Cave man

September 2, 2015
The Sandias from La Cueva Campground.

The Sandias from La Cueva Campground.

The boys were climbing today in the Vuelta — oy, were they ever — so I felt obliged to do a little vertical my own bad self once we wrapped the coverage at Live Update Guy.

Looking southeast toward Tramway.

Looking southeast toward Tramway.

There’s a nice, steep grind not far from El Rancho Pendejo, the 2-mile climb to the La Luz trailhead, but after running for an hour on Tuesday I thought that might be asking a bit much of the old legs. So instead I hung a right and did the 1-mile climb to the La Cueva campground.

The surface is what we Phlegmish types call “heavy,” the chips in the chipseal being slightly boulderish, so I was glad to be riding the Soma Double Cross with its Little Big Bens. Quite a view from up there, but the helicopters were something of a nuisance, harshing my mellow and distracting me from the view.

Turns out it wasn’t just flyboys logging flight time. Some poor dude turned up dead in the Sandias, and I’m guessing they were part of the search. Me, I got to come down the easy way.

 

EL viejo rojo

August 30, 2015
The coveted red leader's jersey.

The coveted red leader’s jersey.

I attacked myself without mercy in today’s stage of the Vuelta del Viejo and rode into the red leader’s jersey.

In an astounding bit of treachery intended to bamboozle my enemies, I actually wore the jersey throughout the stage, but as chief commissaire I chose to look the other way, as did nearly everyone else who saw me.

Naturally, both A and B samples came back positive for bacon, which is good for 10 bonus seconds, eggs over easy and a side of home fries.

Shoes for industry

August 29, 2015
The view to the west from atop Trail 365A.

The view to the west from atop Trail 365A.

Definitely on a down cycle as regards the bicycle. Running is the thing lately.

It’s so bloody simple: Pull on some shorts and a raggedy T, add shoes, and leave. Return when suitably sweaty and enfeebled. What’s not to like? Besides the pain and suffering, that is.

I did break out the old Voodoo Nakisi the other day for a short jaunt along Trail 365 and its various offshoots. I got a long-distance look at the haze from the Washington-state fires. It wasn’t my first — during my trip back to the Duke City from Bibleburg I couldn’t even see the damn’ mountains.

I’ll probably go for another short ride today, because not even I am dim enough to run two days in a row unless something really big and ornery is chasing me. Like, say, Peter Sagan, who got knocked off his bike by a race vehicle today and decided to punch a couple of them. Hulk smash!

 

 

Boyz in the ‘hood

August 22, 2015
Chez Dog is looking pretty sharp despite a little rough treatment from the recent wet weather.

Chez Dog is looking pretty sharp despite a little rough treatment from the recent wet weather.

I took a little road trip back to Bibleburg this week.

The main goal was to check up on Chez Dog, which we rent through Airbnb. The back sidewalk has taken a pounding from the weather — as has just about everything else in town — and needs replacing. Likewise the garage requires some minor repairs and paint.

Dennis the Menace and Dr. Schenkenstein take the long view atop Bear Creek East, a once-active cyclo-cross venue.

Dennis the Menace and Dr. Schenkenstein take the long view atop Bear Creek East, a once-active cyclo-cross venue.

Whilst in the ‘Burg I checked in with a bunch of friends and neighbors: Ted and Diane, who help us with the Airbnb thing; Steve and Doris, who like Herself are Librarians Gone Wrong; Alley Mike, a disgruntled Comcast subscriber who was irked at being unable to watch the USA Pro Challenge (Corner Mike was at large and unavailable for comment); Judy, who rents The House Back East®; John Crandall, owner of Old Town Bike Shop; John O’Neill, who ramrods The Colorado Running Company (and whose Hebrew name is Usuk, pronounced “You suck”); and of course Dr. Schenkenstein and Dennis the Menace, with whom I enjoyed an invigorating ‘cross-bike ride through Bear Creek Regional Park, where Team Mad Dog Media-Dogs At Large Velo once ran cyclo-crosses back in the day.

The old libertarian laboratory is in something of a state these days, with all the local John Galts pointing at each other and saying, “Hey, you don’t like it, you fix it, because freedom, Jeebus, and guns, etc.”

The latest wrinkle is a proposed increase in the sales tax, a typically regressive non-solution that will place the billion-dollar burden of repairing the local infrastructure squarely on the backs of Those People, the ones who already can’t afford bootstraps by which to hoist themselves up. Them, and the tourists, who of course are fair game everywhere. Slow elk, is what.

I always enjoy going back for a visit. Chez Dog is a nifty little place, and a guy who knows his way around can still have a pretty good time in Bibleburg. There’s The Blue Star, Tapateria, and of course Ivywild School, home to Bristol Brewing Co. And if someone manages to root up a billion smackeroos somewhere, why, the place may once again have roads and trails that can be navigated without the need to liberate a tracked vehicle from Fort Cartoon.

Until then, I’m content to remain an interested out-of-towner.

 

Runnin’ down this dusty road

August 15, 2015
Wheels in the sky keep on turning; I don't know where I'll be tomorrow.

Wheels in the sky keep on turning; I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow.

Every year, at some point, I develop an allergy to the bicycle.

