Friday, December 05, 2014

Friday News And Views

Steve Fuller will be one of the panelists at the T.I.Clinic (Image by W. Kilburg)
Trans Iowa Clinic:

The event will be held tomorrow in Des Moines at the Krunkwich Ramen House at 621 Des Moines Street in Des Moines, Iowa starting at 5:00pm. Here's the rundown of how things will go.
  • 4:00pm: Doors Open. NOTE: There will be soft drinks, water, and coffee available for purchase and you can visit Tacopocalypse ahead of time and either eat there or bring your meal to eat at the venue. (Other food is okay) Check out the display bikes at the venue plus some other items useful for Trans Iowa attempts, or gravel road riding in general. 
  • 5:00pm: The Clinic Starts- I will make a few statements and introduce the panel, then we will start the presentation. Questions are encouraged! The panelists will walk you through their experiences including Pre-event training, the day before the event situation, the event itself, and will share lots of great tips to help your gravel rides be more successful.
  • 9:00pm: The Clinic will wrap up for another year. 
Hope to see many of you down there in Des Moines for a fun few hours talking gravel road stuff.

Skinny tires: Still Legit in Winter

No Fat Bike? No Worries!

I was riding this bike for a review on Twenty Nine Inches, coming up real soon here, and it is a 29"er, of course.  It really brought home a few things to me. First off, I was grousing just a wee bit, since I normally haven't been on skinnier than 3.8 inches of rubber after November starts for a few years now. I was fretting about having to get over to the trail head I was aiming for, and thinking the whole endeavor was doomed to failure from the get go, due to Winter's cold, ice, and snow.

Of course, it wasn't as easily done as it could have been on a fat bike, but I could do it! I was reminded how I used to ride my old 26"ers in the snow, on the trails, and in the woods, whenever I could stand the cold. I recall how I used 29"ers in Winter and actually had fun doing it.

Now, to be sure, a fat bike is something that is on its own level and has its own flavor of fun, but I feel like many riders in the Mid-West, (at any rate), feel that you must have a fat bike for Winter riding. Let me just say that nothing could be further from the truth, and your mountain bike could be a gateway to fun in the snow no matter the size of wheels or how wide they are. Just get out there and have at it.

There are so many ways to enjoy a bike in Winter now and they are better than ever before, so wheel size/width shouldn't be held as a detriment or a calling card to snow riding. In fact, if I were to be riding a 29"er as my only bike now, I think a set of those 45NRTH Nicotine tires would do the trick and I could have loads of fun in Winter with those. Yes, I am glad to have the fat bikes, but look- you don't have to have one to ride in Winter. You just need to layer up, suck it up, and ride on!


This has been a busy, busy week with family and the roll out of Riding Gravel's merger with my Gravel Grinder News site, plus getting ready for the above mentioned clinic on Saturday. That said, I wanted to make a public statement of thanks to friends and fellow cyclists out there that have shared their congratulations with me and that are talking about the new direction for the Riding Gravel site in very glowing terms.  So, thank you all. 

I appreciate the responses and shared links very much, and I am looking forward to more projects and posts in the coming months that I hope folks will find useful and encouraging. This is just the start, there are a few more changes for me, and all of this should help make Riding Gravel a good ride for me. Hopefully for everyone else that checks it out as well.

Stay tuned for more!

Okay- that's a wrap for this edition. Get outside, do something! Ride a bike, go for a walk, stare at the stars.


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