Adventures in life and photography out West

Lemme take a breath

I hope you are all still out there in the bloggospher. I missed you. I am one of the many poor, unfortunate souls who lives in the foothills northwest of Denver. It’ been a mess. A lot of my favorite rides have been cut off by roads that have washed away, as well as homes and businesses of friends. I have gotten some exercise wading through the toxic soup of flood waters to document this flood and moving heavy furniture and cutting out wet carpet. A few things have occurred to me.

I miss commuting by bike. When I was in school and when I worked down at the Denver Post, I commuted on my Kona Jake the Snake ‘cross bike as often as I could. I still have that bike and still use it from time to time. This disaster makes me want to do more of my moving around in town by bike, again.

When my wife and I first moved in together, we bought a Burley trailer. We used it for grocery shopping before our daughter came along. It was pretty great. Zoe is now 12 and we have long since sold the Burley. Now I’m look for something else to fit that niche.

I have two bikes in mind at this point. The mechanic at my local Estes Park Mountain Shop rides a Surly Big Dummy. It is an elongated mountain bike made for hauling. It is designed to carry as much as 200 lbs of groceries, children, camera gear, whatever you got. It comes with a deck that looks an awful lot like a skateboard deck on top of rear panniers. The panniers are long and come with bags.

The parts package seems pretty straightforward, and pragmatic, as well. It has a 3×9 Shimano Deore drive train and hubs, Avid mechanical disc brakes and Continental Town and Country tires. All of this hung on a reliable and forgiving steel frame. Sounds great for what I need.

Of course there is the fun, extreme point of view, as well. I follow the All Seasons Cyclist blog (allseasonscyclist.com). This guy is big into riding no matter what. I respect that. One of his steeds is the Surly Pugsley. Again, a steel frame, but this bad boy comes with 3.8″ wide tires. I can certainly see the value in this as we occasionally get big (2-4 feet) wet snows in the fall and spring. It might be a bit much for everyday commuting, but would be a really good time.

I will try to stay consistent and write on Sunday nights for a while. I hope to not have any more disasters to photograph in the near future. This was enough for a while. Trust me, it helps to spend some time writing about riding, to get my mind off of the long recovery this little mountain town faces. Wish us luck.

Have fun, be safe. I’m going riding.

Image

The Devils Gulch climb was featured in Stage 6 of this year’s USA Pro Challenge. It could be a while before the road is ridable again.

For more images from the Colorado floods in Estes Park, go to http://www.walthester.com/Journalism/Estes-Park-Flood-2013/31890818_hbXbTf#!i=2781478890&k=FC4zRLc

And come on back to Estes Park. We need your support!

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