Maybe it’s more of an overuse injury. After months of writing, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, cartooning, photographing and making videos of bicycles, I pull a mental muscle. I don’t even want to ride the sonsabitches. Game over. Move along, move along, nothing to see, nothing to see.

So I spent much of the past few weeks easing back into running, and it was a pleasant diversion indeed.

Cycling is preferable to motoring in large part because it slows you down, lets you take a closer look at the world as you pass through. Running — OK, in my case, jogging — takes you deeper into slo-mo, gives you a fresh appreciation of the trails you ride.

First step: Lower the expectations. The trails I ordinarily negotiate with verve, grace and panache on two wheels feel entirely different on two feet. I become a stumblebum. Herself punks me on the hills. It’s not one little bit like “Chariots of Fire.”

Since I no longer run year round for cyclo-cross, I have to ease back into the discipline, tentatively, like a Republican faced with a substantive policy question on the campaign trail. First I jog the uphills and walk the flats and downhills; then I start jogging the flats, too; and finally I add the descents.

After a few outings I reach a point at which I can perform an act that looks slightly like running, only much, much slower. To pass the time I imagine myself to be in a Bizarro World “Godzilla” movie in which I am the monster and the lizards scurrying out of my path are the terrified residents of Tokyo.

Eventually, of course, I go back to the bikes. That’s where the money is, and I have to pay attention. Also, bills.

Still, it’s refreshing to drop the pro act and go full-bore amateur for a while. Oh, no — there goes Tokyo! Go go Godzilla!

It’s morning in America

August 7, 2015
Well, it's morning in Albuquerque, anyway.

Well, it’s morning in Albuquerque, anyway.

“Morning in America?” Maybe not.

Ed Kilgore at Political Animal sure wasn’t impressed by last night’s GOP beauty pageant (examine his six-part LiveBlog series).

Charles P. Pierce opines that the “debates” were a further demonstration that the field has gone full hotpants-and-pushup-bra and now they’re just haggling over the price. The GOP “should be torn down and replaced by a good, honest brothel,” notes Brother Pierce.

The New York Times has a “How the Candidates Fared” lowlights piece, adding that Trump stole the show with “an antic performance.”

Steve Benen at The MaddowBlog calls Hillary the big winner.

And me? In the end, I decided not to try to watch the thing. It would have required some shenanigans, since we don’t have cable, and I didn’t want to give Fox the eyeballs.

But I’m considering ringing up Queen Elizabeth and asking whether it’s too late for us to say we’re sorry and can we come home please? If it weren’t for the whole potato-famine thing I’d have been on the phone first thing this morning.

Full Cleveland

August 6, 2015

Jeebus. I bet you’d get a bigger crowd for a pig roast at a PETA rally.

Fat Kit Friday

July 31, 2015

FatGuy-TIght KitThe early reviews are in, and it seems that the revived Old Guy kit is running a little snug for some folks.

At 6 feet tall and 175 I feel OK in a large, but it’s summer, and winter is coming! So I might invest in an XL, if only for (ahem) layering purposes.

So, if you have any doubts at all as to whether your usual size will fit, you might consider going up one. There’s no shame in it. Shit, I gotta go 2XL in some of the Euro stuff unless I wanna look like a chorizo swelling up in a skillet.

And if worse comes to worst, Voler advises that they have a great return and exchange policy.

Fat city

July 27, 2015
It's what the all the well-dressed fat bastards are wearing this season.

It’s what the all the well-dressed fat bastards are wearing this season.

The new kit has landed at El Rancho Pendejo.

As usual, I seem to be between sizes — Voler’s large club suits me fine without an undershirt, but once I (ahem) bulk up for winter I may need to go to an XL. And to think my original is a medium. Sigh.

The full zip is a big improvement over the original edition, and so is the fabric. For starters, it’s lighter, which means you can have that extra donut for breakfast. But you can’t have the shorts — not yet, anyway. Them there is original bibs from Back In the Day™ and we’ve yet to bring them back to hideous life.

Chime in as your jerseys arrive and let me know what you think.

What do I think? I think I’ll go for a ride, that’s what I think. I think.

Sartorial Sunday

July 26, 2015
The old Old Guy kit. My new jersey, as the fella says, is in the mail.

The old Old Guy kit. My new jersey, as the fella says, is in the mail.

Got your Old Guy jersey yet? Me neither. But then I screwed up and ordered a jersey plus some bibs that turned out to be out of stock, so mine didn’t ship until Saturday.

Give us a holler when your kit arrives and tell us whether it meets your expectations, and in particular whether it fits as intended. Include a pic if you dare. Don’t worry, we won’t show it to anyone. You can trust us. We’re in the media.

Meanwhile, that little race around Frogland is finally over and done with, which means that tomorrow I can wake up without fretting about how I’m going to be funny before coffee. Thanks to Other Pat for joining us at Live Update Guy during the Tour, and for offering up a couple of pint glasses to help us keep the Tip Jar filled.

It’s hard to believe, but the end of the Tour — for me, anyway — means that the year is on the big downhill slide. La Vuelta starts August 22, and three days after that wraps Interbike kicks off in Las Vegas. Then Bicycle Retailer and Industry News goes back to once-a-month publication, and before you know it, boom! Cyclocross season.

Better start running, y’all. It may be in the 90s now, but before you know it the snow will be flying.

 


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