Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday News And Views

Image by Wally Kilburg
I was cruising through the archives here and checking out the scene as it was almost ten years ago. First of all......dang! Things have really changed! The whole reason for the nostalgia trip was instigated by a comment I saw posted on one of the social media sites by a fellow that used to go by the name of "Endurosnob". Ironically enough, he was posting about a race he did in 2007. It was a 24 hour race, and he made a comment about endurance 24 hour racing in the following way: "...back when it was a thing."

You know what? That struck me in an odd way. It was a thing, wasn't it? I mean, back in '05, Jeff Kerkove, who worked with me, was going to Japan to ride in a 24 hour event, was winning the 24hrs of Boone, and was banned from 24 hour worlds for saying the fees for solo riders was too high. The whole scene was percolating and was very fresh then. But now......

You just don't hear a whole lot about 24 hour solo racing anymore. Not here in the U.S., at any rate. Of course, it still happens, and there are 24 hour worlds, but the buzz, the popularity of it all. Well, it just isn't a thing anymore, to paraphrase the earlier quip. It makes me wonder about gravel/back road events. In ten years, will we even be thinking about those sorts of events? Will there be thousands of riders at Dirty Kanza anymore? Will Barry-Roubaix be a memory?

Things change, for sure, but I think the 24 hour racing scene changed, and ultimately faded here, due to the bloated, overproduced, expensive beast it became. The events were so convoluted and difficult to put on that they were run by production companies. The "show" became the event format's undoing, in my opinion. If gravel/backroad events go this same route, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that the same thing that happened to gravel rides.

2015 Salsa Titanium Mukluk
Carbon or Metal?

You know, another subject that is a thing now is carbon fiber fat bike frames. Well, let's be honest- anything that they can make in carbon fiber for bicycles is a thing now. Right?

I like carbon fiber bits, and I own and use a few components made from it. However; I am a bit torn as to whether this is a good idea for a fat bike. I did get to test a Borealis Echo, (with 29+ wheels), and it was really one of the best mountain bikes I have ridden. I don't doubt that as a fat bike it would also rule. However; I just am a bit leery of its durability. I mean, I could quite literally go much faster and traverse more rough terrain on that Echo, but what happens when gravity has its way with you? Hmm.......

Titanium and aluminum, well they can be dented and broken when they are made into bicycle frames. Definitely, but little crashes, or heck....even bigger crashes, well they seem to be a bit more resilient. And then there are times when you just wonder: When is that spindly, thin seat stay just going to snap? Maybe I am just paranoid, eh?

Geezer Ride:

Tomorrow the Geezer Ride happens. I hear that there are a few folks coming, and even a couple on fat bikes. The weather, while cool, looks to be completely dry and the roads should be perfect.

I do not know exactly how many folks will actually show up, but it should prove to be a fun ride and I hope all who do come will enjoy themselves going up, down, and over some (hopefully) beautiful Fall roads in Iowa.

Of course, you can expect a full report later, but until then, you should all get out there and find your own adventure on whatever bicycle you choose. Have some fun, stay safe, and look for the story of the Geezer Ride on Monday.......


jason mcdonald said...

Hey Ted, what kind of pedals are on the Ti Mukluk??

Guitar Ted said...

@jason mcdonald: those are Fyxation Mesa MP pedals: