Saturday, February 06, 2016

A Few Gravel Related Things To Talk About

Things are beginning to ramp up on the gravel travel front. Of course, Spring brings on a tidal wave of stuff, but I'm talking about a schedule of things having to do with Riding Gravel and something local that is "brewing" even as I write this.

First up, there is a new Riding Gravel Radio Ranch podcast up. (HERE) We got the two guys behind the re-birth of the OGRE event on the air to ask them what the event is about and their plans for this year's edition. Don and Josh look to turn this into quite the happening event, so if you are looking for 80 or 150 miles of Southern Missouri gravel goodness, this should be on your radar. As Josh and Don said, it is a perfect run up to a Dirty Kanza attempt, since the event falls about a month ahead of DK200 on April 30th.

The New Ti Standard Rando from Twin Six
Next up is the wheels for my Standard Rando Twin Six rig. I've been talking about these wheels getting built up for quite a while now, but word on the street is that the black anodized White Industries hubs are now on their way out to the shop. Apparently the order was left sitting for a while until a co-worker of mine called recently to ask about the deal. Those laid back Californians just hadn't processed the order, and had no good reason why that hadn't happened.

Oh well.... The important thing is that these hubs are coming and will be getting laced up.......finally! Then I can get that green machine out and about. Not that a delay was a big deal. I mean, I was busy riding fat bikes anyway, so no harm, no foul.

And about the titanium Standard Rando, it is up for pre-order now at Twin Six. If it rides anything ike mine does, only a bit better, because it is titanium, well.........look out! Bonus points for Twin Six spec'ing four water bottle mounting points. You want a killer gravel rig? look no further. I would love to have a bike like that, but I have the steel one, and that'll do me fine for the time being. Either way you go, these are great choices for gravel road riding.

Something new is "brewing".
Today I am doing a bit of research with a co-conspirator for a possible new gravel road based event in Iowa. It will be a very different format than many gravel road races, and it will be more about the "event", having fun, and social aspects than purely a competition. There will be elements of that, but the idea here is to take a different look at how gravel events are typically done.

What I can say now is very limited, but there are a few hard details that can be spoken of at this time. First of all, the tentative date for this is Labor Day weekend. The distances offered would be 63 and 126-ish miles. (Or 100 and 200K) The idea for some social aspects will be taken into consideration. Adult beverages, food, and music are in the mix, but nothing has been determined at this time. Think "Renegade Gents Race" vibe here. The location would be West of Waterloo/Cedar Falls in a smaller community.

A Facebook mention about this idea drew many favorable comments. So, this is being pursued and I am on board as a "consultant" at this point. When and if things work out, there will be a formal announcement. It is hoped that this could be done later in March or early April.

Other than that, I am formulating some travel plans with my partner, Ben, and we may be showing up at a few gravel events this Spring and maybe Summer as well. We have an invitation to stop by at the OGRE event, mentioned above, and we are talking about maybe a couple of other rides where we may show up to......well, let's just wait on that for now. Until the picture gets a little less foggy, I should not say anything more just yet.



Hi GT, I have been reading your BLOG for several years now and really enjoy it! I bought a
BMC cross bike from Mike Varley based on your reviews 2 years ago and love it! I have been intrigued with the Twin six rando and am REALLY interested now in the Ti version and thinking of getting that and selling or stripping parts off my BMC to out on the new Ti Rando.

Advice or thoughts?

Chris Reino
208 630-4666

Guitar Ted said...

@Chris Reno- Let me ask you a few questions-

Do you ever see yourself using bigger than 38-40mm tires on wide-ish rims?
Do you dislike the BMC for its shorter wheel base ever?
Do you feel the BMC is a bit "twitchy" at times?

If you answer "yes" to the first, stick with the BMC.
If you say "yes" to the other two, the Ti Standard Rando may be for you.

Both are awesome bikes, in my opinion.

Exhausted_Auk said...

The Ti Standard Rando looks great, but personally I don't like the four bottle cage mounting points. To fit 2 bottles on the down tube, the seat tube bottle mount is located high up. This arrangement would make running a Revelate Tangle bag or similar very difficult if 2 bottles are also needed. I guess the only option then would be to use the lower down tube mount and the one underneath the down tube. I don't like to put a bottle under the down tube because of how much dirt it collects.


Thanks GT! I would have to answer no to all. Most helpful! Chris Reino