, so we can get together somewhere for a cold one and maybe a ride.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Will do, K. Thanks much for the various assists. I plan to be down at least once during August to get in the way while Herself hunts houses, but that will be your basic mad dash with no time for side trips.

      My idea of a really good time: Thirteen hours of driving to spend two days with real-estate agents while paying chores go undone. Just fuckin’ shoot me.

      • Sharon Says:

        When you meet with the Realtors, make sure you’re driving the bus. The first thing they want to know is your income so that they can show you the most expensive home you could possibly get a loan to buy. We always had large houses 2000 – 3000, until our current home. We bought this one about 10 years ago when we were 44 for cash and no mortgage. Then we proceeded to rip out and remodel the entire thing with cash and even added a in-ground pool. No mortgage at 44 and a great cottage! We’re downtown in a fantastic small town north of Austin, within walking distance of about 10 restaurants of various types. If we went the way the Realtors were pushing us, we would have bought a house 3 times the size in some huge gated subdivision and still have a mortgage (and still be working to pay for it).

      • john Says:

        I would think that a good real estate agent would take your wishes into account, so they can actually, you know, make the sale, as opposed to dragging you around in some spiffo RealtorMobile to a succession of McMansions in the vain hope of a fat commission.

        A smaller commission sure beats no commission at all.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Indeed. We were seriously lucky with the last three house buys. The one in Weirdcliffe was vacant, and a buddy was the real-estate agent. The original contractor even fixed some stuff he didn’t have to.

        The current Chez Dog was owned by a teammate and the deal was brokered by a former bike-shop owner.

        And The House Back East™, of course, was owned by friends. That deal was beyond easy.

        Meanwhile, I’m trying to get a hammerlock on Herself, who has delusions of grandeur to accompany her descent into the military-industrial complex. I’ve told her that the swimming pool, gym, sauna, hot tub, ma-in-law house (detached, of course), alligator-filled moat, and machine-gun nests are right out.

      • khal spencer Says:

        One of the unnerving things people in Fanta Se and Duke City do in the smaller, older homes is convert the garages to extra living space. What that means in my case is to either turn the newly minted den into a conglomeration of bicycles, tool carts, and bike stands or look for a different place. We have looked at a lot of these conversions, and I find them lacking usefulness. How the hell does one have a collection of bicycles and motorcycles sans garage? Shit, I might as well be back in grad school where the bed, dresser, stereo, bike shop, and beer were all in the same room.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Khal, what’s wrong with everything in the same room? I always thought an airplane hanger or old fire station would be the perfect home.

      • Larry T. Says:

        One thing I WILL miss when we leave the USA is the shop downstairs http://cycleitalia.blogspot.com/2011/03/cycleitalia-workshop.html
        I doubt I’ll ever again be as fortunate as we were with this place – when I peeked in the basement windows before the landlord ever let us inside, I knew this was the place for us! Easy access through the garage for the bikes, but plenty of security, climate control and space enough to do pretty much anything bicycle related. Our HQ in Italy is almost as nice, though I have to drag everything out of storage at the start of each season and then put it all away at the end.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, Pat, don’t the yupsters love theyselfs a loft? Big ol’ open space atop some industrial/commercial venue?

      They were all the rage in Denver for a spell, and we even have a few in downtown Bibleburg, though my idea of a really good time is not living above the Tejon Street Drinking & Fighting District. Not unless I can pour cauldrons of boiling oil on the battling borrachos.

      Larry, I’m hoping for a climate-controlled space for the bikes in the new place. More important, I’m hoping for a new place. Thanks, I’ll take it now.

      Khal, I’m seeing those garageless houses too. Th’ fuck? We had no garage in Weirdcliffe, and thus my bikes lived in a Tuff Shed assaulted by bears. In Bibleburg they dwell in an unheated garage, but the car must stay outside.

      I can tell you what will happen to me and my bikes if we get a garageless house in Duke City. Herself will have them all welded into a fine Reynolds 853 coffin, place me inside same, and have the whole shootin’ match catapulted into the Sandias.

  8. Dale Says:

    After moving umteen times in my/our lives, we’ve been parked since 1987. My dearest is retired (mostly), and I will be in 6 months or so. I find it hard to imagine another move. We have accumulated the detritus of my and her deceased parents. Our 3 bedroom house became a 2 bedroom house a while back’ thanks to a grand piano (and that’s the second one we’ve had).

    Now I have too many bikes – that’s what happens when you build a garage, and just like bikes. My main fear is that if I pre-decease my wife, she ill sell the bikes for what I told her I paid for them.

  9. Debby, north of Crestone but south of GunfireMont Says:

    Good luck with the move, Patrick. I can relate – I moved in April, just from one end of Boulder County to the other, and it was hard. I’d been in the old place almost ten years and it’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate (George Carlin’s line comes to mind). Will Herself’s new employer pay relo expenses? Really makes things easier to have movers come in and do the packing for you.

    You’ll have to make a fast transition if you’re going to be co-LUGing la Vuelta in a few weeks!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yes’m, Herself has an excellent relocation package. Now all we need is a place to relocate to and the money to do it with. The fun bits, in other words.

      Kinda reminds me of growing up in the Air Force. I’d forgotten how much time we spent languishing in Visiting Officers Quarters and/or motels while awaiting permanent assignment.

  10. John Dallager Says:

    POG and Herself: Clearly Bibleburg’s loss and Duke City’s gain…..and maybe a large financial loss for Coaltrain Wines and John Crandall’s Old Town Bike Shop.

    Best to you, Herself, and The Menagerie in the transition…..know you all will bring added class, curmudgeonship, cynicism, wit, and great recipes and friendship to NM.

    Also glad the Vuelta will be LUG’ed!! The wisdom of the crowd unleashed!!

    Cheers and bon voyage!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thank you, sir. I’m already looking forward to the Vuelta, though my contributions may get spotty around Interbike time. LUGging a grand tour with Comrade Pelkey is some of the most fun I have all year.

      • khal spencer Says:

        The proverbial LUG nuts…..

      • Larry T. Says:

        I’ll be missing Interbike this year. Can’t see flying back from Rome to Lost Wages of all places. I’m hoping the good Padre in Rome will deliver his book and we can share an aperitivo or three.
        The bits of LUGing I caught during the Giro and Tour were good, we’ll see how it goes for the Vuelta? PO’G and Pelkey are a good combo…Martin & Lewis, Ben & Jerry, Abbot & Costello, Ren & Stimpy, Heckel & Jeckel, Itchy & Scratchy…you get the picture.

  11. khal spencer Says:

    O’G. This one’s fer you.

  12. khal spencer Says:

  13. khal spencer Says:

    Hey, Patrick. You will be down this way in time for the TORGV.

    http://www.bikenm.org/action/tour-of-the-rio-grande-valley-bicycle-century

  14. Hurben Says:

    Hey Larry,

    I’ve passed on your website’s URL to my friend in Christchurch who’s thinking about a trip to Italy.

    If he contacts you, he’s a kindred spirit, please take care of him, he means a lot to me.

    John O’Donnell, gentleman & wonderful human being, everything that I’m not!

    Apologies for hijacking your site, Po’G

    • Larry T. Says:

      Everyone should be thinking about a trip to Italy, even if they can’t come with us. There truly is no better place to be a cyclist or cycling fan. Our website is being revised for 2015 as I type this. We’ll help him out in whatever way we can, thanks.

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