Friday, June 07, 2013

Friday News And Views

A Taste Of The Gravel Mutt
Mini-Gravel Mutt Project Update:

I am still sanding and respraying the Gravel Mutt. Hmm.....maybe this will take longer than I thought! I don't know, but this is getting a bit "OCD" with the painting now.

I accidentally found out that really cool effects can be done by purposely painting badly, then painting over that, and sanding through some of the overlaying color to reveal weird patterns and what not. It's fun. Lots of fun. The thing is- if I have too much "fun" this may never get done! Then there is the idea I had the other day while mowing the lawn.

That has to do with adding another darker color, or two. I may not do this, but I held up my ochre colored Brooks to the frame the other day and thought that it wasn't quite right. Too little contrast. But then again.....this is a "mutt", so I shouldn't fret over such details as composition, matching stuff, and contrasts. Pfft! I just need to get on with this project!

So- in my next update, I am going to focus on the components and let you all see just how this is going to come together in the end to be the Gravel Mutt. I am pretty much all set with the exception of some bits like bar tape, cables, housings, and cantilever brakes. I probably have the brakes too, I just need to dig out a set from the parts I have sitting around the Lab down there.

Look for that update this weekend. I should have more done on the painting by then as well. We'll see if my inclination to add another, darker color overtakes my practical side which says, "just get the damn thing done already!"

Image by Jacob Stevenson
 Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational Update: 

The GTDRI is being entirely planned by the "Slender Fungus Cycling Association" guys over in Illinois this year. The SFCA did a big recon of the route last weekend and the evidence of their passing can be seen and read about here.

I am pretty stoked by the communications from Ari I have received on this and the images are tantalizing. From what I can tell of things so far, you can expect some stunning views, some big hills, fast descents, and wicked cool B Maintenance Road madness on this version of the GTDRI.

In many ways, the route seems to be shaping up much as it did for the '09-'10 versions of the GTDRI, which were the same route for those years a little to the North and West from this route. That edition was stunning for its beauty, really tough due to the climbing, and scary due to the crazy descents we had those years. I recall several +10% grades, many 12% to 15% climbs, and one that was recorded to be 18%! Will some of these hills match that? I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that they do.

Remember- The GTDRI is a FREE event, OPEN TO ALL, and is SELF SUPPORTED. The date of the ride proper will be July 14th, and we will start right around sunrise, so do not dally! A strict start time will be determined later along with resupply details. Indications are that we will have a good sized group showing up, so the good times should be rolling. Also- a shorter loop will be done for those needing to bug out sooner, or that don't want to do 120-ish miles and be out all day long. (But why wouldn't you?) Stay tuned!


The flooding is still affecting the trails out of Cedar Falls in a negative way, so once again, I will plan on meeting anyone that wants to ride about 3 hours worth of gravel at the Gates Park Swimming Pool parking lot on Donald Street in Waterloo, IA at 8:30am. It looks to be a great day, so check it out.

Finally, a shout out: Local gravel riding stud, Mike Johnson, is partaking in the Tour Divide this year which starts next week on the 14th, I believe it is. Mike is a good friend, a multiple Trans Iowa finisher, and a finisher of several other gravel events in the past. He often joins me on my 3GR rides and graciously puts up with my chatter and slow pace. I just wanted to publicly wish him Tailwinds and All The Best on his Quest of the Tour Divide.

You can follow Mike's progress by checking the Track Leader's link for Mike HERE for the entire event.

That's a wrap. Check out something by bicycle this weekend and have your own Adventure!

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