Friday, December 04, 2015

Friday News And Views

Sam Auen, Steve Fuller, David Cornielson, (L-R)
The Renegade Gent's Race 6.0: In 2011 I received an e-mail from my Trans Iowa friend, Steve Fuller, asking me if I would like to join him and three other fellows I did not know for a "gent's style race" in the Des Moines area. I said I would. But to be quite honest, I was very flabbergasted that I had been invited to join with these other Des Moines area cyclists. I was certain that there were other worthy candidates to flesh out the five man team for this seemingly local event. But, I was also motivated to be part of what I knew was a vibrant cycling community, even for just a day.

The thing was, you just never know how you will hit it off- or not- with new folks. Lucky for me, I hit it off just fine with these gents, and so for every year since, we've made the time on the first wekend in April to be part of a team called the "Careless Whispers", so named for our various states of facial hair which, in some cases, is/was somewhat like George Michaels' famous three day shadow beard. He of the "Careless Whispers" song fame. Well......with that out of the way then.....

I am hopeful that for the sixth year running we all can pull together for another day of cycling on April 2nd, 2016. That's when the sixth Renegade Gent's Race will take place. Yep- we've been to every edition so far, the only five person team to have done so intact. The first year there were 15 teams. Last year there were.....I don't know- three times as many folks? Something like that. Anyway- I'd like to keep the streak alive, of course, but more than that, the guys I met that Sun dappled day in April 2011 have become good buddies of mine, even though I see them only once a year, for the most part.

If you are interested in possibly getting a team together, check out and keep an eye out there.

I should take a few more pictures of this. Oh well- here's an "old one".
 Project 1X1 Update:

From time to time I am going to post up my recent thoughts on the Project 1x1 and what I've been up to with it. So, here's another tidbit on this old Surly.

My main thought here is that if you have a Surly Troll, Big Dummy, 1X1, or another fat tire friendly 26"er bike, you need to check out these Extraterrestrial tires. Tubeless on the Velocity Cliffhanger rims, these wheels are amazingly smooth, and fun. The tires are so smooth and roll so well that the bike became a favorite to ride in my stable immediately.

I've been doing some commutes and an errand or two so far on this bike running the wheels through snow, mud, rain, and in dry conditions on choppy pavement and a bit of gravel. These wheels are just very fun, smooth, and comfy. The tires are not mtb tires, so you get into situations where you find out that, hey! My back tire isn't gripping! Or you find the bike sliding laterally on mud. It is because the capable, stable feel you get, and the traction that the Extraterrestrials have on more dry, normal stuff, leads you to believe you are invincible. Well, you almost are. Almost. With the tires, that is.......

Anyway, I've been running about 15-20psi in the tires, and I don't see why I should go higher than that. Over 20psi, they get harsh, bouncy, and although they roll fast, they roll just as fast only with a damped, smooth feel at 20 or slightly less. The Cliffhanger rims fit with these is tremendously good. I do not fear any burping or that any issues that would give me pause will ever arise. The tires and rims on this bike are really good.

The incredible weather continues into December
Weather Affecting Cycling Action:

They predicted an El Nino Winter, and so far, that has played out here. Just like I stated in my post yesterday, the weather has been so good we're still cycling out on the gravel roads, although the freeze/thaw cycles have kicked in enough now that single track is getting iffy if you get out when it has been above freezing. Which it has been for most of every day lately.

So, this is good and it is bad. Bad in that this weekend is "Global Fat Bike Day". Saturday's forecast here is for temperatures in the upper 40's and it is supposed to be sunny. That means mud, and great gravel road conditions. If I am riding tomorrow, I am riding gravel roads. Because I can. In December. That usually doesn't happen. I'm taking every opportunity I can get to do that until Winter shows up, if it shows up this year. So, that's the good part about the weather.

This weekend is also Jingle Cross weekend. That's great and all, but I typically don't get really excited about being in big crowds. I did see Cross Vegas one time, and it was spectacular, fun, and I saw some amazing performances. I bet that will happen again this weekend at Jingle Cross. I am just not all that motivated to go watch that. Not my bag, really. But for those of you that get off on cross racing, you should go see this event. It is a rare deal in Iowa to have such an internationally known cycling event. At least the weather will be great for spectators.

That's a wrap for this week. Have fun if you go to Jingle Cross, otherwise, get out and ride!


Marc Pfister said...

How wide do the ET tires actually measure out at?

Guitar Ted said...

@Marc Pfister - @20psi on the 30mm wide Cliffhanger, I am getting 64.3mm

R said...

for what it's worth, i spent my college years driving between grinnell and decorah - and it was so consistent year to year... snow melts south of US 20 twice as fast as northward. december/january gravel isn't so unusual just 60 miles south of the 'leau.