|Matt Wills cranks out a long grade at Odin's Revenge '13|
This is a fantastic event, small, homegrown, and it has really stunning scenery along with a brutally tough course. Fortunately the weather report looks less beastly than it could have been- low winds, lower to mid-80's for temps, but the roads may be a bit rough. It sounds like the weeks of heavy rain coming into the event have caused many ruts in the dirt road sections with some silt having been deposited in many places out on the roadways. No worries here- I have the Fat Fargo ready and I think it will prove to be a good bike for the rustic and primitive roads of West Central Nebraska.
Me? Well, I have been taking it easy this week. Since the DK200 I have gotten real sore in the hips and sometimes upper leg area after harder efforts, but I am where I am at. I have a nutritional plan and hydration plan based on my DK200 attempt. I am taking into account that it will be warmer, so I have modified things a tiny bit. Anyway, we'll see how it all goes after this weekend when I will be posting up the race report.
|Beast of the East rises again.|
Cannondale has finally entered the fat bike market with a Lefty equipped, 4.0" tire sized rig that claims a "lower Q factor" than other fat bikes.
What is really cool is that Cannondale has brought back a storied model name and look to have done it up correctly. That would be the new "Beast of the East" model. You younginz readin' this writin' may need a bit of a history lesson here. The Beast of the East was Cannondale's mtb hardtail that was fine tuned for Eastern USA "woods riding". Specifically, it had a very high bottom bracket, (the better to clean downed trees with, my dear), and short rear/long front center geometry with a fairly steep head angle. Fine tuned for "plunkin' and steep climbs", the Beast was unique and on an island all its own for years. Typically, the rig was sold as a totally rigid bike with the ginormous aluminum "Pepperoni" fork. This bike was an acquired taste for sure, but it was cool to see a company stick to its guns for as long as C'dale did. Of course, when the turn of the century came this bike had long been out of the line up.
Now it is back with what looks to be a short rear end and that head angle? Is it just me or does that look a tad steep compared to what we see with other trail bikes? It does have B+ wheels, so it's a mid-fat bike, which makes total sense given the heritage of this bike. This is a Cannondale for exploring, poking around deer trails, and general bushwhacking. This is the exciting bike here, not the fat bike.
Fittingly, the tenth episode of the Riding Gravel Radio Ranch celebrates the winner overall of the tenth Dirty Kanza 200, Yuri Hauswald. You can click here for the page where the podcast can be accessed. It's an hour and forty four minutes of good stuff. First, Ben Welnak and I give our race reports from the Badlands Gravel Battle, (Ben) and the Dirty Kanza 200, (me), which is followed up by over an hour with Yuri Hauswald. This might be our best interview so far. Yuri takes you through the ways he was drawn into the gravel scene, recounts his training, and then goes on to describe his race and thrilling sprint finish after 200 grueling miles. Yuri also gives us a gut wrenching account of his motivations and how he has been affected by the loss of his father to cancer and his wife's battle with cancer. Finally, he assesses the allure of the gravel road riding scene and gives an excellent set of reasons why this sort of riding is catching on.
Check it out by downloading it from the show page at the link above, or check out the Riding Gravel Radio Ranch on the aps for iPhone and Android on Mountain Bike Radio.
Hey, I gotta run. There's this crazy gravel road event I have to go to. See ya later! Keep the rubber side down, ya'all!