Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Monday, April 2, 2012

WTB bars and Touring Cyclists from CA

Last Thursday, the WTB mountain/road drop bars that I had ordered arrived via UPS.
With just a bit of anxiety, I removed the Cruzbike handlebars that came standard with my Silvio....removed the bar tape, loosened the shifters, slid them off, removed the bars.  Now, on went the new bars and, in the process, I learned a few things about the Silvio.  The clamps that hold the handlebars in place have to be reapplied exactly as they came off.  They don't fit any other way.  Why is that?  Too fekkin' weird.

Since I hate taping bars and adjusting shift/brake cables is a skill I am lacking in, I merely replaced the shifters on  the new bars so I could try them out.  Amazing was the first word out of my mouth.  What an entirely different sense of control the WTB drop bars provided.  I went tooling around the neighborhood feeling much more confident on the Silvio.  I could hardly believe it.  The WTB bars are the same length as the ones that come with the Cruzbike Silvio, just a longer flat section and angled out drops that provide a comfortable spot to rest my hands.

After playing around on the Silvio with the new bars, I returned to the house, called Annie up at Twin Sisters Cycling and made arrangements for her to do up the new bars with the tape, adjust all the things that would need adjusting, and get it back to me before 5pm on Friday since I was picking Eileen up to go up to the Buckhorn for dinner then to the Opera House to see The Milk Carton Kids.  At 4:50pm, I headed out of Twin Sisters with my bike ready to go.  :-)))  Picked up Eileen and headed to Pinos Altos, NM, to the Buckhorn for dinner and to meet some friends there.  BTW, The Milk Carton Kids were really good...excellent song writing, excellent musicians, excellent and intelligent humor.  Worth it to go see them if they show up in your part of the world.

Saturday, Eileen and I headed to Tyrone and, after getting there, Eileen wanted to ride farther.  Heading out of the parking lot there off of Rt. 90, we headed up the climb (4.5 miles) before getting to the copper mine.  The Silvio was much easier to control with the new bars.  Enough so that I was able to ride on the road instead of the shoulder and ride a relatively straight line.  Whew...wasn't sure how long this would take with the other bars, but here I was doing the climb, staying straight on the road.  Eileen also did great.  She's a stronger rider than she thinks she is.  If she was more courageous on the bike, she'd be leaving me in the dust.  Her trusty Surly Long Haul Trucker has won her over.  We rode 20+ miles on Saturday, which was a first for me on the Silvio and a first for her on a bike in quite a few years.

Sunday, April 1st, we were expecting the arrival of three touring cyclists from Alameda, CA, who are riding the Adventure Cycling Association Southern Tier Route that goes from San Diego, CA, to St. Augustine, FL.  I headed out in the car to see where they were to see if Eileen and I could ride out to meet them.  Found them just past Mangas, NM, which meant they had at least 2hrs of riding to go.  Stopped and met them, told them we'd meet them out on the highway as they got closer to Silver City, then I headed home to get Eileen on her bike.  But, I had to vacuum the rugs before we could go.  God forbid anyone should see any of our rugs looking dirty..!  LOL...  Vacuuming done, bikes set to go, put on the cycling clothes and headed out the door into a terrible headwind.  Nothing worse than having to pedal downhill.  I didn't have to, but Eileen did.

We rode out about 6 miles on Rt. 180 and spotted Steve, Jerry and Michelle.  After they got up to where we were, we all headed to Silver our house.  The wind was now at our backs, which was good, but the wind still sucked because it's like invisible chaos all around and nothing can be done to make it stop.  Fortunately, we had a short distance to go.  On arrival home, all the bikes were in the backyard and we all headed inside away from the wind.  While I took Jerry to Gila Hike & Bike to get a tube, Eileen got Steve and Michelle set up with some snacks and drinks.  Jerry and I caught up with them after he picked up some food for the next day's trip to Hillsboro, NM, over Emory Pass (about 8200' elevation), which is about 40 miles from our house.  I had made meatballs and spaghetti sauce for dinner in the slow cooker and it smelled great!  So, after a few beers, lots of chatting, the table got set, an extra chair was placed at the table, and dinner was served...spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread, and strawberry/rhubarb pie with Ben & Jerry's ice cream for dessert.  While Steve, Jerry and Michelle had certainly burned those calories on Sunday's ride, we had not but indulged headfirst anyways.  We'll make up for it down the road!

Last night, Eileen played some traditional Irish fiddle tunes for our new friends and they enjoyed it immensely, I believe.  Steve and Eileen made a connection over Brazil...Steve's girlfriend is from Brazil and Eileen did a 4 month high school adventure there in her teens, which was a highlight for her.  More chat, some laundry got done, set up the cot for Steve to sleep on, and Scrappy, one of the cats, was sound asleep on the couch, so we all took the hint and made our separate ways to bed.  Got up at 0630 today, cooked up some eggs, bacon, toast, broke out some fruit, yogurt for breakfast and they headed out about 8am.  I rode with them to show them a less busy alternate route out of town to Rt. 180 and we parted ways there.  Eileen and I enjoyed their company and making friends with them.

Warmshowers is a great organization for cyclists who want to stay with other cyclists or put other cyclists up for a night or two.  Contrary to what Eileen thinks, it's not a porn site.  Now, we have friends in Alameda, CA.  Great bonus to being Warmshowers members.  If you're a cyclist, think about joining this organization. It is free.
Michelle, Steve, & Eileen
Steve and Eileen

Jerry with his new friend, Scrappy

Michelle & Steve

Steve & Jerry

Jerry, Michelle, Steve, & Eileen

Before I forget, here are the websites for Jerry/Michelle's blog and for Steve's blog:
Check them out...

Enough for's a tune from The Milk Carton Kids: