Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Single Speed Spitballin' Part 2

Conditions in March could be brutal. Rider- Mark Johnson.  Image credit Jon Duke
Okay, the idea of a race on gravel specifically for the single speed nut jobs out there seems to resonate. I got plenty of feedback from you, the readers, and from elsewhere as well. I didn't really think answering all the comments and questions in that forum would be the best, because I wanted to let the other folks out there who won't dig that deep to see what is being discussed here. So, let's dig in point by point:
  • Thoughts On Classes For The Event: Essentially, for the sake of simplicity and streamlining, I don't want to get into slicing and dicing every permutation of bicycle into their own classes. Single speed is.......single speed. It's very nature suggests simplicity. So, no distinctions between fixed or free here. Needless to say, anything geared is out of the question. (More on this below) Now, I would definitely do a Male and Female class, but beyond that, initially, I don't see age breakdowns........yet. If the thing took off, well.....maybe. If certain organizational things happen, quite possibly age groups would be instigated. Stay tuned......
  • Distance: A couple of you made reference to an "odd numbered distance" in miles. I don't understand that concept. Never heard of it. So, that's kind of lost on me. But besides my ignorance, I will say that the course will end up being whatever it will be. I would aim at 100 miles, but it could be that 97.7 miles works out and it could be that 102.5 miles is what it is. The roads used will determine the final mileage, not some predetermined, "odd number" goal. 
  • Geared Bike Use: As mentioned above, there is no room for a geared bike here. This is why I am being strict on this. First off, enforcing the "SS Only!" rule would require an inspection before and after the event of everyone bringing a hacked geared bike. I don't have time for such things. Also, it becomes a "he said-she said" accusation opportunity for those who feel slighted if they get their dander up about whether or not someone shifted, etc. I cannot referee every inch of a 100 mile course, so the easiest thing to do is to make all riders bring singled out bikes. If there are dingles, three speed hubs, locked out derailleurs, or whatever, don't bother thinking I'll allow it. I wouldn't. Singulators and other means of making bikes single speed in reality exist and are easily attainable by the average cyclist. This is a single speed event idea, and I'm not envisioning that everyone could actually make it work. I'm okay with that. If you feel strongly enough about participating, then you could get a single speed, borrow one, or convert something you have to one chainring-one cog only. Single speeding is about commitment.
  • Time Of Year? Weather Conditions: I'm not married to any particular time of the year for this event, but to my mind, here is how things stack up from an Iowa perspective- First, CIRREM is always late Feb/early March, The Gent's race is early April, the new Iowa Wind And Rock is late April, mid-May is Almanzo, and the DK200 is early June. (DK200 thrown in there due to my having to cover the All Things Gravel Expo for RidingGravel.com) Personally, my daughter graduates in May as well. So, we either do a late March date, or I wait until mid-June through mid-July. I'm okay with either. Weather would be VASTLY different between those two choices. March can still be very Winter-like, wet, rainy, cold, and WINDY. June/July would be HOT, HUMID, and WINDY. Pick yer poison..... Late Summer is out of the question for me due to GTDRI and Gravel Worlds. Then Fall comes and it gets to be cyclo cross season here and that cuts into possible participation numbers too much. More discussion is always welcomed here....
  • People Are Excited: Thank you! Some pointed out they were up for anything I produced, and that means a lot to me. I appreciate your feelings there. That said- this wouldn't be a Trans Iowa. It is a 100-ish mile event, (maybe), and this is just like the title says- spitballin'. Nothing says this would happen, but I get it..... Many would be behind this idea. Enough to say that I think it is a viable idea, so thank you for showing support here. 
 
One Gear To Rule Them All.....
  • Team Possibility: Maybe, if this thing gets going, we will have a Team category. 100 miles might be too much, but doing 50, 33, or 25, or however I decide to divvy it up might be appealing to some. This would fit the next item on my list, which is........
  • Social Side: My vision includes having an after-party/gathering. A hundy might take you 10-12 hours, but if we start good and early, that leaves you with some time to hang afterward. One of the reasons we gather is to be around each other, so this is important to me. A town with a decent venue is being researched in the event there is an event.......or something along those lines...,
Okay, so that's a lot to digest and again- I'm still mulling this over. Give me comments, thoughts, feelings you may have about this. I plan on updating things regarding this on a weekly basis until either an event is formally announced or the thing tanks before it is born.

Stay tuned.........

10 comments:

Ben said...

I just may have to get back on the single speed wagon. Been missing one in my stable for a few years. This seems like a good excuse, as any, to get one!

Ari said...

I would like to see the event in the spring. I also agree with the bike check. Could that be done the night before? One chain, one chainring, one cog. No dingles, double chainrings, internals or other mechs.

Robert Ellis said...

Consider a masters category. Like 50+ Overall this sounds like great fun!!

Michael said...

Thanks Ted, this sounds like a great idea. I love the early season horrid conditions and self supported ideas as well. We (at least some of, anyway) need things in are lives that challenge use and force us to be self-reliant.

Michael said...

You could run the race out of Decorah and call it Shifless in the Driftless...

Rob E said...

Sounds like it could be a good time, I'll have to keep track of the goings on concerning this.

Zach Bonzer said...

I'm all about it. I'd prefer a July date, as my feet and hands always find a way to go numb in the cold, no matter what I wear.

Derek said...

Sounds awesome. This would be enough to motivate me to add a single speed (or do a conversion) to the herd. The more epic the weather, the better - I vote for spring. Good training for later events too. That being said, there is kind of a nice gap in the summer calendar so either could work for me.

teamdarb said...

I am a simple man.... late March or mid summer makes no difference to me. I do not have friends enough to make a team of. I will stay watching for more info.

Steve Fuller said...

I'm in. I'd prefer a June date but it's your event. You do what works best for you. :)