Team Tarik Racing Presented By! Paul Component Engineering!

29'er groupetto

The second major sponsor of Team Tarik Racing is Paul Component Engineering. Paul has been a long time Tarik supporter via supporting grass roots racing at Kelly bike and giving starving grad students/ frame shop employees good deals on hubs at interbike. I think I got my first Paul hub in 1996 that I still ride on the single speed cross bike.
1996 word hub:
1996ish Paul WORD hub

Over the intervening years I have worked my way up to 10 Paul single speed hubs over the single speed cross bike, single speed 26" mtb and the impending single speed 29er. Plus at least two bikes with paul canti brakes and the paul flat bed on the kogswell PR. The hubs are great, the brakes are wonders. Paul and his crew helped on my purchase of full on Paul singlespeed grupetto for the new bike, as seen at the top of the post.

Pauls Component Engineering will also be covering my head for the racing season ahead.

or maybe more like this:
Pre-race Smirky mc Smirk Smirk

I guess it depends on the race.

Paul is one of them good ones in the bike industry. Swell guy, one of the rare real engineers in the industry, and nice parts.
Thanks Paul.


Team Tarik Racing Presented By! Mellow Velo!

I decided to make my incessant racing quasi official (pseudo official?) this year and get me some sponsors. I am excited to have come to some sort of agreement with two of my long time supporters and my favorite local(ish) bike shop. I will have a post or two about each over the next few weeks/months/years, but you can get a preview by looking at the logos on the side bar.

First up, I want to thank and introduce Mellow Velo bike shop in Santa Fe. There are a handful of solid shops in Santa Fe, but Mellow Velo is by far my favorite one. They are the shop that I trusted to be on it enough to order me one of the first run of the Big Dummy. Owner David Bell and his crew have put together a bike shop that pretty much looks like the one I would like to open, but much better, as it is well run and actually open. They have jedi mechanics, rental bikes, new bikes, lots of shiny bits and lots and lots of single speeds and steel goodness.

I can also categorically declare that Mellow Velo is THE place to bring that UO-8/PX-10 you found at a garage sale and turn it into a fixie.

Some photos of the shop

Somehow this skip tooth Frejus is not even the bike I covet most at the shop:
Skip tooth Frejus Fixie

Boxlined Pinstripey Legano

David's OS Blackbuck bike with a bar end shifter on Paul mount running in friction mode:
Friction Thumbie

Jedi Mechanic Art and David and their fabulous teeth:
Art and David

Aida even loves the shop:
Aida Hamming it up
See more of what she thought about it here

Anyhow, if you are looking for a good shop in Santa Fe that can and will happily order you stuff and work on your bike and will rent bikes to your pals visiting from far away and will dispense the local trail knowledge head over to Mellow Velo. They are down Old Santa Fe trail about a quarter mile past the intersection with Paseo, away from the Plaza. In an adobe house. Just before the boot repair place. Got it?

I will be racing in their jersey and socks this year.
New team
I may wear bicycle pants too.

I feel lucky as a merely occasionally fast racer of a certain girth that I can find good people that stand behind Team Tarik Racing. Thanks David, Thanks Mellow Velo.


Thistles and Peas

Somehow I thought I had nettles growing my raspberry bed, so I let them go thinking I could eat some nettle soup next year.


I realized belatedly that they were not even remotely that. Next I hoped they were cardoons so I could eat the labor intensive blanched stems. But as they bloomed they really did not look cardoonish.

Second Try: what it is?
After some research I think they are some knapweed or starthistle. The foliage seems to be unlike most of the varieties I can find online, but it is pretty close. Turns out some of this species can stunt the growth of nearby plants, which is the last thing our poor stunted raspberries need.
Starthistles maybe?

I was going to let them grow anyway, but I remember that three years ago I not only let the sweet pea vines go to seed, but may have strewn them about a bit. The result is that they are thriving everywhere, including places that never get water. I pulled as many as I could find last year, but I still have more this year, I thought these were annuals? Maybe I am still being punished from seeds from three years back? As a non-fragrant variety with pea like pods that are inedible and seem to be able to outcompete the roses and raspberries, I really wish I had not let them go.
effin sweet pea vines everywhere
Sweet Peas?

