21 January 2013

You stink

One really nice thing about the hoard of well-dressed-in-denim touristy-folk ranging hither-and-yon in any given direction, always within sight of the parked Pink Jeeps atop Chicken Point, is that they all smell wonderfully. Like soap and shampoo, clean linen and floral perfume.  When you're riding uphill on a singlespeed in Sedona you notice these things.  Because you're going slow.  And because you stink.

The blister on my palm hurts.

Singlespeed in Sedona is hard. Rigid singlespeed is harder. Drop-bar rigid singlespeed is, no question, the hardest.  Wrap those bars in cotton-tape alone, and, you're not being tough, or faithful to some long forgotten classic vintage.  No.  You're just being stupid.  You deserve your blisters. And your sore legs. And the broken spoke in your rear wheel.

Once, years ago, my wealthy aunt and uncle visited northern Arizona and asked us to drive down and join them in Sedona for the day, which we did.  After brunch, they surprised us with the news that they had booked us an exclusively chauffeured Pink Jeep Tour of our very own (they bought-up all the other seats). I've biked around the Chicken Point area a thousand times, for going on some 25 years now.  But that trip was my first, last, and only Pink Jeep tour through the area to-date.  And, I must admit, it was a lot of fun.  Not just for the good company: my wife and our well-beloved aunt and uncle.  But also for the comedic-cowboy commentary provided by our admittedly very skillful driver.  We took the company's signature tour out to Chicken Point and got to do the whole-shabang: the slow-screechy skid down the steep slickrock near Mushroom Rock, and the gnarly Devil's Staircase descent, too.  It was a hoot, and well beyond my own meager skills as a four-wheel-drive driver.

I mended my broken wheel down at the shop this afternoon; needed an FR-6 to remove the freewheel (not sure why I've never bought one of my own).  It's been quite a while since I've been able to spend any kind of time down there.  Nevertheless, I am pleased that there are a few of my former coworkers hanging around the place who still remember my name, and that they're willing to let me use a tool or give me a hand now and then when I need it.  However, just in case the place was filled with new crew members (this has happened the last few times I popped in), I arrived bearing the proper oblation.  It never hurts to hand-off a six-pack of Fat Tire to the mechanics before you ask to borrow a tool.

Beer can accomplish great things, especially in a bike shop.


Anonymous said...

Ah the old FR-6. One of my fav tools is still the TL-FC20: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-TL-FC20-Crank-dustcap-chainring/dp/B000R37JGI

Jason said...

This was 3 blogs in one. Thanks for the great visuals, John!

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey