Sunday, April 26, 2009

bike curious on tour y'all!


Last week was one of my very last rock and roll soundguy excursions to the 2009 Coachella Festival in Indio, CA. My old pals Superchunk were kind enough to bring me out for one single show. It's like a family reunion as I toured with these old friends for about 6 years (and we go back far, far beyond that). Anyway, the desert was a nice break from the maddening "spring" weather of Chicago (more like the worst Texas winter to me).

I hoped I would have time for a little bike riding and I poked around on the interwebs and found a local Palm Desert shop called Tri-A-Bike that had some smoking prices on bike rentals. $30/day for a pretty nice roadbike. Have you ever priced bike rentals? They are often not cheap! I'm talking $80-$150/day for a decent roadbike. So anyway, that was good stuff!

We were staying in this ridiculous luxury house rental on the "Big Horn Country Club" property, a crazy weird gated golf course "community." It was up a 4 mile steady sloped foothill at the base of some pretty big-assed mountain.

Jim from the band, who has been doing some pretty decent daily bike riding on his wife's mountain bike (Jim! Now you know...), was kind enough to come along and the guy at the bike shop told him he needed a road bike. He got a nice Giant and I got a Cannondale CAAD7 and off we went for a pretty great ride. I REALLY wish I had some hills to ride on, terrain that is not flat roads really adds some interest! We didn't do a terribly long ride, probably only 10 miles, but it was fun! Jim remarked that his bike "rides itself" and did not have a problem keeping up on about 5 miles of steady climbing. The Cannondale was nice, kind of a weird tick each crank turn, but maybe that's normal with the featherweight aluminum bikes? It was all Ultegra and Mavic Kyrisiums or something, pretty fancy for a grand total of $12!

The climb was followed by a nice mellow descent, steep enough to go 30-35, but not so steep you couldn't keep up a nice medium cadence in the big ring. About a half mile from the bottom of the hill we had our buzz killed by a coterie of emergency vehicles attending what turned out to be a fallen biker. A very guilty looking car was parked sheepishly in the entrance to some strip mall. I think the guy must have been reasonably not close to death since the whole thing broke up pretty quickly and did not end up with some crime scene tape or something.

Here are a few pics from the top of our ride (it turned into a straight up mountain where we got off. I saw a fit looking dude climbing well up the mountain on a red Time whilst driving up to the crest earlier in the morning. Was jealous, but the traffic up that mountain was pretty busy and fast and 2 lane).


View from the top:

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