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, July 23, 2018

Bicycle Tires...Everyone Is Of The Opinion That The Tires They Ride Are The Best!

Over the years that I've been cycling, seriously since 1981, I have purchased a lot of bicycle tires. Some have been very good, like the ones that Compass Cycles sells, while other brands have been so-so. Recently, however, I have had a good run with Continental tires, specifically the Continental Gatorskins. Having dealt with the road conditions in Silver City, NM, which can be incredibly beat up, the Compass tires that I used there worked quite well. Last year, we moved to Los Alamos, NM, where the road conditions are great, yet the tried and true Compass tires failed to deliver its usual quality of no flats. My next step was to do an online search, see what the online word was about bicycle tires, and decided to get a set of Continental Gatorskins, like the ones on my wife's Bob Jackson touring bike.

After reading several articles on bicycle tires on and how the latest research is disproving so many long time myths about bicycle tires and air pressure, I opted to go with a pair of 700x26 Gatorskins. My Vitus road bike won't handle any tire larger than that, otherwise I would have put 700x28 tires on the bike. To date, no flats, unlike the Compass tires that I was using, which had been quite failsafe until moving to Los Alamos. Now, the roads around here are kept up. Trust me. With the big trucks moving radioactive waste from the national labs that are located here (the atom bomb was developed here), no one wants any of these trucks to have a crash due to road conditons. Not only do they repair the roads around here regularly, they make quick work of getting the new road surface done. Oh, and no oil/gravel/crushed whatever road surfacing either. We're talking new blacktop surfaces and paint. They do not fuck around with that cheap shit up here.

So, for whatever reason, the Gatorskins do great up here. While I don't have as many miles on these tires as I had with the Compass tires, I have had zero flats to date. And, if you read the articles by Compass Cycle Articles On Bicycle Tires, you will note that how fast your tires will be has little to do with their width and that skinny tires are out for good reason. With that information available to me now, I trust that my decision to get the Gatorskins for my wife's bike, and mine, was a good one. 

With all that read and said, I am sticking to my contention that everyone thinks that the tires they're riding on are the best...and I'm sold, for now, on Continental Gatorskins, for whatever the hell that's worth. At this point, I am beginning to think about another cross country bicycle trip...ocean to ocean...which will be my last solo cross country bike trip. Certainly not my last bicycle trip, just that I will be doing some different rides after this last cross country trip. I want to drive to specific States and investigate/visit/spend time in places in those States for a somewhat longer stay than I would be if I were on a long distance bicycle tour.  My plan is to spend several days or longer in each place I go to in any particular State. And I will be using the Gatorskins on my touring bike. Unless, of course, I find a better one before I head out in 2020. And I'll be checking out brewpubs along the way.

Ok, just a short posting for this time, but with a tune to close out for now...The Road Goes On Forever...Robert Earl Keen Jr. Robert Earl Keen Jr. is one of my favorite singers/songwriters, who has turned out many a fine tune. This particular one is a tune he does whenever he's a legendary one for him. We all know the lyrics and sing along. While tires don't go on forever, the road does the party!!! Happy trails...