Tuesday, January 15, 2019

When Adventure Calls, I Put It Though To Voicemail

Subsequent to yesterday's post a reader asked the following:

STG said...

Snob, what are the forbidden trails behind the mall? Do you ever ride your Jones at Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill?

January 14, 2019 at 2:31 PM

Before anything else, I should stress that The Trails Behind The Mall are not "forbidden," they are forbidding--I mean, they're not really forbidding.  There are definitely some tricky spots, it's very rocky, and the whole thing's on a big ridge so there are some tough climbs depending on how you approach it, but if you know your way around you can also carve out some mellow loops if that's what you feel like doing.

But yes, they're not forbidden at all.  In fact the official name is Sprain Ridge Park, the mountain bicycling is very much allowed, and it's a pretty popular spot.  However, I prefer to call them the Trails Behind The Mall because they are in fact behind an outdoor shopping mall:

Approaching from the south, what I do is ride through the mall, which looks like this:

Essentially nobody ever rides a bike up there, so as I pass through people look at me like, "What's that guy doing riding a bike to a mall?"  Meanwhile, I look back at them and wonder, "Why are these assholes shopping next to a mountain bike trail?"  Then I pass through an unassuming gate behind the REI and it's like the whole temple of consumerism never existed.

This is not to say I'm above patronizing the mall.  For example, I've certainly had to duck into the REI for some odds and ends while riding, I've dropped off my phone for service at the Apple store and then hit the trails while they worked on it, and I've also been known to lock up and enjoy a lunch at the Whole Foods:

Every once in awhile I'll even rendez-vous with the family and we'll go grocery shopping, me clomping through the aisles in my Sidis and jorts like the couch-blogging dirtbag I am.  And of course I did sneak in a quick ride when I had to go to that same Whole Foods to pick up the Thanksgiving turkey:

As for Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill, I have not ridden the Jones there, but of course I have ridden there on my other bicycles on numerous occasions, and I even wrote a Brooks Blog about it awhile back:

The only reason I don't go there more often is that it's over 30 miles away, and therefore it does not often present an attractive value proposition for a couch-blogging dirtbag who needs to squeeze his rides in between school drop-offs and pickups.  It's rare I've ever got more than two or three hours at a time to ride a bike, and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend half that time driving.

One day however I will organize a Dirt Fondon't in which we ride up the OCA, hit Blue Mountain, then drop in on the Peekskill Brewery before taking the Metro North back to civilization.  However, it could be years before I get it together to curate such an outing, so if it sounds good to you you're probably better off just doing it yourself.

In other news, the big story is that some guy's Pinarello Dogma blew up:

“I was coming up the hill and my electric bike caught fire, so I threw it down,” said Ryan. 

He added: “The guy who built my bike said I must have had a short [circuit] in it. Because that never happens.”

Yeah, right.  "It never happens" is aftermarket ebike conversion jargon for "it happens all the time."  In fact, even beyond the world of bikes, anytime anybody ever claims something never happens, you can be sure it totally does, and often.

Also, I should point out that I take no pleasure in anybody getting injured, even slightly, and that I've got no problem whatsoever with a 79-year-old man using an e-assist.  Nevertheless, I fully acknowledge finding the following passage funny, and I accept that this makes me a bad person:

Soon after the battery on Ryan’s bike caught fire some CO2 canisters in his saddlebag exploded. These canisters are used by cyclists for emergency tire inflation.

As does the fact that I love the smell of burning crabon in the morning:

And that I secretly pray that this happens to a rider during the Tour de France.

Of course, I shouldn't be smug, since with a Di2 battery in my Renovo I'm always one flare-up away from taint flambé:

In fact, the way it's been creaking, it'll probably burst into flames this summer just from the friction.


Anonymous said...


Chazu said...

Thanks for the laughs.
Happy Tuesday!

Thousandthfastest said...

Which is why a lot of us do it, because we have enough children already.

(Classic comment, BTW)

pbateman wants to go ride on this lovely day, but woke up with a bit of a cold so now his RPL hurts said...

Anon at 12:19 with best podium proclamation ever.

biking gives lowers...

whereas your mom gives blowers Anon

snob, will you please put some other wheels on the renovo. the whole thing looks out of proportion now. that head tube must have a shit ton of rings...have you counted them yet?

Anonymous said...

taint flambé, lol

Anonymous said...

Why are loser bike haters bothering to comment on a bike blog, are they just bad tempered because someone stole their porn?

Russell Miller said...

E bikes suck

huskerdont said...

Well, now I'm playing Black Sabbath's Forbidden album, which is prolly their worst but is still good enough for the likes of me.

Clancy said...

Pretty sure bikes and sippy cups operate fine without batteries. https://twitter.com/KTVBMorgan/status/1085235671680208896

A mere bystander said...


First Tesla, then Pinarello? Oh, the horrors! [Full disclosure, I ride a Pinarello Prince - old school, no electronic shifting.]

Anyway, was it the CO2 that caused the worst of the fire, or the battery that caught fire? No matter, I, too, would love to see some cheater in the TdF experience this - would make Froome's solo "run" up the Ventoux dull by comparison.

Maybe from now on the CO2 needs to be carried by the handlebars, away from the combustion.

livingjetlag said...

I look forward to being heckled by the anti-electric purists when I need an e-assist bike because I'm old and tired and my knees come from two different factories. They'll say "E bikes suck, bikes don't need batteries, why don't you just stay home and die alone," and maybe they have a point.

HDEB said...

Hope my minipump doesn't explode because it is next to a tube

Reverse Grammar Nazi said...

I believe that would be LOOSER...

Anonymous said...

That was a quick way to making a charcoal bike; one step removed from wood.

Seattle lone wolf said...

