Santa Fe

Posted: August 5, 2010 in New Mexico

The next morning Alejandro, Jon and I went for brunch at The Tune-Up, which is evidently an extremely well-known restaurant (as in, it was on the Food Network) although we didn’t know that until we got there. It was really good, although kind of expensive. We were quickly learning that everything in Santa Fe is.

After eating we split and headed off to look for a bike shop as I was in dire need of a new pair of gloves. The first place was closed, as it was Sunday, so we headed to Rob & Charlie’s. They didn’t have the gloves I was looking for, so we just took care of some minor maintenance (air for our tires and lube for our chains). While there we asked about any bike-friendly establishments, and while the answer was no we did learn about Marble, a brewpub in the Plaza. We decided to check it out and do some people watching as it had an outside balcony.
The homebrew was delicious (although I’m bummed I didn’t get to try the Cherry Wheat since they were out), but we had a mixed experience as far as the bar itself was concerned. Evidently they have a “3 drink maximum” that they only enforce for certain people. We weren’t being unruly or loud, and we weren’t getting drunk. We were simply sitting and enjoying the sites, and having some pleasant conversation with the other patrons. The waitress did leave the last beer we each had off of the tab though, so it wasn’t all bad. She also told us of another place where to get a slightly cheaper meal and drinks, called Del Charro, right on the other side of the Plaza.
Del Charro was awesome. We hung out there for awhile, trying different area brews and the house margaritas (which are delicious). Our server was a great guy, kidding around with us and making us feel much more welcome than we had at Marble.
At one point in the night a guy named Chris came over and sat with us, as he and Jon had started talking about music together. The conversation turned to other topics, such as our trip, with Chris offering travel advice. He also knew a lot about Santa Fe, and told us where we could get $1 tacos a few blocks away at a place called El Paseo. As we decided to head over there, he (discretely) bought us a last round of margaritas, then returned to his place at the bar. When our server brought it over he informed us that Chris was the real deal, and had worked with lots of different music acts such as Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
We tried to get $1 tacos at El Paseo, but the kitchen was closed by the time we went in and the barkeep was extremely rude, so we didn’t stick around for more than five minutes.
As we headed back to our bikes we ran into Max, a person we had met the night before at the Matador. The three of us rode over to The Cowgirl to grab a beer together and hang out for a few. While there Jon and I started discussing our sleeping arrangements for the night, and Max offered us a place for the night. We finished up and headed back to his place. We started watching a movie when we got in, but both of us were so tired that we crashed about 10 minutes into it.
The next morning Jon went to Trader Joe’s and came back with the fixings for an awesome breakfast. We chowed out and finished watching the movie from the night before, then Max had to leave to get a haircut. He escorted us to the library as it was across the street from where he was meeting his friend Morgan, a pedicabber that we had also met at the Matador.

Max and Morgan- sorry for the unflattering picture!

Morgan gave me a pair of gloves as I hadn’t been able to get a pair, and it was completely awesome of her. I have had permanent numbness in both of my hands since this trip started, and the gloves helped a lot. While we were all sitting around outside the library, we spotted this strange mobile:

Yep, it's pedal-powered.

Evidently there is more than one of these, they are all hand built, and all different.
After awhile the four of us went our seperate ways, and Jon and I were still so tired that we decided to just go ahead and find a park since we wanted to get to bed. We were trying to get an early start the next morning, but I left my jacket over at Max’s so we had to take care of that on the way out of town. Finally, late in the morning on Tuesday, we made our way out of Santa Fe.

  1. Josh says:

    The pain from your hands has nothing to do with a lack of gloves, and everything to do with a poor-fitting bike. You are putting too much weight on the bars, and thereby causing potentially permanent damage to the Radial and Ulnar nerves of your hand, and no glove is going to help that, nor is pretending that the problem is minor or has gone away. The easiest solution to your problem is to get a stem with a higher rise and a shorter length than what you are using now, but I’d strongly suggest you find a shop that does fittings and try to beg for some free time with an expert before you end up with irreversible nerve problems.

    • Thanks for the info, however, I do feel that there are probably multiple causalities for the numbness. We did raise the height of my stem a couple of days into this trip, as well as turning my bars upwards, so they sit higher than anything I have ever been used to before. Despite this (and the new gloves, which were replacements since I had already been using some) the numbness has not gone away completely, although it has started to abate a little. I am aware that it has the potential to be a permanent problem, I assure you that I’m not taking it lightly. I will look into getting a fitting, but I am fairly certain that unless I can reduce the weight I am carrying, which I can’t, there is very little else that I can do to solve the problem. Thanks again for your concern though.

      • mikeweb says:

        Jon, mentioning the weight, you hit the nail on the head. Your positioning is probably right, but carrying all your stuff in a messenger bag instead a light weight rear rack with a pannier is probably making the situation worse – you’re making your hands/ elbows/ shoulders support extra weight. Going to a more upright posture will only bring in a new set of problems. Not to mention riding in hot weather with a messenger bag draped across your backs acting as a heat trap isn’t great for your stamina. I know that messenger bags are part of the fixed gear “aesthetic”, but most experienced long distance tourers put as much of their gear as possible on the bike instead of their bodies. Though thinking about it, your fixed gear frames probably don’t have the braze-ons to be able to easily mount racks…

        Anyway best of luck and have fun.

      • I think there is a slight misunderstanding here- I (Nikol) am experiencing the hand problems- Jon and I have gone back and forth on the replies, sorry for the confusion.
        You got it right about not being able to accomodate panniers and racks, although we do assure you that the aesthetic of fixed gear riding is not what prompted the decision to use messenger bags. When Jon toured cross-country the first time (fixed, like now) he did use his bike to carry his gear, and ran into problems when he crossed the Appalachians. Mainly, the weight on the bike was too much to allow for easy handling even on some of the lesser climbs/descents. The mountains themselves were extremely tough going, particularly the descents. Since we knew the route for this trip was going to involve even more strenuous hill/mountain experience, we decided to listen to what he had learned the first time and went with carrrying the weight on our backs, which is why Jon decided to approach PAC- there’s not many other, if there even are any- companies who make bags that would be acceptable for what we are doing.
        Jon may have more to say on it, but that’s the story. Thanks for your comment and support!

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