Glorieta Cyclocross 11/3/13 Mini Race report

As full blown race reports are apparently no longer within me, I will get down with mini reports to get some content out there. Here is the quick and dirty from Hawke's Old Fashioned cross sufferfest in Glorieta this past weekend. (see here for a report from a previous excellent Old fashioned cross race from the same promoter.)

Old faithful, ended up running a slightly wider more bitey front tire for the sand and the off camber loose stuff
Glorieta Cross! #kellybikes #kellybike #cyclocross

The course was on the grounds of the Glorieta (baptist) conference center and was really hard, somewhere between 2 and 5 dismounts per lap depending on how strong you were, as appropriate for the Old Fashioned cross series. Two long runups: one stairs, one quasi ridable dirt. One short set of stairs. A gopher hole riddled set of tight chicanes which was pretty ridable but slower than running. One short steep ride up with an ugly transition that was a bit too steep for my one gear for 5 of the 8 laps.

Much more technical than the usual UCI looking cross we get used to. Lots of off camber, lots of grassy dirt, a couple sand pits, even tighter chicanes than normal, longer run ups. I acquitted myself decently on the one speed I think. Got an OK start, crashed straight through some course tape on a chicane, lost a couple guys I shudda stayed with right there. I churned along painfully in my slightly-too-large-for-my-fitness gear of 36-17 or so. Rode the sand well. Ran the run ups well. Did not chicane as well as I could of. Got lapped by two really nice fellers on cool bikes from a Trek Composites something something team (zach and some other dude), down from durango possibly. Highlight of the race for me was getting lapped by them in the ugly little gopher chicanes and then blowing right back by them in the sand as they were waylaid into running by another lapped rider. I lost my will to live about 40 minutes in and then lollygagged for a lap and then noticed that I was getting caught by someone behind me, so I turned on the jets and finished OK. Given the complete lack of training and the only one other cross race this year I was pretty happy with the effort. There was only one mens category, which I enjoyed, reminded me of outlaw races I cut my teefs on 20 years ago, I have no idea where I finished other than the three guys who lapped me, I think midpack. I am pretty sure I was the only single speed.

Here is a video Elena shot of me through the sand pits.

Sand Pit Riding at Glorieta Cross from Tarik Saleh on Vimeo.

It is probably best to watch the full minute with the sound on to hear what Aida thought of daddy racing. She did tell me today that she loved going to the race and wanted to go to another cross race soon, so this was probably just a bit temporary dissatisfaction with the attention meter.

Anyhow, good course, good turnout, hurt my lungs. Yay cross. Thanks to all the organizers.

also, firetruck!

Fire Truck


Tarik Saleh Bike Club Hats _Sold Out!

See above for current cap order

Ok, Caps lasted exactly 24 hours. I will do another run of these soon, email me to get on the preorder list.


I finally got around to ordering some Tarik Saleh Bike Club embroidered wool bike caps from Randi Jo Fabrications. They just got in and are awesome. I have about 10 to sell. Pretty much all are size medium, which should fit up to about 7 1/2 hat size. I am about a 7 1/2 fitted cap nowadays and the medium is a nice fit with a reasonable head of hair. If you want to learn more about the hats or just order your own check out Randi Jo's Caps. If you are borderline, you might want to skip it for now or email me for future orders of larger caps.


6 of the caps are a lightweight orange wool with navy TSBC man logo. 4 are Reddish burgundy with thicker wool (normal for Randi Jo caps) with a slightly insane and hard to focus upon lighter blue embroidered TSBC man logo.


Cost is 32 bucks shipped to your door (USA) with three TSBC pins, one of each color (white, silver and holographic). If you want one, send me an email at tariksaleh at gmail dot com. I will sell em in the order received. You should also pledge to embrace the TSBC rules. If I manage to sell out quick, I will probably do another order this year, or maybe shirts or patches or maybe everything.

Somehow Aida is not as psyched as me. Details later tonight. Woop!


Flying Los Alamos to Albuquerque

Pacific Airways operating as New Mexico Air introduced a commercial flight (reintroduced really, maybe third iteration of commercial flights out of Los Alamos) back and forth to Albuquerque airport. I took the flight in late May amid light rain and cloud cover. Flights are $50 and 30 minutes each way, which beats the hell out of the 100 mile 1 hour 45 minute drive. The schedule is still getting dialed in but if it works for your connections, it is a fun little trip. Flight seats 9. Pretty much takes off and from Los Alamos and follows the Rio Grande down to Albuquerque, banks around a bit and you are there. See all the photos here If you like little planes and flying photos, check out a post about the last flight I took out of here
Update! Sharp memoried former Los Alamoosan Chad recalled the following incident related to Los Alamos airport history: airplane fornication

Handsome little Cessna 208 Grand Caravan
Los Alamos Municipal to Albuquerque commercial flights.