So in conclusion, I don't know what they were, but I kilt the hell out of em. I hope. I did save the seeding heads in a plastic bag in case I want them later. Seems like they are infested with larvae of some sort, little reddish wiggling thingies all over the bag.


NM Fire info!

Rio Fire as seen from the santa fe relief route on 5/31/10
Rio Fire

It is already a doozy of a fire season. There have been a number of relatively close fires that have covered the town with smoke and disquietude. In an effort to find out more information about the Rio Fire last month (~1000 acres near fenton lake, 30 miles or so away from here) I stumbled upon the NM fire info Blog and twitter feed.


Sweet! Good use of the new media to get timely info out without having to filter through the relatively abominable local news websites. My only criticism is they should have maps of where the fires are as the location descriptions are a bit hard to follow as they use somewhat odd baselines. But overall very comforting.

Tecolote or South Fork fire (need that map, read a bit more, it is south fork, 12000 acres and counting), seen from town, 6-18-10

Los Alamos has had a long history of damaging wildfires. Having almost lost the entire town and lab to fire in the early years and then again most recently with the catastrophic Cerro Grande Fire just over a decade ago. For a first person account go here. Anyhow, it is nice to be able to get some quick info as to where and how bad the fires are without relying on rumor and crappy news stories.

Remember, put out your camp fires completely. Sheesh.


Wood Hauling

More short hop large load hauling. Some neighbors two blocks up the street have had a pile of cut wood in their lawn for at least 5 months. I saw them watering their garden earlier in the week and asked if they minded if I hauled that off. They did not. So I saddled up the dummy yet again and got two good loads of wood for the winters burning. I will need to do some chopping and splitting, but that is good fun. It was way more wood than it looked in a random higgledy piggledy pile in their yard.

First load:
Wood Hauling first load

Second load:
Wood Hauling - Second load
Maybe a third of a mile each way?

First load again:
Wood hauling - first load

All I know is that it is much easier to load (and overload) the big dummy with split lumber as the last time I scored some free firewood:


Play Structure Hauling

My neighbor around the block, and fellow bike nut, Albert has a daughter a few years older than Aida who outgrew her awesome play structure. He offered it to us and after a visit to see how nice it was, I spent three hours overhauling the big dummy (taking off the studded tires, putting on a new chain, new disc brake pads etc) and then saddled up the big dummy and returned with three loads of play house and slides and such. Thanks Albert and family!

First Load:
First load

Unwieldy when off the bike:

Second Load, the most aesthetically pleasing one:
Second Load

Aida tries out the piece parts:
Aida tests out the slide

Third and final load with bonus cat:
Ozmium Stretches

Riding with that third load;

It is pretty big put together:
Moving the slide

Aida likes it!:
She likes it

Three trips, probably quarter mile each way for a mile and a half of work. It is good to be riding the big dummy again with a chain that shifts, brakes that work and smooth tires. It is also good to have friends like Albert. thanks again pal.


Beautiful Mountain Views

The beautiful mountains.
Amid unfortunate city detritus, Salt Lake City, 6/1/10

A few more pictures from a short trip Salt Lake City 6.10


Native Bees!

I have a big old rotty stump in the yard that I use as a wood cutting platform. I was planning on drilling holes in it so the native bees could nest in it. I was working in the yard last weekend and noticed that bees have already taken advantage of the beetle/woodpecker holes in it.

Native bees!

Huzzah! We had a low bee year despite my neighbor having many hives on his property. We lost our bees two winters ago, and he lost 4 or 5 hives in total (of 20 or so scattered over the county). He is pretty sure it was not sudden bee death syndrome, but maybe just a long cold winter.

The good news is that our apricots bloomed too early again (early april I think) but they got two weeks of warmth before we hit a cold snap for 3 weeks. As such we are looking to be up to our armpits in apricots for the first time in three years.

A good apricot year



Riding with the grumps

Happy Dad
Happy Dad, Grumpy McBaby

Grumpy Baby
Grumpy McB