Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rough Rider

It is funny how some things work in some situations yet not in others. For example spaghetti and hot dogs would not be on anyone in the US's breakfast menu; yet when served in Haiti, it is quite delicious.

The same can be said for my bicycle. In Los Angeles, going from the Southbay to Santa Monica, it makes complete sense, is functional, and of course, unlike the guy riding it, looks cool. Put this same bike into the back of ones' gas-pig, drive 12 hours east into the desert of New Mexico and this same practical, quick, and comfortable bike becomes rather foolish. Tires: (we have not gone far enough east to call them tyres) way too hard and narrow, basket: vibrates so much on the rough pavement that it began to self destruct, single speed: so wrong for climbing miles of relentless incline.

I am visiting my folks who live out side of town and there is a preponderance of gravel roadway. As I am accustomed to a bit sand, the loose gravel is ok yet 28mm road tires are not the way to go. When I get out on the actual "paved" road, it is more like gravel that is being held place by some blackish stuff. It is rough. The kind of rough where a kidney belt might be in order.

That brings me to the hill. This bit of "pavement" in the middle of the desert, heads down to town or up to the mountains. I have been heading towards the mountains each morning at dawn. Needles to say it is up hill; one of those hills that gets steeper and steeper as it goes. With the elevation at 4500ft above sea level, I was winded within the first mile. Standing on the pedals, hunched over my fancy French style handlebars, I barely made it 2/3 of the way to the top (or where the pavement ends).
Multiple gears would be good.

Now I have been here a few days and can make it to the end of the paved road with only one rest break. I have removed the basket to preserve it from being torn apart. I actually saw this little piece fall off. I love the desert and New Mexico has long been a second home for me. Life brings us changes and challenges, I feel like we have to get up each morning and ride towards the mountains in the East as the sun rises and not get too caught up on what we ride. It is more about how we ride; how we see who and what is around us, how we take on the challenge of the day.

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