Taking off from Los Alamos County Airport (LAM)

Looking back over the town,lab and ski hill

White Rock Canyon and the Rio Grande

Jumbly Badlands in Cochiti

More Rio Grande in Cochiti Pueblo

Planned Sprawl North West of Albuquerque

Rio Grande Closer to Albuquerque

Nuclear Museum in Albuquerque

Landing at the Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)

Anyhow, I will take it again. I urge you to as well if it makes sense for your trip. The flight was pretty smooth, certainly smoother than the times I have flown from Santa Fe to Denver. The air service is heavily subsidized, likely at numerous levels, and I am not super confident that this will last in the long run at this price, but it probably makes some financial sense at some weird level for all of us to use it as we probably paid for the subsidies through our taxes as we do for all our transportation. So don't worry about it and enjoy the flight...


Lizards, Ravens, and Me

After a hot short ride to get some lunch and coffee, I took the scenic route back through the county trails in the canyons. I only had to share them with the lizards and ravens, and maybe a few jays. Most of the other trails in the area are closed for fire restrictions right now, so I was surprised to see not a single other person on the trails from the aquatic center to the roundabout. It has been about as hot as it ever gets up here and a bit smokey still from a number of local fires, but still it was a nice bucolic ramble in the canyon.

Mid ride coffee break in the canyon

I drank my coffee on the bridge looking over the depths of the canyon. Dawdled about for a bit, snapped some photos and then headed on my way. Trails are not too technical, mostly singletrack, just combinations of smooth dirt, loose dirt, sand, slick rock, and rocky trails. The ocean air rambler shod in the bruce gordon rock and roads is just spectacular on most smooth trail. Swoopy fast smoothish stuff is a blast. Handles great on single track. The bottom bracket is too low to be really in the monster cross category, but with careful pedaling you can get through reasonably technical rocky bits. I had a great ride.

Rock jumblethon

At the roundabout I hopped back on the road and head back home and enjoyed sitting on the porch and watching some much needed thunderstorms roll over the mountains.


Couple a things Saturday morning

So you all saw this, right?:

Like I says, I hope he sleeps in piles of money.

But also you should see this, this guy can straight up ride the living crap out of a bike:


Couple a things Saturday night, e-mags and weird skateboards

So I think I am going to no longer post at velocanoose, unless I get back on the blogging train big time, so I will try to post some stuff on the weekends here that normally would have went there.

Anyhow, if you have not seen bunyan velo you should check it out. It is the pinnacle of bicycle based pubs for me right now, hitting the adventure bike zeitgeist square on. Issue two just came out a bit a go, to go with the spectacular issue one. E-journal only, and quarterly, but it is worth the wait.


Also check out this interesting way of skateboarding:


Interesting Commutes Home

NM is on fire again. Its been dry as a dry thing this year and windy too, mercifully cool though so it has not been the tinderbox it has been in past years. However, combination of lightning and powerline fires have been spreading throughout the area. One fire, the Thompson Ridge Fire, is reasonably close to Los Alamos, probably not a worry for reaching our town, but it is at 7500 acres and threatening some local towns. It has made for some interesting commuting the last few days.

Fire started Friday, but started the weird light on Saturday night
Smoke smuggered skies.

During Monday's commute home in an early twilight due to intense smoke, my teeth felt like they were being coated in ash. I got rained on for a bit, then tiny balls of ash rained down on me for a while. Then the sky cleared just enough to allow me to enjoy a blood red circle of a sun on the rest of the ride home.

Missed the red sun, got the weird smoke over the mountains
Last night's naturally smoke filtered photo

Tuesday night's commute was accompanied by a light rain of charred pine needles, some blowing ash and a nice garter snake on the trail, sunning itself in the smoke apparently.

Smattering of charred pine needles covering pretty much everything
Nice burnt pine needles and ash fall on the rid home tonight.

Tuesday night's mountain smoke
This evening's mountain naturally smoke filtered photo

Anyhow, the Thompson Ridge fire is up to nearly 7500 acres, with its pal the Tres Lagunas fire over in the Pecos up at 9000 acres. Both a far cry from the two huge fires in NM over the last two years, but still big enough and close enough to make things genuinely suck for some people nearby and to worry the rest of us.

