Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Capping Off The Weekend

The sky was spectacular Monday evening
The long Memorial Day weekend was good on many fronts, but as for cycling, I was taking time off, resting, and getting myself in a state where I can take a crack at the Dirty Kanza 200, this coming Saturday. Well, at least I hope so. More on that later.....

This past Friday a box emblazoned with "Twin Six" showed up at the shop. Andy, my coworker was ready and willing to take it off my hands, sight unseen, but I told him to keep his grubby mitts offa dat box! Inside was a mean, lean, green machine. It was built up with SRAM Rival and had Avid mech disc brakes. The rig is a test bike for the RidingGravel.com site. So, you'll be able to find all the thoughts I have on that rig there. Well......soon anyway. I haven't written up anything beyond the introduction which is posted here.

I got it out and checked over the rig some during the weekend. It has these new Panaracer Gravel King tires on it. "Gravel King"......a pretentious name for a tire if I ever heard one. It was introduced earlier on with a maximum size of 28mm. That is not a joke either, but it is laughable. Now they have a 32mm, which is what this bike came with. It's an interesting tire, but from a Mid-Westerner's perspective, it is a pretty limited use tire based solely upon the width here. 32mm isn't going to give you a whole lot of volume to play with air pressures, and that can lead to unpleasantries. We'll see how they hold up.........

Fortunately, the Twin Six Standard Rando does have boatloads of tire clearance, so this nit could be rectified should the need arise. Only not with any tire named "Gravel King", which I find pretty hilarious. Mark one down for the marketing department at Panaracer. Of course, they could come out with a wider one, then things might be different.

Barns For Jason: Fresh round bales that smelled amazing.
So, anyway, the tires, being what they are, ride pretty nicely so far. The whole bike does, actually. I got it out at the end of Monday on actual gravel after a shakedown cruise Sunday to tune the fit and drive train. I headed out on the "short loop" which takes a little over an hour or so. I didn't want to get too far out of town for a couple of reasons- One: I wasn't 100% confident in the bike yet, (Would I like the saddle? Are the bars out there too far? etc),  and Two: I wasn't packing lights and the Sun was Westering already, casting long shadows by the time I reached the gravel.

It was windy from the Southeast, so I measured my efforts and concentrated on spinning circles, not wanting to pop a knee or something else stupid right before the Dirty Kanza. The gravel was really good. Despite the rains on Sunday, I didn't see much evidence of any wet roads with the exception of a few spots. It was good that way.

I did see some spectacular skies and smelled some great smells. Fresh cut hay. Animals. Dirt. I also saw some new flowers. Purples and yellows dominated the ditches in places. Turning out of the wind I began to pick up speed and it wasn't long before I was back in town, but that was an excellent cap to a long three day weekend.

Now as for the DK200- this could get interesting. They have had a lot of heavy rain which has caused minor flooding around Emporia, and I would imagine in the surrounding Flint Hills as well. The forecast looks more wet than dry going into the weekend and that will only prolong, or exacerbate the conditions they are currently experiencing. That said, here's a little blurb from the DK200 promoters concerning the situation which they posted on Facebook last night:

As promised, we will release course maps in the morning. If you are pre-registered for DK200, DK100, or DK Lite, you will receive an email from us with links to the maps. If all goes to plan, these will be the routes. If we get enough rain between now and race day to cause a problem, we'll enact one of our many contingency plans, based on the situation at hand.

No comments: