Monday, December 6, 2010

You should really go here and do this:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Random Update

I thought I should at least say hello and waste a few minutes of both our time...

And yes, I have been riding. Mountain bike rides mostly, with a concentration on the Dale Ball Trails. You have to love a 30-mile trail network that is (mostly) within the city limits. And now that we have had some rain, they might not be so dry.

Mellow Velo continues to grow and improve, but our slacker webmaster is more interested in the height of his handlebars than finishing the new website, so you will just have to believe me.

In other news, I cut off all of my hair, and haven't had a cigarette in 30 months (today)!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Today there was a Bicycle Summit in Santa Fe, with representatives from three independent shops, a distributor, and several local clubs in attendance. The purpose was to round-table some ideas for our local reps to take to the National Summit in DC.
The primary concern of the 25 - 30 people there was, naturally, the streets of our fair city, and the conditions under which we cycle. While it was agreed that compared to 15 - 20 years ago things are immensely better, it was obvious that there is a long way to go. There are still certain arteries that a cyclist takes a higher risk using, but are really the only option.
The other main concern, and one that can be addressed at a national level is education for both motorists and cyclists. My own example to this was the motorist that thought my left-turn hand signal meant for them to pass me. Yeah... you do the math.

If you are interested in adding a voice, or helping out, there are meetings on the 3rd Wednesday at rob and charlie's, and you can watch the NM Bike Coalition site for info. I think the SOB's update for advocacy too.

Props to Lisa and Nathan from BTI for putting it together.

(and for those still watching; 2 years, 1 month, 25 days)

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I hung up my man-bag the other day... decided that if I was going to carry luggage I might as well do it right. So I got Ceilidh out and wiped her down, aired the tires, mounted my casual panniers with all my accoutrement and hit the road.
Who is Ceilidh? My 30-something Scottish love. Look back in the archives and find the day I inherited the two Wester Ross'; Ceilidh is 035, the black touring rig. Built in the late '70s, silver brazed, lugged, Reynolds 531 tubing, basically all original with Suntour Montech derailleurs, Suntour BarCon shifters, Campagnolo brakes and levers, Campagnolo Record hubs with old Mavic rims, Sugino AT triple crank, Campy headset... don't know the brand of dropouts or fork crown, but I'm looking.
Anyway, she is a joy to ride. The Buick geometry means she's stable as can be, and flows well in traffic. Twitchy is not in her vocabulary.
Now that I'm spending more time with her, the question of aesthetics arises. Her baked enamel finish has a number of chips, and steel does what steel does naturally, so I realize I must either repaint her completely, or do some major sand, polish, and touch-up. Touch up would be less expensive, and I wouldn't be without for any real length of time (not like I don't have something else to ride). But it wouldn't stop all the existing rust, and would continue to look slightly shabby.
If I do get her repainted, what colors? At present she's black, with very pale blue lug edges and cutouts. I was thinking a forest green with gold accents, brown leather and duck on the accessories, and bits of brass as needed (like the Crane bell on there now). The original decal designs are available as a graphics file online, so I could have them printed in a matching gold...
Indigo with silver accents would be another possibility, but the green, gold, brown just feels so bloody posh.
Ponder, ponder.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

View From the Streets

As I rode into the downtown/old town section of Santa Fe, more commonly referred to as the Plaza, I remembered the day; last Saturday of July. An icy shiver ran down back as I found myself being surrounded by the land whales, skateboard cars, and duelly trucks. San Francisco Street was a parking lot, and I used my mobility to reverse course and search for alternate routes. I swung around a back route, turned at the barricades, and went far enough nothing should have been there... wrong. Even Lincoln Avenue was barricaded, three-to-four deep on each side. It looked like Berlin in 1962! The only thing missing were the Soviet weapons; they use Israeli here.
I slid past one stormtrooper by rolling up the sidewalk before the wall, effectively confusing a seventh grade education. Two down...
The gates at the street weren' the problem, it was the sea of humanity flowing in both directions. Bad economy? The thousands upon thousands of souls I saw buying "art for art's sake" didn't seem to think so. Patiently, I awaited a Moses-like moment when all the random streams aligned just right and I could roll across the road. Leaving walls of barriers is quite simple; you roll through. No one even notices you, and if they do, your out before they can say, "Bicycles are not..."
Literally twenty minutes later than expected, I arrived at my destination. Had I been in a car, I would have had to park a mile or so away and walk in.

And in other news... no, I still haven't had a cigarette. One year, seven months tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Poetic Interlude

In another of my blogs I am attempting to keep up with a poem-a-day as put forth by Poetic Asides. Of course, a couple of the poems ended up being bicycle related, and rather than force you to wade through a half-months verbosity, I thought I'd just drop them here, and give myself an excuse to update.
Now, these poems are based on "prompts;" subject tidbits. This one was a result of the prompt "hobby"...
the view is endless
the air thin
ravens circle doing tricks
as deer watch through
thick rows of trees
tracks cross the trail
several sets
all moving toward
the stream I crossed
sunlight fills me
after dappled canyons
of aspen and pine
and I breathe
deeply of the mountain air
before dropping off the
other side
to dance my bicycle
through the trees

This one was from the prompt "clean"...
tight line, steep approach
loose rock, a root, shift
don't touch the gears
jerk left, slip, recover
mad scramble, more roots
shale drift, not as steep
low branch
cactus reaches, hungry
pull up
push down
burst through the claws
before the wall, the lip
pedal, timing, approach
yank, pedal, weight, lunge
crest, hold, grin
cleaned it

So there you have it. Save your flames, I am certainly my own worst critic.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fixed Gear Corruption

Yes, it's true, I'm actually posting something. And yes, it's true, fixed gear bicycles have corrupted me.
Ask anyone, I used to be the epitome of bicycle manners. I obeyed the traffic laws better than most drivers. I always waited for lights, kept to my lane, signaled and made legal turns. I didn't mind stopping, putting a foot down, scanning the car next to me for interesting occurrences.
Then one day I'm waiting, realizing my trackstand skills are not up to par, and run the red through an empty intersection. I found myself going the wrong way in traffic, cutting corners and running more lights, riding through pedestrian precincts...
I had basically become the rider I had always shaken my head at, cursed for making it bad for all of us.
And I remembered how much fun it was to take the street for my own purposes. Subversive purposes.

I'm still a generally respectful rider. More often than not I'll follow the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. But sometimes I have to follow the path less traveled. Against the arrows.

and for those still counting... over 15 months.