If you want to see what is going on the best site is really the NM fire info website has been providing spectacular coverage, images and maps. NMfireinfo.com.

Other resource and coverage dump:

LANL has a pretty good air quality data site here. Some other interesting local takes over at La Bikes: here and here. Local photog goes picnicing at the caldera when the wind blows the other way here. LA Daily Post is the easiest online accessable local Los Alamos news source, has had good coverage and photos. Outside Magazine (based just down the road in Santa Fe) posted this interesting little vid on the the Tres Lagunas Fire in Pecos:

Pecos On Fire from Outside Magazine on Vimeo.

and here is what the two local fires look like from nasa images

Update: Really nice post on the fire and the Jemez over at terry wallace's blog.


On the Tall Bikes

My internet acquaintance David "dirtysixer" started a company dirtysixer to make 36'er mtb's for really tall people. Bikes debuted at Sea Otter and look really good for those of youse in the 6'6" or taller height bracket. David sent along some photos:

6'10" looking balanced on the 36'er


6'5" wheelie machine


Pretty cool and pretty normal looking. David also pointed out to me that there are now some better than corker 36er tire options. Specifically a newish tire from former Los Alamos denizen Walt W. of Waltworks.

Waltworks 36er tire


Which to me looks like a 36er game changer. No more relying on super heavy, no tread unicycle tires. It kind of looks like the WTB nanoraptor in some ways which was THE tire that really made 29ers viable. Good stuff David and Walt. The moscaline bike compound has no 36ers yet, but I did really enjoy careening around on one at night after a couple tasty beverages at one of the SSWWC durango 2009.

I am glad to see a bike like this for the very tall, as I am tired of seeing NBA players on odd fitting cannondales or people ordering stems like this just to get a stock bike to fit:

Huge stem

Finally, if you came here looking for the other tall bikes, check out this:

Yeah! More info the at the LA streets blog


Mmmmm, trails

So just last Thursday as I was running at lunch along the rim of Mortendad canyon, a trail that I commute on nearly daily, and I came up behind a largish feline with a short tail loping up the trail ahead of me. It was a bit big for a bobcat, too small and short tailed for a mountain lion, kind of dark haired. too cat for a coyote. I am going to call it a lynx, or a really large bobcat. It turned and saw me and then took off like a shot and disappeared over the edge of the canyon. Unlike last lunch run feline encounter, this one was large enough to not favor me to follow it. So this lead me to think: man, how good are our trails?

Burrito run

Quemazon and up!

So good. Yep. So so good. Most of my riding and running and hiking occurs on trails that start well within a mile of my house. I commute to work and back on trails. It is good. I don't even ride most of the trails anymore as I don't have time, but my little local loops and paths are well worn and enjoyed often by me, and often fantastical other creatures. Just this year on the way to work (3.5 miles each way) I have seen: Coyote, mule deer, elk, the magic giant bobcat detailed above. I have seen ample bear crap to know they are all over the place. I have seen foxes and large owls on my commute, but not yet this year.

One thing that we don't have here in Los Alamos is a large scale unifying trail plan that will attract others to our trail systems. But we are working on that. As much as I like having trails for me all me. I also know the town needs some non-lab traffic and the trails is a good start. I was able to take part in a trail planning meeting last year with an IMBA rep and a trail consultant hired by the county to come up with some sort of large scale ride center like plan. I was pretty impressed with what they pitched when they were here and what they came up with in the final report. check it out here. This is the kind of commuting planning I can get behind. Rather than endless rivers of money flowing toward giving Los Alamos "an identity" or a "retail core". We can spend some time improving what we have already, great trails in the beautiful high altitude mountains, and reap the benefits for visitors and locals alike.


Society of Three Speeds!

As the founder of a prominent bicycle club, I appreciate chances to join other clubs. I am pleased to have received this excellent membership package in the mail last week from my internet pal, three speed connoisseur, purveyor of fine comics, good handwriting and all around funky/bohemianism, Shawn Granton:

Society of three speeds

Society of Three Speeds!
There are rules and such, but they are non-onerous if you are fan of three speed bikes:

  1. I will endeavor to promote three speeds as a viable means of transportation.
  2. I will not denigrate three speed bicycles and will not allow others to disparage these humble bicycles.
  3. I will ride my three speed bicycle with pride and immense enjoyment. If I have not yet procured a three speed bicycle, I will do my best to obtain one posthaste.

I heartily recommend joining for the attractive membership package including pins and frame stickers, as well as for the general support of three speed style bicycling. Memberships appear to be currently discounted, so join quick if you are soinclined. If you happen to live in Portland, Shawn organizes many a three speed ride. More info on the Society of Three Speeds website, Shawn also blogs at Urban Adventure League which gets the Moscaline seal of approval.

