Thursday, March 31

Family Ute

We are a rolling spectacle. Mandy, Bean and I cruised down to the grocery a couple of nights ago to pick up some dinner supplies. It was interesting trying to get the balance and momentum right. Mandy "drove" from our house down to the store. There is a short hill to a crest and then a roller-coaster ride down to Ralston Road. The little climb up almost did us in. Mandy "drove," Bean came next and I held the sprout in place.

"Wheezy" as I like to call my wife after she's taken a kick in the chest from her asthma, had to stop and recuperate a minute before we made the Big Descent. We should have heeded the advice of the nice and helpful female moto-passenger who yelled "Switch places!" at us as the SUV whizzed past. Regardless, Mandy is determined to make this work and I have the utmost confidence that in a very short span of time she will be hauling the whole family AND groceries up Mount Evans on the Ute. I know she has it in her.

We regrouped and swung back onto the bike. We poised at the top of the big hill on Independence and she rolled us over…

It went well. For the first time since I was a small child I rode on a bike and felt the distinct feeling of NO CONTROL. We were flying, and it was all in someone else's hands. Just about the time I had come to grips with the situation and was starting to relax we hit a pothole. I bounced and started to slide off the deck, the bike began to wobble toward out-of-control. I screeched like a little girl. I was already feeling the road rash. And then we lined out, I eased back onto the deck and we continued on to the store. It wasn't pilot error, but nearly ejected passenger. We survived.

On the way home we did switch places and I took the much more gradual 57th to Garrison. With a wobble start we cut across the shopping centers and ambled home.

She loves the Ute and I am glad we got it for her. The weekend weather is looking nice and we're probably going to cruise 'til the tires fall off. Boone really hasn’t gotten to ride his new bike much and I know he is itching to.

I turned the Ute back over to Mandy. I rode the OBS to work this morning. It felt odd, to be riding on 26" wheels instead of 28" with a long wheelbase. Flat bars vs. swept back, knobbies vs. slick commuters. Man, I miss that bike! Be on the lookout for my official Kona Ute review coming soon. It is a solid beast, a fantastic commuter machine. I wish it were mine. But soon, I will have my own longtail!

Cannonball X update: Frame is still off being powder coated. It won’t be before Monday. Might be more like Wednesday of next week. The fork and brakes are in at Salvagetti. Still waiting for the Xtracycle kit. Once I have everything I just need to put it together. Scott had mentioned something about some closeouts at the store. I'm not sure if he was talking about the brakes or if he was referring to my emailed query about getting a new set of wheels in the future. For now the plan is to share wheels with the OBS. It'll be a pain, because I'll probably switch to the commuter tires at first since I'll be riding the CBX most. But then when I want to go MTBing I'll have to change tires. Regardless, I'll make it work.

Unless a miracle of logistics and chemical reactions occurs I won't have it all to put together over the coming weekend. But middle of next week I should be wrenching hard. Keep you posted.

Naked Ute

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