Wearables Wednesday

June 17, 2015
Getting my kicks on ... NM333?

Getting my kicks on … NM333?

Remember the large friendly letters inscribed on the cover of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?”


The Old Guy jersey wheels, they turn.

Voler and I are setting up a Produce On Demand partnership deal in which they will do all the work, you will get all the jerseys, and I — I will get a couple pennies for my trouble, which should be hardly any trouble at all, which is just the way I like it.


At the moment it looks as though we will revive Old Guys Jersey v2.0 first, and then add Original Old Guys to the catalog shortly thereafter. Fabric will be AMP; the cut, club; the zipper, full hidden; and the price, around $77, which includes shipping direct to you (untouched by the baby-soft hands of shovel-leaning Irish-American artistes).

Once everything is ready to rock you’ll see a link to my Voler.com partner page up there at right, under the jersey pix. Click that bad boy, give the nice peoples your credit-card number and delivery information, and you should have fresh kit in your hot little hands about seven working days later.

While all these multicolored Lycra balls were floating merrily in the air I took a short ride down memory lane, better known as Old Route 66 (NM 333), to Tijeras and back. I hadn’t gotten my kicks out that way since I last raced the Watermelon Mountain Classic, maybe 1990 or thereabouts, and a very nice ride it is, too, especially if you’re not headed in the other direction, chasing fast dudes to Duke City after climbing seven switchbacked miles of unimproved dirt Forest Service road between Bernalillo and the Sandia Ski Area.

I thought about continuing past Tijeras through Cedar Crest to the Triangle at Sandia Park, but Mister Boo has been experiencing a bout of intestinal distress, and I wasn’t eager to come home to a house that smelled worse than me. And there was all this damn’ jersey stuff needed doing, too.

So, yeah, my suffering knows no bounds, etc., et al., and so on and so forth. First thing I’m gonna do with the proceeds is get a new shovel to lean on between poop-scoopings.


Scooter Saturday

June 13, 2015
My 2008 Vespa LX50 got delivered today, so I'm motorized again.

My 2008 Vespa LX50 got delivered today, so I’m motorized again.

There’s a funny-lookin’ new bike in the garage. Speaks Italian. Only the Bianchi gets it.

Fashion Friday

June 12, 2015
Old Guy kit: The original (left) and the second edition.

Old Guy kit: The original (left) and the second edition.

Attention, DogMart shoppers! Today’s yellow-light special is … new Old Guy jerseys.

I just got off the phone with one of the fine folks at Voler and we’re setting the wheels in motion, as it were. The general idea is that rather than do this the old-fashioned way — book a reservation date, set a production schedule, wait seven weeks to ship, etc., et al., and so on and so forth — we set up an on-demand deal that could have kit in your hot little hands in fairly short order.

Best of all, Voler will handle all the heavy lifting of order fulfillment, so you won’t be at the mercy of the notorious Irish work ethic. (“What’s a shovel for then if not to lean upon?”)

The op’ should be not unlike the one Drunkcyclist uses to get its kit to the people. I’m awaiting an email from the gent who makes all these Lycra dogs bark, so when I hear something, so will you. I’ll post an announcement on the DogPage and drop a permanent link into the sidebar at right.

And thanks to everyone who kept pestering me on this. It sounds like a win-win for all concerned, save the poor sods who have to look at us wearing this stuff.

A day in the life

June 12, 2015
Descending on Trail 365 near the Embudo Dam.

Descending on Trail 365 near the Embudo Dam.

Every now and then, when I get a check in the mail, as I did yesterday, I wonder what I did to earn it. This thing of mine is not exactly ditch-digging, after all. Mostly it seems quite a bit like play.

But I kept track of yesterday’s chores, for some reason, and so here’s a look at a day in the life of a freelance cycling rumormonger.

• Wrote an 850-word column for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, on the joys of being a one-car, 16-bicycle family.

• Drew and colored a cartoon about motors in the peloton, also for BRAIN.

• Did an hour or so of hills on the Elephant NFE, stopping periodically to shoot some GoPro footage for its video review, which will accompany its Adventure Cyclist print review, which is fighting for space in my skull with ongoing impressions of a Felt V100 and Opus Legato 1.0.

• Pulled the footage off the GoPro, dropped it into iMovie, and did a bit of planning/editing.

