Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Okay, I am tired and aimless here, so I am blogging off the top of my head with no real theme here. If one emerges, it will totally be by goes!

Gravel Travel: I've been thinking of late that I need to get a "lighter" set up for gravel travels. I have been using a Fargo, and it is excellent, and I have been using various single speed 29"ers, and that is fun, but I am thinking a skinnier tire would suffice and a lighter frame would too.

Some of you are going to say, "aha! get a Vaya!", or some will say, "get a cyclo-cross bike", and some may have other suggestions. I guess I could get a Rawland Draakar, or a .........I don't know! It isn't like I need another bike, but well.........the skinnier thing is intriguing. I'll say that much, and I'd like to try that.

The night time is the right time! So tonight it begins. Night time training rides with d.p. for the upcoming Dirty Kanza 200. Well, that's what we're saying its for, but really, we just want to ride more often together. So this is a perfect excuse. I bet we do some other rides as well. Maybe even something to recon a certain event's route? Perhaps? maybe..............

It's All About The Name: When I was researching 29"ers back in the early 2000's, there were not many good choices that had a great reputation. And to even see one? Ha! Right. So I held off getting one, even though I was pretty convinced by 2002 that it was the way to go. About that time, at Interbike, a report came out that Surly was going to make a 29"er frame set and they were calling it the "Karate Monkey".

Okay, I was sold. That was, and still is the coolest name for a bicycle, ever! I got one sight unseen and it showed up in March 2003. "Campstove Green" was the name of the color. Even that was cool! I still have it and probably always will. Great bike, waaaay ahead of its time, and copied by a ton of companies. Classic in every way.

So it was that I came across a guitar amplifier company named "Three Monkeys". Whoa-ohhh! Not again! This is an awesome looking amp with an awesome name. Maybe I have something for the name "monkey", I don't know. The only problem here is that the amp costs five times as much as a Karate Monkey frame. Ouch! (By the way, the amp sounds killer too. At least from the audio files I ahve heard of it)

So Popular: Somebody has waaay too much time on their hands and decided to figure out the top, most popular blogs about cycling. Here I am listed as #29. How awesome is that! Better than #1 I would say. Well, so another guy thinks he has a better "mouse trap" for figuring out this sort of thing. He called his list the "most influential cycling blogs". Whoa! Now that sounds pretty dang serious. Better hide the children, Mildred. That Guitar Ted fellow is gunna fill thar haids wit dat big wheeled non-sense! Anyway......

Supposedly this is done in a more "scientific" manner and here you can check it out. I am #42 on that list. Well, as you can see, there is no social media evidence to back up the listing there, so I guess my "influence" is all mysterious and stuff! Who knows what the "real" reach of my influences are? Probably not much, not very far, really.

I just thought it was pretty silly. I mean.....shouldn't you be out riding your bike instead of crunching numbers? Popularity. Influence.



Iowagriz said...

On my commute this morning, the Tubes - The Monkey Time" came on the iPod. Coincidence?

Paul said...

You are finally looking into skinny tires after all this time! :)

Guitar Ted said...

@Paul: Not "skinny tires", but skinnier than I use. I don't think anyone that thinks "skinny tires" has 45-50mm tires in mind. ;)

Reflector Collector said...

Mark, you really should talk to your buddy Marty over at
The Prairie Peddler
about getting a Peregrine.

For your night riding, you would do well trying a dynamo hub (suggest the Schmidt disk version) with a Schmidt eDeluxe headlight. You'd only go back to batteries for the technical off-road stuff.

You could build up a nice set of hoops using some Stans ZTR355's and run a nice light weight tire. Give you some versatility in a wheelset that could be used on just about anything?

Jerry said...

GT-I'm all about monkeys:

your influences are strong in a good way. keep it going.

MG said...

VAYA!! It's the best gravel bike yet... and I've had a lot of 'em. You want me to write a review for you?

Guitar Ted said...

@MG: You bet, Brother! I was going to ask for a review, but you've been busy racin'. I didn't know if it was a good time or not for that.

MG said...

Oh, I'll make it happen. I just need a good night. Give me a week and it'll materialize. I've been thinking a lot about it lately and now that Gnat is ridin' a production version of the Vaya, we've been talking a lot about it too. The time is right... I'm ready to say what I've got to say.

Thanks for the opportunity, my Brother.