So, this ride is using the same 104 mile route as last year. I hope to get out and cruise some of it this weekend. I'm not too worried about road issues, but then again, with 25 miles of dirt roads, you never know what might be decommissioned or be truncated due to a short bridge being out, or the like.
That's the funny thing about Iowa rural roads. They never change, until they do, and then right when you have a mind to ride them. Take "O Ave" pictured here for instance. When I reconned it a couple of weeks out from the '17 running of the GTDRI it was a grassy, barely there two track which had rustic airs and was almost mountain bike-ish. Then, when we rode it, it had been graded out and looked like any other Iowa gravel road, with the exception of the gravel. Weird!
At any rate, I hope to get out there, if only just for the ride. I don't know though, they are predicting thunderstorms for Saturday and the percentages are high right now for that to happen. Of course, if it rains the dirt is a no-go, even if it is not raining when I try to ride. So, if it rains, I will do something else.
That's also a concern regarding the ride, so I'll reiterate- If it rains, the ride likely will be cancelled. If it rains before or during the ride, there will be major modifications to the route and plan. Just in case you are coming to the GTDRI, you'll need to be flexible. Of course, you can always ask for your entry fee back and see where that gets you!
|Compass Antelope Hill tires. Still sittin on these yet.|
I got these Compass tires in almost a month ago now and I haven't done a thing with them. I was pretty excited about trying them out, because I'd heard good things and , well........I'd been getting bugged to try them by folks for years now.
So, I actually bought a set. Then about that time I was ready to set them up tubeless my good buddy MG was setting another model of Compass Tires up tubeless and was having the worst time ever getting it done.
Now, let's put this out there up front: MG managed to get them to behave eventually. I think it took him several days and tons of sealant to finally come out on the winning end of things. But here's the thing- MG is a veritable master at setting things up tubeless and if he was having that much trouble, well........
I'll be completely honest here- I am not at all interested in driving myself crazy over these tires setting them up tubeless. That's not necessary in 2018. You shouldn't have to go through any hoops at all- none- to set up a tire tubeless now. Ten years ago? Sure. I went through all sorts of hoops to set up tires back then, but I don't care if these are the best riding tires in the Universe, it isn't how it should be now. I really don't want to find out either.
I know.....I know! You Compass freaks are going to all say it is worth it, you've never had any trouble, yada, yada, yada. Even MG says they ride great. But I know MG and like I say, if it was such a hassle for him, I'm in no hurry to replicate those findings myself. I've got better things to do with my time, in my opinion. But, I did purchase them, so I still have a slight reason to give it a go. That said, the wind is completely gone out of my sails for doing these tires up, and I think I'll be letting that sit there for a while longer before I make a final decision.
Could be that you'll see them on my Garage Sale page soon. Maybe.
I'm sure many of you recall last month when my truck let me down and I missed the Solstice 100, the gravel grinder near Lincoln, Nebraska. Well, late last week I got a package in the mail with a t-shirt and a note from Joe Bilesbach, the RD of the event.
It was a really nice gesture on his part to do this, which he did not have to do. RD's have enough crap to deal with, (ask me how I know), and handing out free t-shirts to no-shows is not very high on the to-do list. But still, here is a really great example of how most of us in the scene look out for each other. I'm sure Joe was a bit bummed about my not making it, (he did send a t-shirt, after all) and I got a nice reminder that people really do care.
So, a public thank you to Joe. I appreciate the gesture very much and I will wear the t-shirt with pride. Oh, and another thing, Joe didn't ask me to plug his event, but.....I hear the event is pretty cool too, so check it out if you can next season.
That's it for this edition of FN&V. Have a great weekend and ride those bicycles.