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?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

EUROPEANS!!! Annelies and Hannes...

Several weeks ago, when the Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire was just underway, I was contacted via Warmshowers by Hannes Solomon.  He and his wife, Annelies, got married in Europe in 2009 and have been traveling on their honeymoon by bicycles since 6/7/2009.  Hannes is from Austria and is an architect; Annelies is from Switzerland and is a pediatric nurse.  They've also been keeping a blog.  Check it out here.

Hannes Solomon
Annelies Solomon

When Hannes initially contacted me, I urged him to consider an alternate route around the fire since the fire was 0% contained.  Smoke was every where.  We stayed in touch over the ensuing weeks as the fire was contained and began to burn just within the containment area.  While it was still burning, the smoke subsided dramatically.  Nearing the U.S. border, Hannes contacted me again, asking if they might spend 2-3 nights with us.  Considering the improving fire/smoke conditions, I told him yes.  On Friday, 6/22/12, Hannes and Annalies arrived in Silver City.

After getting to our house, we began the usual banter of conversation and slew of questions to get to know each other better.  First on the agenda was bicycle issues.  Hannes said that Annelies needed a new rear rim because her's had a crack inside the rim that ran down about 25% of the rim.  A new chain was in order, as a spare, and Annelies's headset needed to be looked at.  Contacted Twin Sisters Cycling and Gila Hike & Bike.  Annie at Twin Sisters wasn't able to help with a wheel, so I called Gila Hike & Bike.  Scored.  Annalies, Hannes, and I rode our bikes to Gila Hike & Bike so they could look at the bike and make some decisions.  While at the bike shop, Jay, one of the owners, took the headset apart.  They didn't have the right bearings for the headset, but Jay was able to put a lot of grease in the headset and that got things right, for now.  A new chain was purchased and they had a Mavic 32 hole rim that would fit.  Both Hannes and Annelies have 14spd internal gearing Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 with a single 16T chainring.  They cost about $1200+ but are incredible hubs/drive train systems.  Amazing system.

Hannes' and Annelies' bicyles

Rolhoff Speedhub 500/14

Annelies and Hannes ended up staying 4 nights with us.  They left this morning around 7am, headed for Glenwood, NM, where they'll camp on Kyle Skaggs' farm.  Kyle and his parents, Roger and Katie, are good friends of ours.  We do a CSA (community supported agriculture program) with Kyle.  We paid him money in the Spring and we get fresh, organic veggies from him through about the middle of October.   Great produce!  In the morning, they'll head north of Reserve, NM, and pick up the Great Divide Mountain Bike Trail.  They elected to do this because of their concern about getting water up in this part of the Gila Wilderness and because of the roads, etc., being torn up by the fire fighting vehicles that have been cruising around in their effort to fight the Whitewater Baldy fire.

Annelies' bike (with Earl the BAD Cat, who sprayed one of her front panniers!)

Hannes' bike

Hannes and Annelies just before they left this morning.

I will do more on them in another post...or else this one would be too long.

So, for Annalies, one of her favorite tunes by Leonard Cohen..."I'm Your Man".