It was my day off, and given how lousy I've been feeling lately (having re-aggravated a herniated disk), I decided to actually forgo work for a change. But prior to a 4:15 with my M.D. and after an 0900 taking the cats to the vet, I decided to check out some fine tuning I had just done on the new Surly Long Haul Trucker and take it for a second ride up the Col d'Pajarito, riding up the 4 miles of hors fat guy Camp May Road to the Pajarito Mountain ski lodge.
|The Las Conchas fire was not kind to Pajarito Mountain|
Back to a bike ride. The climbing on the Trucker, albeit without a full load of panniers (just a rack trunk with camera and spare heavy clothing), felt pretty good. The frame tubes are sturdy enough that I did not feel any flex or wasted energy while climbing, including on that first "wall" one hits at the bottom of the climb and during some out of the saddle stuff later. It feels more like a good hardtail mountain bike and is happy being ridden hard. But it is comfy. My last touring bike, a Univega Specialissima (good example here), a lovely bike with thinner, elegant tubes and a Cadillac of touring frames, would have groaned and flexed noticeably under similar conditions (or conversely, I was a stronger rider then...). The ride was almost uneventful for a shakedown. I had to fine tune the front derailleur, since with the 115 mm bottom bracket I put on this morning, had some adjustment available in the trim screw and sure enough, dropped the chain off the granny ring first time I tried it on a ride rather than on the workstand. Out with the screwdriver.
|Summit, stage right.|
Thankfully, not every tree burned
|Last pitch. Almost there.|
|Gasp, cough, wheeze. |
Long Haul Trucker gets fat guy to the top
Getting back to town, the Public Works crew was busy reconfiguring that troublesome intersection. County staff and I had discussed a shared right turn lane, similar to that shown in the new National Association of City Transportation Officials guidebook.
|Work in progress. What will it look like?|
Note the downhill slope, which is the source
of the problem here
This NACTO stuff is slightly outside the box when you consider how conservative traffic engineers are (and they SHOULD be conservative). If it doesn't work well, we need to hear from you. And, if you are flying north off the bridge at the speed of traffic, this doesn't mean you cannot take the lane--use your best judgement. Just do us all a favor--don't weave in and out inconsiderately as neither fish nor fowl.
|Not quite NACTO, but MUTCD |
compliant and pretty intuitive