All this talk of dirt and rides of various assortment has done the job of keeping it (riding) at the forefront of mind, but it has not been easy. Days are typically saturated with NoPhx tweeker bikes among the heat. And while I’ll always take the money, I will always be amazed that some would not, will not, or cannot change a tube even if it means they can save 10 bucks. So I stand facing bikes all day, changing tubes, talking about the performance quality of tubes, talking about sealant, or even proving that a tube purchased yesterday can infact, be flat today. It could be worse… much worse. But, as with any wrench, the last thing I want to do at the end of the day, is get kitted up and ride, so I don’t.
It has been hell in the Valley… the inverse of the rest of the nation’s riding season. A week solid of 115 degrees on the temp gauge, not nearly enough rain, and I am not yet durable in mind or body to tolerate it. Still, I see those dedicated souls out there, jostling through the heat to maintain “performance.” To stay vigilant is for the strong, of which, I am occasionally a member, but I need my paraphernalia to keep it going. The two most recent pieces of bike
junk porn include the JC Higgins, and the Bianchi Boardwalk. The JC Higgins has a special sentimental value since it’s been in the DC family for over 10 years. As Jon headed back north, it was bequeathed to me once again. It is now the shop bike, the burrito getter, and it is the epitome of townie.
Big rides of late have been seldom and I’m far softer than I’ve ever been in the past 20 years. New lows. New highs. I’ve rolled north in search of urban overnighter possibilities and other long loops. Gordy calls them Sub-24′s. In essence, and from the door, together with a select few, we search for reasons not-of-PHX, to ride, but this place is so consuming, on the daily basis, it seems barely possible. Still, the perfect bike has eluded me until today. Today, the Bianchi Boardwalk is built up. I now know why I’be been holding onto that Bontrager 130mm cro-mo quill stem for all this time.
The Bianchi will be my whip. 34c cross tires. 9 speeds of Rapid Rise mounted to faded brown ano risers. It’s perfect. It’s barely reflective of its former self. It is new monstercross. I may never have a better bike. A bike I’ll be able to wander the hills north of Seven Springs with, while not being discouraged by the miles and miles and miles of pavement between here and there. And as all bikes should come together, in total, the cost to build it was 64 dollars in scrap. Yea, sometimes it’s good to have a secret stash. This thing is going to pull my mind out of hell and toss it up in the hills beyond, where I will get small and lost. I can feel it.
A few buddies up in FLG understand this too, and so, are putting on a small 12 hour ride at the Nordic Center north of town. The Bear Jaw Groove 12 Hour. It’s three weeks around the corner and it’s going to be a good reason to meet up with some old friends. As steve shreds through the aspens, I can get stoked. That, and it’s as good a goal to get out and pedal as any/ At the very least, it is in accordance with race localizing, as has been recommended, but with more regional flare.
The size of my goal(s) is as thick as an eyelash, but if ever to compete, a goal should be there. It is to just hold down the fort and not drink until it’s almost over. Unfortunately, I aquired the services of Joe Murray to pilot the other half of this ambiguous Duo. He’s always fast. The course will be a 10 mile route of tufted grassy aspen forest sitting at 8000′ asl. This is their innagural event. The heads that run the nordic center and the crew that will be putting on this event should ensure a good time. Training will involve a hand full of hot laps over the next few nights. Tuesday will be a priority.
The time to ride is now as always.