• Declined a couple days’ worth of copyediting, my least favorite chore.

• Reinstalled the porteur and low-rider racks on the Elephant, being extra careful to not clamp anything down on any cable housing anywhere.

• Did a little casual research on the Swift Industries and Revelate bags.

Like I said, not exactly ditch-digging. Still, I’ll take the money. And thanks.

Elephant on the trail

June 10, 2015
The Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer, on Trail 365A, slightly southeast and decidedly upward from El Rancho Pendejo.

The Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer, on Trail 365A, slightly southeast and decidedly upward from El Rancho Pendejo.

The Pacific Northwest has come to the Southwest in the guise of an Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer.

This steel bike by Glen Copus out of Spokane, Washington, is intended for dirt roads, commuting and bike-packing. It’s my first 650b model, so I’ve been having fun with that after a steady diet of 29ers and 700c loaded tourers.

The NFE came with a whole raft of PNW goodies on the side: a matching Haulin’ Colin porteur rack (Seattle); a Tubus Duo low-rider rack (Auburn, Washington); an Ozette Randonneuring Bag and Jr. Ranger panniers from Swift Industries (Seattle); a Pika seat bag from Revelate Designs (Anchorage, Alaska, and Springfield, Oregon); and Gevenalle GX shifters (Portland, Oregon).

I don’t get to spend a ton of time with the NFE, so it’s kind of forced its way to the head of the Adventure Cyclist review queue, as elephants will do. At the moment it’s just a bike, stripped of racks and bags, but it will soon become a beast of burden.

Just call me Hannibal. Lemme at them Alps.

The Elephant NFE up against the Wall of Science.

The Elephant NFE up against the Wall of Science.

Julio, get the stretch!

June 4, 2015
The view from underneath one of the many bridges crossing the North Diversion Channel Trail.

The view from underneath one of the many bridges crossing the North Diversion Channel Trail.

I took a break from writing up my review of the Felt V100 to log a few miles on one of my own bikes for a change — Old Reliable, the Soma Double Cross.

The weather has been heating up here, and so my usual practice — arise, caffeinate, cast a baleful eye upon the news, do a bit of work, and then ride sometime around 10 a.m. — has come to a screeching halt.

Today I rolled out of the garage just after eight in the ayem, and what a lovely morning it was. Got in 40 miles before lunch and even sprawled out on the couch for a while, imitating the cats.

I didn’t notice until midafternoon that Goodhair Perry and his eyeglasses have clambered into the GOP clown car. That crowd is gonna need to borrow Bruno Mars’s stretch limo to get around until the Faux News debate format thins the herd a mite.

Somehow I doubt that wearing spectacles will prevent Goodhair from becoming one. I bet the bags of hammers snicker when he walks into a Home Depot and steps on all the rakes.

‘Higher’ education

June 3, 2015
Like, wow. Like, bow wow, man.

Like, wow. Like, bow wow, man.

In 1973 I was a 19-year-old college dropout with a part-time job and no car, riding a bicycle everywhere.

But I went back to school, got that diploma, and today I’m a 61-year-old man with three part-time jobs and no car, riding a bicycle everywhere.

Stay in school, kids.


An .85 Magnum Opus

June 1, 2015
The Opus Legato and I on the way back to El Rancho Pendejo from the bosque.

The Opus Legato and Your Humble Narrator on the way back to El Rancho Pendejo from the bosque.

That was a long three weeks. Know how I can tell? Because I just absentmindedly hand-coded the italics for “That,” the way we have to while posting at Live Update Guy during the grand tours, the first of which finally skidded to a halt on Sunday.

Don’t gotta do that shit here, yo. Got buttons for that italics shit here.

Anyway, with the Giro d’Italia finally in the can, no deadlines of any sort barking at me like a double Hound of the Baskervilles, and Herself finally (!) done with road-tripping for a while, I enjoyed a nice quiet morning for a change, one in which I didn’t have to be funny and/or focused before breakfast. It’s a far cry from ditch-digging, but some days it’s definitely harder than it looks.

Around 10 I got out for a spin on the Opus Legato, one of three review bikes on deck for Adventure Cyclist. It started out as a fairly standard out-and-back but at some point mutated into a “let’s see where this road goes” kind of ride. I found a scenic new alternative to 4th Street (Guadalupe Trail) when heading down Tramway with the bosque in mind, and on the way home checked out a couple of bike routes that were new to me.

