Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday News And Views

Make that 2019. It's on!
DKXL On For '19:

This past week came news from the DK Promotions team regarding next year's events that they promote. The DK200 and 100 will see new routes using the "return of iconic checkpoint towns", which I would believe has to be a nod toward a route North of Emporia and West as well. They also mention roster increases, but don't give a number.

But the interesting news to me is the DKXL is now going to be opened up to the "public"....... kind of. Checking the DKXL page, it looks like the DK Promotions team is taking up to 200 applications, and then they will screen those and give permission as they see fit. Applications are opened December 1st and are open for the next 8 days, closing on the 9th. No word on what qualifications they are looking for, or how the process will be accomplished. Interestingly, in a Trans Iowa-like twist, they are not refunding entry fees if you drop and there doesn't seem to be any waiting list, nor are transfers going to be allowed.

There isn't any word on roster limitations, nor is there an entry fee specified at this time. But we can infer a couple of things from the release of this info. First, if they are taking 200 applications only, and maybe 200 won't even try to sign on, then we know the roster limit is less than that. The event, if run like this year's, would be totally self-supported in terms of water, food, etc. So- no support at any checkpoints, if there are any checkpoints. Last June they did the whole 350 straight through, and they ran riders through towns so they could resupply, but no "official" checkpoints were set up. This means that, due to the very nature of the Kansas Flint Hills, they cannot run all that many through these towns and expect the stores available to absorb the kind of pressure a couple of hundred riders would bring. That is if they do this like the first one. 

My guess would be that the roster cut off is around 100 or less, but we'll see for real later this year, I am sure. They could do aid stations set up just for this part of the event too, and that would be a totally different scenario then. Who knows? Only they do at DK Promotions right now. That and the entry fee, which I am going to guess is more than that for the 200 miler. But again, I am speculating here.

This perch is good!  WTB Siverado
WTB Siverado 142mm Width:

I just wrote up a review on two WTB saddles now offered in wider widths. One, the SL8, was "okay", but it didn't fit me great. Still, it is a very nice saddle for those who might get on with its features. I ended up giving the Silverado the nod, and I ended up really getting along with that one.

My good friend, MG, is a devotee of the OG Silverado, but it was too skinny for my behind. But I know he liked that saddle a lot because it came up in almost every conversation we had about saddles. Now I understand why. The wider 142mm width works well for me and the shape of the Silverado, sort of like a pared down Pure V, really works well underneath me. It has all those WTB saddle trademarks but maybe a bit more subtly so than the old SST and Pure V series did.

Like I said though in yesterday's post, this saddle may be "the one" for the Tamland. Time will tell. I like the light weight, it's got Ti rails, so it has a bit of give to it, and the Microfiber cover is nice. Not too grippy but not slippery either.

Will it usurp the Pure or the Brooks Cambium as my favorite saddle? Might. I don't know yet. Longer rides will tell the tale, but until then, I think the Silverado is on my short list of saddles that work for me in just about every sense.

The Sawyer out on the single track in town the other day.
Should It Stay Or Should It Go?

I've got a LOT of bicycles. No doubt about that. I do not need all of them, but some of them are special in one way or another. That gets in the way of practicality. It gets in the way of what makes sense too. It isn't an easy road to navigate for me.

Which brings me to the Sawyer. That was a two year and out model Trek did right when they folded Gary Fisher into the Trek brand. (Still one of the biggest mistakes Trek ever made, in my opinion.) I've no doubt that the Sawyer was destined to have Gary Fisher livery, but Trek deep sixed the name at the eleventh hour the year they pulled the trigger on the brand change. I was told only a small handful of Trek's highest brass ever knew that was happening until they unleashed the news one fateful Summer day.

Anyway, the Sawyer was, and to this day still is, one of the best renderings of a cruiser/paper boy style bike ever done with fat tires. That includes all custom bikes I've ever seen. To know that this was a production bike, and to see all the fine detail that went into its design and manufacture, well, it wouldn't be hard to pass off the Sawyer as a custom one-off.

That said, I've had a love-hate relationship with this bike over the years. I made the mistake of putting a too-long of a fork on it and couldn't figure out what it was that made the bike stink so bad afterward. Then I got the right length fork on it and it came back alive. A switch to 27.5+ wheels then sealed the deal. I like the bike and it rides very well. But, now what? I hardly ever ride it. Someone should be enjoying this rig. It's a shame to let it sit so much, despite the fact I think so much of its design and now- how it rides.

The thing is, if I let it go, I likely will never get anything close to it again, and I do like to ride it now and again. Just like the past few days where I have been commuting on it. But.....


First world problems.

Have a great weekend and stay safe on this Labor Day Holiday!


Adrienne Taren said...

I've been optimistically hoping to see an equal or lower cost for the XL...based on no support/manned checkpoints and less rider demand relative to the 200 (presumably). Sigh. Will make the decision easy though if I'm priced out!

Guitar Ted said...

@Adrienne Taren- Interesting thoughts there. I hadn't considered that maybe due to the lower "overhead" to run the event, the price could be lower. But that "overhead", or cost of putting this, basically two day, event on will be determined in large part by what cost the insurance is for DK Promotions. That coverage, in my experience, takes a big jump up in price when the event is longer than 24 hours, or spans two days, like the DKXL did.

That's one of the many reasons why I never got insurance for Trans Iowa. the resulting entry fee would have been pretty steep. Then just having an entry fee creates a whole other set of expectations, which would have made Trans Iowa not "Trans Iowa". Anyway.....

We will see what becomes of the DKXL soon enough. Thanks for the comments!

jdc said...

Being a shop employee, I also have way too many bikes and have thought about the absurdity of it. I've wondered what it would be like to thin the herd and live with a more "normal" stable. But how do I possibly say goodbye to any of my vintage touring bikes? Which fatbike do I let go? Which carefully built klunker? Ditto for project frames and vintage Campy and Suntour components? It seems to me that they're hard to let go because of the memories attached to each one, and the fear of never being able to get one again. We learn to ignore the urge until it goes away.

Guitar Ted said...

@Julian Cole: It is somewhat of a comfort to know I am not the only one out there struggling with this. Have a great weekend!

graveldoc said...

I'm a card carrying member of the "more bikes than I need club". That said, my eyes still wonder. I'm sorry that I never did acquire a Sawyer. At 5 ft. 8 in. and XL would be way too large for me. Sigh...

Steve Fuller said...

Too many bikes is also a problem in this house, yet, more still seem to end up here. I have a La Cruz and an Gen 1 Fargo frame sitting here waiting for parts so they are rideable. There are a few duplicates here and there, but not too many (at least in my mind). :)