Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Odin's Revenge: Getting The Rig Readied

2008 Fargo
Odin's Revenge is a long, self-supported adventure out in West-Central Nebraska that I am planning to be at come the end of the month. The site says 180 miles, but I've heard it may be less this year. Well, whatever mileage it ends up being, it will be quite a beautiful and tough ride in some very remote country. Much like the Flint Hills of Kansas' own Dirty Kanza 200, Odin's Revenge will put you in a place where little, if any, signs of civilization exist to comfort you.

The difference here is that Odin's is a free event run by a small group of dedicated cycling enthusiasts and is no where near the size of the DK 200. It also lacks the trappings of that event. It's "quieter", and although they have some stellar sponsors on board this year, including Kona Bikes, you've probably never heard about this event, now in its second year. You've probably also have had an idea graven into your mind that Nebraska equals "boring landscape". I've been out there and had a little taste of what is available to experience, and I can tell you- nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, if folks that ride the DK 200 are stoked on that landscape, they would be totally enamored by the Nebraskan rural scene out there by Gothenburg, where the event takes place. No....you won't get what my friend Tim Ek has called "the DK Rock Star" experience, but maybe more of what Tim might call the "spirit of Odin's".

From the Odin's Revenge site
Well, anyway- I have to get a bicycle ready appropriate for this little adventure I am going on. Since a few folks I know well have tackled the first edition of this event, I was able to pick their brains on what sort of equipment to bring to the party. It quickly became apparent from descriptions I had told to me about the course that I should consider something with wider tires than my Vaya or BMC could accommodate. It also became immediately apparent that with only a drop bag at a checkpoint and no convenience stores, I needed to be able to pack on some water and vittles for this gig. The bicycle I have that most closely fits the mission for this event is my 2008 Salsa Cycles Fargo.

I can easily use the Fargo's copious water carrying capacity for the sections of the course and keep the heavy weight of a bladder filled with water off my back. Up to six bottles can be mounted, so with that I should be able to get around to a resupply before I get into too much of a deficit, even if it gets really hot. Food can then be stuffed into my top tube bag and jersey pockets. The bag under the saddle can easily accommodate necessary tools and tubes, but I have an even bigger bag I may substitute to allow for a windbreaker. (In case of rain.)

The other attribute I am going to the Fargo for is the wider tire capability. I was told that wider is betterer, (or something to that effect), for certain parts of the Odin's experience. The Fargo can sport really big 29"er rubber, but I am not going huge, I am going for a volume and benefit that my normal gravel tires will not have available to me. Tubeless- of course!

I have even heard that word "fat bike" used in conjunction with Odin's, and to be honest, I had been thinking of my titanium Mukluk for this event a lot. However, the Muk can't pack the H2O punch that my '08 Fargo can, and that Fargo has a drop bar set up and feel I absolutely love. I could drop bar the Muk, but why when I already have this Fargo just sitting there waiting to roll. I'll simply swap the wheels for the slightly more voluminous rubber and be done with it.

More on my Odin's Revenge prep coming up. Stay tuned.....


Rob said...

How are you liking the Retroshift setup, Ted?


Guitar Ted said...

@Rob: The Retroshift set up has really grown on me, and now I do not foresee myself going back to bar ends or STI/brifter type levers.

I wasn't sold on the concept when I first started to use it, but I see now that it suits me just fine. It is dead reliable, cheaper to get into and maintain than brifters, and more convenient than bar ends. Only in the instances where I would shift from the drops is it ever a negative, and I have worked around that.

I'm sure it isn't for everyone, but for the longer gravel events and for folks that ride gravel a lot, it won't fail or get gummed up with dust, which is a big deal in those instances.

Irishtsunami said...

Are you talking full on 2.whatever 29er tires?

Guitar Ted said...

@Irishsunami: Yes- two inch tires. Racing, XC tires with weights very competitive with smaller, reinforced gravel road tires.