Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Transportation Central

Bryce arrives and tries to get air into a confrontational tire.

Bryce arrives and tries to get air into a confrontational tire.

Simple goal – go for a bike ride to see the petroglyphs at Tyson’s Wash. Bryce hadn’t seen them and wanted to, so Charlene was going to take him over for a look-see. I was going to go with them as far as I could before my wrists acted up on the rocky ground. But Charlene’s bike tires needed some air first. The front was no problem, but the rear had a Presta valve, which is a fairly rare style. The good news was that it included a common Schrader valve adapter. The bad news was that it just wouldn’t let air in.

Bryce showed up with a hand pump that instantly adapted to either. It wouldn’t take air from his setup either. Our guess was that the Slime puncture-resistant goo inside had solidified enough to seal the thing off, and nobody had a spare valve. So, I very graciously let Charlene use the Enterprise’s Raleigh shuttlecraft. My generous and sacrificial spirit was aided by the certainty that I wouldn’t be able to hack the distance involved anyway. No skin off my nose!



So off they went, and came back some hours later having made it to their goal. Turns out the pitched-forward cant of the Raleigh quickly put too much weight on Charlene’s wrists too, and she stuck Bryce with that hog for the rest of the ride! Fortunately, Bryce is in stellar shape and had no particular complaints upon arriving. He then cheerily departed for his own campsite, some 6+ miles away.

I didn’t have to be very concerned about it, since he has invested in a Neo Jumper electric bike. This is an upscale electric that costs about as much as a questionable used car, and he let me take a spin on it. Weird! It was set to “pedal assist”, which turns on power whenever the pedals are spun a little. Even though it was set to the lowest possible setting, the power it had was a pleasant surprise. I could get used to this! Actually, I had better not – I’m supposed to exercise, so an electric bike would be a bad idea for me right now unless I were trying to cover a lot of ground out of necessity. He recharges it right from his house battery pack, using an inverter and special charger for its lithium battery. Also on the plus side, it requires no license, tags, or fees that a motorbike must have. Part of what makes it so expensive is that it has a full suspension on both front and rear, which makes it mighty cushy indeed on rough ground.

I will have to eventually figure out what to do about the Raleigh. The handlebars need to be raised a lot, and the cabling setup it has prevents swapping in taller bars, or even raising the existing stem. It’s a “racing” position, and places a lot of weight on one’s forearms. Not built for comfort or just pooping around town. Too bad it’s such a decent bike otherwise.

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17 thoughts on “Transportation Central

  1. Nice write up. Good photos. You could be wrong about that power bike not giving you exercise… I was getting a real workout, in this terrain. And you are right about your generosity, thank you very much. It was a very rough hike/ride though… very hard workout, even riding his bike. I calculated it was about six plus miles, and like you said, then he had to bike 6+ miles back to his camp.

    • Thanks, Charlene. If Bryce made 6 miles on my Raleigh, that’s at least 2 more miles than I can muster on level trail. He must have wrists of iron. He probably kept the assist level down on the Neo so you couldn’t get into trouble with it. Better tired than crashed.

    • Oh YEAH, LaVonne! That was my first thought once I felt the Neo smoothly adding power on my first tentative pedal stroke. The added weight isn’t much more than an ancient balloon-tire Schwinn, either! The most affordable e-bikes begin to trim off range and battery life, and have a lot of drag when you’re pedaling on a dead battery, so there’s a certain feature threshold I wouldn’t drop below, myself. Unfortunately, in my current usage, want is not the same as need. I need exercise, but not the ability to cover big distances like Bryce does. So, I can’t justify blowing a wad on one. Dang!

  2. I thought Quartzsite was a great place to bike.
    If your bike is not working out for you then maybe it’s time to replace it. Even a cheap Walmart bike that you could ride would be better than a great bike you can’t.
    There are or will be a lot of traders in Quartzsite and bikes are bought-sold-traded.

    • Oh, it is great, Rob! Broad streets, wide and empty sidewalks, and plenty of places to roam. Car drivers are very tolerant, too. And your point on having a bike I can actually spend time on is well-taken. What is working against me is my biases. I’ve spent a lot of time on a wide span of bike types and quality levels over a lot of different surfaces. Gotta-haves now are fat tires, a high seat to avoid blowing out my knees, even higher handlebars for same to wrists, and at least 3 speeds oriented toward slow-going, with a reliable shifter. Not all the bike vendors are here yet, but last year, nothing came workably close to where I could modify it further to work for me. And the prices were as if they were collector-level antiques. Nearly anything will do on level pavement and hard-pack dirt. I don’t want to have to get off and walk it on the other stuff, or have it dig in and crash. The Raleigh does it all – just not for very long…

      • Last year I rode on the hard stuff, walked the bike in the sand, walked the bike under the freeway in the drainage pipes, rode on the shoulders and walked it thru all the tents of people selling stuff. I rode it to the Quartzsite General Store for bread and bacon. I rode the different residential streets and walked it up the washes. I locked it to a post all the times I went into the big tent…
        For me it’s just a bike, cheap transportation and it didn’t hurt my body to ride it (once my butt got used to it again ). It used no gasoline!

        A trip to walmart, a cheap bike that fits, spend the exrta $$ on better tubes & sell the good bike you have that you can’t ride.

        Then again we all have different biases to overcome.

        Good luck & have fun, I think I’m gonna miss Quartzsite this winter…

  3. rastaman on said:

    you have to remove the adapter and loosen the little valve….put the adapter back on…pump air….remove adapter again and tighten valve….then you can put adapter back on.
    dont know if you tried that….hope it helps

    • Oh my, that sounds like you’d have to be quick to avoid losing air while you’re unscrewing the adapter to get at the valve again. Is that right? I may play with it again today. Thanks, Rastaman!

      • rastaman on said:

        No Doug…air doesn’t escape… just frees up the valve so the air can enter, when you tighten it it just keeps it secure…
        If it is stuck with slime you may have to replace the tube, however depending on the rim you may have to replace with same type tube as the hole in the rim is smaller

    • Thanks rastaman, yes, I know how the valvue works… and it is not working. We loosened it all the way several times… last time I aired it up green slim came out of the valvue, and now I think it is sealed with it.
      I hate that thing anyway, that tube, so I will replace it with the standard. Never did understand the point of the special valvue

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