Saturday, April 23, 2016

Minus Ten Review 15 & 16

Done wore it out
Hey! I missed posting my Minus Ten review, a look back ten years ago here on the blog, last week, so this week is a double edition.

There was the post Sea Otter feedback which featured several new 29"er introductions and tire announcements. One of those 29"ers that debuted was the new Salsa Cycles El Mariachi. Yep! She's the longest running model in Salsa Cycles current line up, and I am betting it gets retired for 2017 for something Boosted, slack, fat tired, and new. We will see.

Then there was the case of my, then, ten year old Campy rimmed wheels I was commuting on. Wore out the sidewalls finally one day in April of '06, and BOOM! The rim bead let go and I was about deaf! Hey, it coulda been worse, because I didn't crash, since I was slow rolling an alley at the time.

Of course, this was the time when things ramped up to the second Trans Iowa ever, and, unknown at the time, the last to be attempted across the state. We were pretty stoked, Jeff Kerkove and I, and we had the event well in hand. Since we didn't get to pull through the entire course due to the super lousy weather that year, it ended up being one of the shortest Trans Iowa experiences ever. Only last year's horrendous drenching was shorter. We had volunteers for a special observation point lined up that never got to do anything that year. I often wonder how it may have played out, but we'll never know.

Speaking of never knowing, there was a story series I was asked to write for the now defunct "Biking Hub" site where I was asked to tell the story of Trans Iowa. We didn't have much of a history back then, of course, but it was very curious to me that Trans Iowa had struck such a nerve in the cycling community. Here was a down hill/free ride oriented site that wanted to know about an extreme distance gravel grinder event that had only been executed once. To my mind, that is odd, and that says something about the event. Here is an interesting tidbit I wrote back then....

"I've been asked several times by different folks to write a story about Trans Iowa. The thing was, where do I start? There are so many angles to a story like this. It's pretty hard to find focus when you are mired in the middle of it, like I am. When you are so close to the story, it's like having a girl friend that you think is cool, but all your friends can see that she is sooo wrong for you. (Didn't you just hate it when you found out later?) Anyway, I digress.............."

I miss this bike many times.
 There were other things cooking up back in '06, like the first Dirty Kanza, and my bike for that event, a new Inbred 29"er. 

I really liked that bike, and it rode very well. I ended up selling it to a coworker I had at one time and he in turn gave it to his brother, who cruises along on this rig in Kansas these days. Funny that...... Odd how things come around. I built this up for Dirty Kanza and the bike ends up there. 

Anyway, the fact that I even got the thing is almost purely by chance. On One, as you may know, is a UK based. direct to consumer brand that really did not have a presence in  the US. With 29"ers becoming more of a big deal in the US, then On One designer, Brant Richards, penned this frame and fork up, but to sell these in the UK? That was an uphill battle at the time, but one I am sure Mr. Richards relished. Well, anyway, On One got J&B Importers to take on the distribution of On One here in the States. Things sputtered, and then the whole plan was scrapped by J&B before any inventory even made it out of their warehouses to dealers. The J&B rep happened to be in one day at the shop where I work, and he found out I liked 29"ers. He took the opportunity to inform me of a close out deal on the few On One Inbreds they actually had gotten in. So, that's what happened there. 

It was my second 29"er, and it was really sweet. Well, except for those mini-sliding drop outs. Those were a pain! 

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