By this time it was noonish and in the mid-80s, which added a degree of difficulty to the climb back up to El Rancho Pendejo. And then I remembered we have air conditioning. So, yeah, bonus. Now I seem to be hungry for some reason, so I’m gonna whip up a mess of Rick Bayless’s tacos de chorizo con salsa de aguacate.

Seems the recipe is no longer on his website, but there are plenty of others. Pick one and use it to take the taste of a Lindsey Graham presidential campaign out of your mouth.

Two wheels, zero brains

May 21, 2015
I picked a fine day to ride from the Sandias to the Rio and back again.

I picked a fine day to ride from the Sandias to the Rio and back again.

It’s been a couple weeks since Herself’s Subaru was towed away to its 永眠の地 (eimin no chi), or final resting place, and so far we seem to be getting by OK with only the one motor vehicle, El Rancho Pendejo being fairly well stocked with two-wheelers.

We had a bit of alternative-transportation fun around here yesterday, however. Or I did, anyway.

While we decide what, if anything, to do about the one-car situation, I decided it might be smart to have my Vespa LX50 shipped down from Bibleburg, a process that has more than a few hoops to hop through.

Since I didn’t ride it throughout the winter and early spring, it being there and me being here, the battery died. So I couldn’t drive it to Sportique for spring maintenance when last I was there instead of here. Thus, Sportique needs to fetch the thing, charge it up, and give it a wash and brushup before another fellow handles transport later this month or early next.

Toward that end, I planned to FedEx the keys to the garage and Vespa to a friend who lives in our old ‘hood. He’d open the garage, hand off the keys, and that would be that. Easy sleazy.

Uh huh.

So I hop on the Voodoo townie and pedal over to the FedEx shop yesterday only to find my wallet bereft of credit card. Seems some eejit wearing my face left the card at El Bruno’s after enjoying a plate of chicken enchiladas in a nuclear green chile the night before.

Well, fuck me running, I think. Check the wallet again. Twenty-eight smacks in Dead President Trading Cards. And these keys need to go overnight because my friend and his wife are leaving on vacation Saturday, the delivery guy is expecting to pick up my scoot directly, and Sportique needs some time to put it in proper working order.

“How close to overnight can I get this package to Colorado Springs for with $28 to spend?” I ask the FedEx person.

Phew. Made it with two bucks to spare.

Then all I had to do was cycle on down to El Bruno’s to collect the credit card. That only took about an hour and 45 minutes, with 800-plus feet of vertical gain for the homebound leg.

That’s one way to sweat out a combo plate.

• Editor’s note: This looks like an interesting rig. A buddy at The New York Times tipped me off to it.

Getting Felt up

May 19, 2015
The Felt V100 is one of three bikes awaiting review for Adventure Cyclist. At $849, it's a cheap grocery-getter, even more so than a Honda Fit Sport.

The Felt V100 is one of three bikes awaiting review for Adventure Cyclist. At $849, it’s a cheap grocery-getter, even more so than a Honda Fit Sport.

One nice thing about having all these bloody bicycles lying about the place — besides the obvious, which is that it’s nice to have a bunch of bloody bicycles lying about the place — is that when one is down to a single motor vehicle, one has options.

I used this Felt V100, an Old Man Mountain rack and a pair of Jandd Economy Panniers to fetch about $80 worth of groceries home from the Whole Paycheck yesterday. The ride home took 40 minutes, it being all uphill and into a headwind, so everything was nicely solar-cooked by the time I got back to El Rancho Pendejo. Bonus! Mmm, E. coli in botulism sauce.

And looks like I’d better get used to it. Herself and I popped round to the Honda dealer yesterday and she wouldn’t even test-drive anything. And why should she? She has my Subaru Forester, a low-mileage creampuff previously owned by a little old man who only drove it to the Whole Paycheck.

My colleague Matt Wiebe, the tech editor at Bicycle Retailer, says he knows where I can get a deal on a second-hand Harley. But I think I’ll have the Vespa shipped down from Bibleburg instead.

Meanwhile, thanks to one and all for the auto recommendations. You are all hereby penalized two minutes for your assistance.

• Editor’s note: This is my 1,500th post on this blog. ‘Ray for me. 


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