Part of the reason I started the Tarik Saleh Bike Club was so I could have something to trade with other bike clubs. So let me know if you want to trade some TSBC pins for your bike club stuff. We are truly living in the golden age of bicycle clubs.


Vehicular Hawaii

Went off to Hawaii for a bit for some belated anniversary fun with Elena. Saw some bikes and other vehicles and other stuff. For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos with italicized commentary.

Fastest Rack in the west
Fast standing still

Curbside Board Check, Waikiki
Curbside board check, Waikiki

Fat bike fever crosses over to the segway set.
Pugsloid Segway tires.

Sweet lockbox on a trike parked on the streets of Waikiki
Nice lockbox on the torker  trike

Coach had some frame bags, hilariously awesome
Coach bike bags. The little frame bag was kind of cool, but they didn't like me taking photos.

Wicked Skidouts
Language of wicked skid outs past

All sorts of good aspect ratios Pleasing aspect ratios

Totally got the upgrade
Scored us the upgrade rental

Cool airport vehicles
Boss airport vehicles

Walmart Thruster Fixies are everywhere, this one with the requisite backwards fork

Superfantastic robot time on the volcano
Everyone! Robot!

V-Dub badonkadonk

Vaya con Dios said Elena as I paddled into the heavy surf

Old Light

Five years, five long years, she said

These guys pretty much ran Kauai

rest of the pics


Good Parts of NAHBS part 1.

Resolved media issues aside, here are the good parts of the show: The bikes. Also pals I had not seen in years. Also Pals I only knew from the internet, also new people I met. Anyhow, the show was much bigger and much better organized than I expected. Not sure on how many builders were actually there, but it was many. I am out of the loop enough I have not heard of many of the newish builders and possibly some of the semi-established ones, so there was plenty to see. There were are fair bit of weird booths for clothing, hat and bag makers, some larger component people had pretty large presence, to go along with a bunch of the smaller Paul Component, White Industry types. Kind of a weird mix, but pretty satisfying. It also was a consumer show, which was not connected to a race, which I have only been to a few of its kind, none remotely as big or as organized as this. So anyhow, some pics and some words:

Best thing at the show, Rick Hunter Semi-long superfat bike, also my best picture for the show. I think he calls this his fat high plains drifter, he made it for Scott of Porcelain Rocket, who makes really nice frame bags for bikes. He outfitted the bike completely with white super Xpac fabric with some glowing green interiors. Very nice. Clearance for 4.7 big fat larry tires, 170mm hubs front and rear, fillet brazed frame, removable rack, semilongtail, Aida approved, that is Rick Hunter smiling behind the bike:
My Favorite Photo from the show

I like that the rear rack is removable, I like that it looks like you could, with a few changes, retrofit a rack like that on a pugsley.

The semi long tail fat bike with either 29x3 or 26x4 or 5 tires was a thing, there were three of em that I saw and liked. This was my second favorite bike at the show, this was a really utilitarian show bike:

Moots IMBA "chainsaw" bike

I have this saw, therefore the bike should be rightfully mines

While the saw part was awesome, the demountable Ti-handled work tools up front were pretty keen too. I am sure there are a million photos on Google under "moots imba" go forth and seek. Other really notable things were the insanely wide Ti handlebars and another Porcelain Rocket bag. Scott had bags on the two best bikes at the show. Well done pal. Here is what he looks like, if you, like me, are a flickr follower of his but had no idea what he actually looks like:
Me and porcelain rocket Scott.

The third bike along this line was this very sweet shorter tailed well racked Ti-Black sheep:

and without child


Note the cool fat tired tandem back there. That was thing too. There was that one, this nice SNS coupled Engin one:


and ludicrously awesome AMPierce Tandem that I did not take a photo of. I am not a tandem person (yet of course) but 29x3.0 Tandems seem like a great idea.

Finally, I wanted to add a few grainy photos of another 29x3.0 bike that I really loved. This Retrotech.

Curtis and I think the new owner and the bike with the best MTB in show prize

Aida and I checking out the bike earlier IMG_1238

The split top tubes, the cross bar, the paint and the tire clearance were all perfect. Curtis is also one of the undeniable nicest guys in the framebuilding game. Great stuff and a well deserved best mountain bike prize.

OK more in the next day or two. The rest of my somewhat limited photos here: 2013 NAHBS on flickr, if you want to want to get a sneak peek or see em all large.