AMB 1:33 CO2 is not flammable, it's a common byproduct of combustion. SCIENCE!

leroy said...

Well this explains the time I went to change a flat and discovered my CO2 cartridges had been replaced by a stick, a half-eaten bag of marshmallows, and an IOU from my dog.

Skidmark said...

A simple halon fire suppression system activated by smart phone app triggered by heat sensors in the scranus which then calls 911 would have mitigated the damages pursuant to his $12,000 home owners insurance claim.

A mere bystander (and mortal) said...

In reply to Seattle lf at 3:58

I stand corrected, and should have been more specific with my question.

My analysis is that a flame next to a cannister may cause problems. In other words, the fire will heat the canister, which in turn will cause the CO2 molecules to gain more energy and they will move faster. This increases the pressure inside the canister. When the pressure increases enough the canister will fail, and the gas will rapidly escape, either like a rocket or like an explosion depending on the failure of the canister.

And yes, I do get SCIENCE.

Could this be accurate?

I appreciate your close reading.

Scott said...

You buried the lede on the most oddly specific sentence in "cycling" journalism:

"Ryan, dressed in Spandex clothing sporting the Dogma brand name, was later taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital with minor burns."

I'm still dissecting that gem.

Anonymous said...

livingjetlag 2:07,

The writer in that Forbes article, Carlton Reid, who says of himself; "I am Press Gazette's Transport Journalist of the Year, 2018" and is pictured in a pretentious preppy chin stroking pose wearing tediously fashionable thick framed spectacles, also heckles the 79yo with this unnecessarily derisive passage: "Ryan, dressed in Spandex clothing sporting the Dogma brand name..."

I'm sorry to lay all this serious shit down in this normally jovial forum, but that sort of bigotry is every bit as obnoxious as general anti-cyclist bigotry.

There's much to mock and ridicule in this incident, if you're so inclined, but it's a pretty shabby inclination to begin with.

Schisthead said...

I sure hope the concern trolls make it.

I'm very worried about their health and well-being in these trying times.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Dogma cycling clothing experiences an unexplained spike in interest.

Catma cycling clothing is jealous; is overheard saying, "What am I, chopped liver?"

DR said...

Snob, when MTB in this cold are you using flats and boots?

Biketube Guy said...

Hey, you found my gate behind REI ! Except I'm stupid enough to pay the $3 to park in the lot right there (too far to ride from my house). If you go in the gate, bear right and go downhill, you might find some pretty crazy jumps and stunts, with wrecked cars and stuff, in case you want to see if that Jones can fly.

Unknown said...

Those Mello Loops, are they like Fruit Loops, with Weed?
That'll never happen.

Governor Malcolm Wilson said...

"...and I even wrote a Brooks Blog about it awhile back

That Brooks Blog predicted the new Tappen Zee Bridge would open in 2199. I know all the motor vehicle lanes on the new bridges were opened to traffic last September, but the internet is not telling me if they got the bike/pedestrian path open. Does any one know?

Also, the internet says this happened yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Since bikes are increasingly combustible and smarter due to new tech. Some sort of a heat sensored dropper post (ejection seat) would be appropriate protection against the taint flambe... And you could wear this safety vest when you go flying off your bike.


Of course you'd have to hire a kid to watch everything when all the batteries are charging up so your home doesn't go up in flames.

Anonymous said...


Very Slim Pickens said...

Of the burning bike, Jerry Lee Lewis said "Great Balls of Fire".

BamaPhred said...

Post taint flambé, whilst rubbing salve on that scorched scranus, you can hum “Tainted Love”.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:37

I feel your pain regarding Carlton Reid's photo / bio, but you should know he was the long-time (now former) editor of BikeBiz, a UK industry mag, and author of two pretty good books on bike history: Bike Boom (http://www.bikeboom.info/) and Roads Were Not Build for Cars (http://roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/) - the latter being a sentiment I suspect many of us which were true today.

Looking at his Forbes' posts (https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/) puts him, I should think, firmly on the friendly side (preppy chin stroking and tediously fashionable thick framed spectacles aside).

dancesonpedals said...

My mini review of Westchester mtb venues:

Graham Hills: I spend most of my time walking, because the trails are too difficult.

Blue Mountain: I can ride there, but I get lost. Fun to hear the gunfire next door.

Sprain: I always make a wrong turn, then fall down and get a booboo.

Anon 4:37 (nee 4:54) said...

Anon 2:59

The precise point of making those gratuitous and demeaning remarks was to be as dismissive of Carlton as he was of the cyclist who had his bike explode under his scranus.

I didn't know of his storied cycling-industry background before reducing him to a wanker caricature, but neither did he know of the 79-year-old's history before reducing him to the branded-Spandex-wearing stereotype.

As I said in my earlier post, I'm sorry to be so earnest about it, but as minor and trivial as it may be, it could be seriously hurtful to some, should be beneath accomplished journalists and deserves to be called out.

Some guy from upstate said...

They use CO2 in some fire extinguishers. Don't you remember that scene in "The Blob"? The e-bike motor should be surrounded by CO2 cartridges. If it catches on fire, the canisters automatically explode and smother the flames. Voila! In the unlikely event it doesn't catch on fire, you have a handy tire inflation system.

Here's an important tip: if you get a flat with a tube filled with CO2, and you want to get the gas out of the tube so it will fit in your seatbag where the replacement tube was, don't try to suck it out. The effect is kind of like that scene in "Total Recall" right before when they start the reactor and Arnold's eyes go all buggy.

huskerdont said...

Lanterne rouge?

paulb said...

I tried riding the Trails Behind the Mall on my what they used to call a hybrid. 700c wheels and 38mm tires. I was hopeless.

JLRB said...

If you wear branded spandex you probably don't give a shit that you are described as wearing branded spandex, especially if your bike just caught fire.