Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday News And Views

And the hits just keep on coming....
More WTB:

As if the Horizon 650B tires weren't enough, and as if the Nano 40TCS tires weren't good enough, now WTB has made another tire in the Riddler which gravel road enthusiasts can look forward to trying out. Of course, this was the tire WTB brought two samples of to Trans Iowa v12 and gave away to the Womens Open winner, Sarah Cooper. There will be a 45mm version coming in August, but for now, these  37's are here and will get tested on

I saw these tires only briefly at T.I.v12, and of course, I had other things on my mind that weekend, so I didn't really get a good look at them back then. However; I have obviously taken a closer look now, and I think these will make some good gravel going treads, if I am right about them. First, they have a decent weight, at about 460gm/470gm for each tire. Secondly, the tread pattern is minimal in the center and the edge knobs look decent and I feel that is the way a gravel tire should be. If the edge knobs give lateral stability, and the width is true to spec, then I think these will be winners.

They are a TCS tire, so coupled with a WTB TCS rim, or a Velocity rim, they should pan out to be something that works really well tubeless. That's based upon my experiences with the TCS Nano 40. In fact, I will likely start out these tires with my A-23 wheels and stick them on my trusty Black Mountain Cycles Orange Crush. Later on I think I'll try them on the PWGW wheel set and stick those on the T-6 Standard Rando. Anyway, I am expecting great things from these tires since they are from WTB, and the Nano 40 and, so far, the Horizon 47's have been very impressive tires. I'll be very disappointed if these tires don't at least come out as well as the Nano 40 has.

Wish I was here.....but then again, maybe I don't. Image by Wally Kilburg
 Odin's Revenge

This weekend is Odin's Revenge, a race that I have participated in several times now. I've never been able to pull off a finish there. There are many reasons for that, one of the biggest being that it is an insanely difficult course and usually the event is run when it is very hot. I don't do well when those two factors come together.

Still, it is a "vision quest", a "sweat lodge", or maybe it is a Don Quixote kind of a deal for me. Perhaps it is all of that. I love the event, I really enjoy the people that put it on and how they do things, and I absolutely love the area. I wanted to go this year, and I fully intended to until just after the DK200 trip when I found out that my sister had planned a little something and it requires my attendance, so I had to back out. Honestly, it bums me out that I am not on the road with my friend Tony, headed west to the hills and canyons of West Central Nebraska.

Then again, I am also kind of glad I am not going. It's going to be brutally hot there this year. I'd have a really rough go of it, I am sure. Still........ I'll miss the deal. But the reason I am staying is undeniably a good reason. Can't argue that. More on that after the weekend.......

Tour Divide Track Leader board as of 6/23 @ 10:27pm

Tour Divide:

Looks like sometime today we will have a Tour Divide winner, and it will be in under two weeks time.

That's pretty amazing.

I think the pointy end of this event has been pretty typical of years past, only, ya know.......faster. Anyway, Trans Iowa veteran Chris Plesko looks to nab second and set a new single speed record in the process. A record he currently holds, by the way. Amazing X 2!

Okay, I'm gonna warn y'all.....this is going into retrogrouch territory, probably. But......this TD is weird. Facebook updates? It used to be that you had to hang on waiting for call ins on the TD site, or on wherever that was being hosted, if you got anything but the ubiquitous blue dot. Google Earth lets you look right at the trail, the buildings they are staying in, and it leaves everything void of any imagination or wonder out here as a follower. I don't know, but I bet someone is live broadcasting their ride. Don't tell me if they are, please. But I bet someone is. Is that wrong? I don't know that it is, but for me, it's weird. 

Am I guilty of doing social media too much? Yes. I probably am. However; I always thought the spirit of the TD was that you dropped off the face of the (Google) Earth and went on your own vision quest, with little to no (outside of locals) contact with the outside world. I thought it was a solitary pursuit and that there was zero broadcasting of your whereabouts to get the maximum out of doing this route. Sure, we might have gotten the occasional "he's made it this far" update in the past, but not a blow-by-blow accounting of what you've done for the day, every day you are on the route.

A couple of years ago, a local rider did the TD and we couldn't wait till he got back so he could tell us the stories. we won't have to sit around and listen to stories. Some of these folks have told their story while it happened. I don't's just weird to me. It takes a certain something out of it that,'s hard to explain it right now for me. It just doesn't feel right.

So, like I said. I'm probably being old and in the way. Carry on.........

Hey, I want to wish all those riding and running the Odin's Revenge a great, safe, fun weekend. Everyone else- Have a fun, safe, enjoyable weekend too, and have a cycling adventure, why don'tcha?


Smithhammer said...

" leaves everything void of any imagination or wonder out here as a follower."

Mike Hall just crushed the existing record, and we've hardly heard a peep out of him the whole time. I'm looking forward to hearing his tale, but in the meantime, my imagination and wonder are intact. Then again, if there was a bunch of social media posting from riders throughout the race, I guess I was blissfully ignorant.

Guitar Ted said...

@Smithammer- Like I said, the "pointy end' of this event remains the same as ever. It's the mid-packers that are changing the landscape of the event, in my opinion. I know, or am acquainted with, several folks in the event, and therefore I probably have paid more attention in terms of what is going on there than maybe you would want to.

Smithhammer said...

@Ted - I know, or am acquainted with, several people involved in the event as well. I guess that in a world which increasingly broadcasts everything, the onus is more then ever on on the info consumer to decide how much they want to let in. But at the end of the day, whether people want to share their experiences during an event, or after, doesn't take away from the accomplishment of the thing for me. But, like I said, I also don't follow every little social media outlet and blog to keep up with such stuff - I just refresh Trackleaders periodically and keep the 'wonder' alive. ;-)

Guitar Ted said...

@Smithhammer; That seems like a good way to deal with it if you can. I kind of have an obligation to check on things, so I end up getting sucked in more than I'd care to. That said, I've cut down on that time spent on social media a great deal this year. It's been a good thing, especially as the "noise level" increases.

Guitar Ted said...

@Smithhammer: I don't know if you caught the video clip of Mike Hall just hours after he finished the event, but it was a refreshing bit of reflection on his part, I think. Obviously, he was pushing things to the limits, and as such, had no time document his ride. Racing, ya know- versus touring. Another subject and way one can dissect this issue.

I guess if one looks at the event in such a manner- Racing vs Touring- It makes more sense. Tourists are going to do more "tourista-like" things whereas racers are not going to have time for such extracurricular activities.

Like I say, just another way to dissect the event.

Smithhammer said...

Yeah, I think that's very true, Ted. People enter for different reasons, and have different agendas.