Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday News And Views

The post about gravel grinder events the other day elicited a few responses that I think are worthy of comment out in the open here, basically to give credit where credit is due.

It has been a few years since a certain individual has been associated with Trans Iowa but it doesn't reduce or lighten the tremendous influence this person has had on gravel grinding. Many times, I seem to be the one that gets the "credit" for Trans Iowa, in particular, and for gravel grinders, such as they are, in general. While it is true I may have had something to do with what has happened out there, this person deserves way more credit than I do. His name?

Jeff Kerkove.

Need to know why? Go here and read up on it. Nuff said.....

3GR: A reminder that I won't be there tonight, but Saturday morning. A request for coffee will be granted and we'll start at 8:30am, weather permitting, at Gateway Park.

Uh...I thought Dracula did?
It's Summertime! How can you tell? Because another doping allegation has sprung up and just in time for Le Tour. This never happens in December, January, or February. Odd that. Almost as if it were timed for maximum impact and publicity, don't you think?

Well, they are after "you know who" again, and I have zero interest in this story anymore, other than to watch in amusement as folks get their hackles up and froth away about this nonsense. I'm apparently not alone.

Much of the reaction I've witnessed from casual observers is along the lines of "who cares?", or "can we move on from this finally?". In other words, people I've talked to about this just don't care anymore. But what about those who do?

Here's my solution: If he did not enhance his performance by "doping", fine. But if he did? Put an asterisk by his name in the record books and annotate it as, "tour title won by using illegal substances". Done and done. I mean, it isn't like you can rewind the clock and take the moment away from him, and he's retired now. Oh maybe a fine, whatever. But "stripping away the title"? Really? You can't erase the memories and the moments folks. They are his forever. He won the Tour seven times whether you say he didn't now or in the future. It's like saying the American Revolution never happened because you don't agree it was done correctly. Shots were fired, people died, and things changed because of it, know, it is what it is.

So short of fining him into oblivion, or imprisoning him, this other "stripping of title" stuff is just weird. It doesn't work, and oh by the way.....who gets the titles? The other dopers that placed beneath him? That's rich. I say forget about it, and let's move on from here.

Update On The Clement X'Plor MSO: 

There were a few things about this tire I wasn't sure about when I got them, and communication between myself and the Clement guys was not as good as I would have liked. However; now I have learned that the tire- the X'Plor MSO- is a 60TPI tire with puncture protection. The USH has puncture protection as well. But now for the good news:

The MSO now is available in a 120TPI folding bead tire with bead to bead Kevlar puncture protection at a sub 500 gram weight. That's awesome news! I'm not always very hot on narrower tires, but the MSO is really, really good on gravel roads. Now with the nicer casing, I can only imagine how smooth it would roll, but I aim to get a pair to compare with. I'll update on the longevity of the original pair I got as well, but as of now, they are going strong.

That's it for today. Get out and ride!


rideonpurpose said...

didn't all those dudes in europe who first started racing bikes on what passed for roads back in the day sort of invent 'gravel grinding'?

Guitar Ted said...

@rideonpurpose: Certainly those riders were the forerunners of what we are doing now with our bicycles. I'm not sure they would have called it anything other than "riding a bicycle" back then though, know what I mean? It was just what you did.

As I understand it, the term "gravel grinder/gravel grinding" was born out of training rides that roadies in the Mid-West would do in the pre-season to gain fitness. The resistance of the gravel was one thing, but the gravel roads also follow the contours of the landscape more closely, which provided for better hill training than otherwise was available on flattened, paved roads. Then too- the wind and weather also contributed to the difficulties of "grinding gravel" and paid benefits in road races/criteriums.

Andrea Boianoff said...

Hey, Ted.

I've been pouring over your posting about the Clement MSO tires, and am seriously considering using the 700x40 size on my CX bike for Dirty Kanza this year.

I'm still trying to decide which TPI version to go with, though, and Clement hasn't been very responsive to questions.

Besides the more supple casing and lighter weight of the 120 TPI version, do you know if there are rubber compound or puncture protection differences?

For your $$$, which would you go with for DK200? (The price difference is a little less than $20/tire from my source.)


Guitar Ted said...

@Andrea Boianoff: You know, DK 200 is such a crap shoot with regard to tire choice. You might get away with little to no trouble, or you could just as easily gash your tire in the first 20 miles and have your race ended.

To me, having ridden down there on three different occasions, I feel the key to avoiding trouble is to watch the road and pick good lines. Use a solid, quality tire and you should have little trouble. I'd take a Clement MSO in the 120TPI if it were me and about four tubes for good measure!

Honestly, I would personally not run anything smaller than a 29"er mtb tire, because my goal would be to "just finish" and I wouldn't be in it for the speed or placings.

Andrea Boianoff said...

Thanks, Ted!

Out of curiosity, what do you think about the BG Rock & Road vs the Clement MSO 700x40 120TPI for general gravel racing? How about for DK200 specifically?

Guitar Ted said...

@Andrea Boianoff: The Rock & Road, in my opinion, is ideally suited for the DK with its beefier tread and therefore better resistance to cutting, puncturing, etc. Not to mention that it will deal with the rocks themselves in a bit better manner. Plus- it is an easy tubeless conversion tire, unlike the MSO, in case this is of interest.