Saturday, May 09, 2015

Dusty Bikes

Part of the gravel road experience is the dust. It is pervasive here in Iowa, at any rate, and you had better learn to embrace that fact if you are to be out on the crushed rock roads most any time of the year. Even in winter the roads can be dusty, but obviously, Summer is the worst/best time for dust during the year.

Maybe it is my mountain biker bent, or perhaps it is my boyish love of mud, water puddles, and dirt, but a dusty bike is a badge of honor for me. The dustier the better. The way the dust gathers on frame tubing can be a fascinating array of patterns, shadings, and influences the coloration of whatever bike you've ridden to a great degree. It's almost like Dario Pegoretti painted your bike with a gravel dust filled air brush. Well.......that's how I see things. 

Dust varies from time to time and year to year. A few years back we had a really dusty year. I remember going to the Moonshine Metric event late that Summer and a car went by us. The dust went up from the car and hung in the windless evening air so that we couldn't see anything for several minutes. A dusty fog, as it were, that made riding dangerous as all get out, but was kind of fun in a twisted sort of way.

Then there are the after effects of dust, which are obvious in a few ways, such as the cleaning up, the drive train wear, and the unreachable places on your bike where that dust lives forever. That and the unseen dust effects, like spitting up limestone tasting nuggets from your lungs for a few days afterward. I's gross but true. 

I still like dusty roads though. See ya on one someday maybe...........


Kurt Fossen said...

I encourage my kids to play in the dirt. Too many kids don't these days. Thinking back to my younger years, that's all I did, unless I was in the swimming pool. I guess I still do to some degree.
Why is your chain so crossed up in the pic?

Guitar Ted said...

@Kurt Fossen: That's a product of having to use compact gearing on that test bike for If it were my bike, I would have a 46/36T double on it and then when you shift down up front you don't have to shift the rear two or three clicks to compensate. Maybe it's just me, but I really dislike the big jump from 50T to 34T.

Tim said...

The taste of dust + the smell of manure is sweet perfume in comparison to exhaust.

Landon said...

That's why I run 50/36T up front.
That makes the jump more tolerable.

Exhausted_Auk said...

I remember that Moonshine Metric. Everyone's bike had a little rooster tail of dust coming off the back tire as we rode.