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Rediscovering home, thanks to gravel bikes – VeloNews.com

Rediscovering home, thanks to gravel bikes – VeloNews.com 2020-10-01Leave a comment

electrical bike Rediscovering dwelling, because of gravel bikes – VeloNews.com

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Gravel racing should be largely on maintain, however journey gravel using is broad open. I rediscovered the enjoyment of using in new locations, satirically, in my outdated hometown, the place I believed I knew and had ridden each sq. inch in and round Albuquerque.

There have been just a few crucial components in my ah-ha second. An important in fact was a few pals to point out me the good things. Certain, you may stare at Strava and Instagram and maps to cook dinner up rides, or simply fumble round and discover with the “let’s see the place this goes” philosophy. Me, I like following educated wheels and simply grinning dumbly behind.

However one other issue that made it not simply doable however tremendous enjoyable is the trendy gravel bike.

It’s usually exhausting to see main modifications in a single mannequin yr to the following, however if you happen to rewind, oh, 15 years, the variations between a present bike with disc brakes and tubeless tires — and sealant! — and an outdated one with caliper brakes and clincher tires — and Mr Tuffy strips — is kind of obvious.

Marc Basiliere and Robbie Douangpaya alongside an acequia in Corrales, New Mexico.

So, the ride: The excessive desert city of Albuquerque was based alongside the Rio Grande, the most important river within the arid state. Irrigating the fields was and nonetheless is completed in lots of locations with acequias, small group ditches the place farmers share the valuable useful resource of water. Homes and fences and paved roads have gone up and across the valley space, however the slender grime footpaths alongside the acequias stay out of necessity. And, it seems, they make for wonderful gravel routes.

Robbie Douangpanya of HiFi Wheels and Marc Basiliere of Lindarets confirmed me two candy sections: the acequias of Corrales, and a few enjoyable singletrack within the bosque, the wooded space proper alongside the Rio Grande.

Douangpanya is a principal behind HiFi Wheels.

So right here’s the place the bike is available in: I can’t inform you what number of occasions I’ve ridden the paved Paseo del Bosque bikepath alongside the bosque through the years. And 20 years in the past I’d sometimes take a cyclocross bike by means of the bosque singletrack that ran, hidden by timber, principally simply alongside the paved path, however the worry of goatheads often stored me away.

Goatheads, for the uninitiated, are weed-grown thorns seemingly purpose-built to flat your tires. Effectively earlier than highway and definitely gravel tubeless tires had been a factor, we’d line our clinchers with plastic Mr Tuffy strips as protection in opposition to the rattling issues. One other in style Albuquerque resolution was ‘the system’: Reduce the beads off an outdated clincher and put the remainder of the carcass inside a brand new clincher for a double-thickness tire. It rode like rubbish, however you wouldn’t flat.

Level being — venturing onto grime on a drop-bar bike was once a dangerous proposition. A ‘when, not if’ state of affairs for flat tires.

In order that’s my excuse for not absolutely embracing the bosque trails. However all of the paths alongside the acequias? I can solely declare ignorance there. And what a deal with! Singletrack proper alongside water brings just a few treats in a desert. One, there may be simply the novelty of water in New Mexican biking, however two, having common shade on a desert trip is opulent.

Using the acequqias additionally made me really feel like a child once more, zooming round behind folks’s again fences, traversing a good way hidden from the primary roads like a bandit.

For a greater take a look at the Albuquerque bosque and the acequias of Corrales, try the quick video above. Or, higher but, go go to and trip them your self! Simply high off your sealant earlier than you go…

An addition to displaying me the good things, Robbie even loaned me a handlebar bag that matched my sneakers. What a man.

 

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