Well, this weekend was a wash from a cycling outside point of view. Just too many things going on to get it fit inbetween the cracks of the different activities Saturday and Sunday. So, here is a random post of jumbled thoughts to start your week off with......
To Go Tubeless Or Not To Go Tubeless? That Is The Question! Well, long time G-Ted Productions readers will remember that I have had my issues with the tubeless conversions and setting up tubeless systems. I have largely been able to overcome all the technical difficulties. Some by trial and error, some by the knowledge passed along by friends, and some by the purchase of an air compressor. (Really! The air compressor is a must have!)
There is just one thing: That is that the "old" style of tires for 29"ers are pretty sketchy converted to tubeless. I have seen sidewall issues that are a bit nerve wracking. Holes that just pop up out of nowhere. I believe because of the extra stress that is put on the sidewalls due to the missing tube. At any rate, I have been able to avoid catastrophic failure, but that doesn't build my confidence up when I see a pin hole just develope in front of my eyes. (That did happen once!)
Now I will say that almost every new tire that has come out in the last two years- whether marketed as tubeless ready or not- sure looks tubeless ready to my eyes. Thicker sidewalls and definitely different bead constructions. Nothing like the tires of 2007 and before. Is it a conspiracy to avoid possible litigation that tire makers are making tubeless ready tires and saying they are not? Well, I wouldn't go that far. But I think that they certainly are aware that these tires are going to be used tubeless and are making design changes based upon that knowledge of the market. It's obvious something is being done, anyway.
Trans Iowa V6 Pre-Race Meat-Up: Okay, I got a few more details on the "Meat-Up". (Yes G.Wissell, I stole the name again!) Anyway.......... There will be a "grill yer own" thing happening there which I think will give the guys and gals in attendance a chance to mill around, chat, and get to know one another just a bit that we have not had before. A steak or veggie kabob thing will be there, plus a well stocked salad bar for you non-meat eating folks. I have been promised that the bar will be open as well. We have to announce times yet, but I have been assured that I can have the room for quite a stretch of time that night. We'll have everybody out by 7-7:30pm I hope. Keep in mind: This is a mandatory meeting, but also- it will be probably the only chance you racers will have to casually chat with anyone on the roster. It should be a good time.
Next up on the "to do list" for T.I.V6 is the finish line party, which we are calling "The Oakley O-down At The Barn". This is going to be special! Stay tuned for details on this. We also will be announcing some of the prizing structure for the event. Then there is the gravel grinder that will happen for the support folks and volunteers that are around on Saturday the 24th of April. A self guided group ride will occur that will have options for 30-60-100 miles and will end up at The Barn later for hanging out. This ride will loop in and out of Grinnell, so you won't be too far from your home base. More details will follow on this too. Plus we'll have special coupons for the out of towners to tourist attractions and eating establishments to occupy the time you have while some nutcracker you know is riding around Iowa like a loon.
Are Gravel Grinders Out Growin' Their Britches?: I look around me this year, and especially since starting Gravel Grinder News, and I see unprecedented numbers of events, but more importantly, an unprecedented number of folks wanting to do this stuff. Just check out the Almanzo 100 roster. There has to be well over 200 folks on this list. I know the other gravel grinders are seeing some healthy numbers as well.
Will this sort of pressure on the events and more importantly- on the public road systems they are held on- raise some eyebrows that we gravel grinders are not really wanting to arouse? Maybe. At any rate, it bears close scrutiny and the outcome of some of these unrestricted, underground events may end up causing not so free events in the future.
Well, that's it. I'm tapped! Have a great week folks!
p.s: Thanks......a HUGE thanks.....to all who sent there good will on my birthday. I really appreciated that!