|Early event = High possibility of messy face!|
The Iowa classic, CIRREM, has announced its 2019 event date and registration time. If you are curious, and you want in, you'd better be on the ball with registration as this event fills up quickly.
This is a tricky event. It can be nice, (for February), or it can be a total crap-fest. I did the event once when the course had three inches of fresh snow on it and it was something like 20-ish degrees. It was cooooold! I remember that much, at any rate!
I managed to finish and it was a great time. So, if you like your gravel events grassroots style with not much for frills, then this could be your event. Well, if you are an adventurous type and don't mind sloppy conditions, or freezing cold, or even ice! I think one or two years they have had some pretty slick roads. You just never know that time of year. If we start getting an early taste of Spring it could be gloriously awesome. If Winter hangs on it could be a slick, chilly affair, but either way folks love this event and I can highly recommend it.
|From the T.I.v5 course in 2009|
Salsa Cycles started this. Even if they didn't, I am blaming them. They brought out a chaise lounge for 2018 and drug it around to several gravel events, asking riders to sit down and have their portrait taken. Okay......good fun and all. But enough is enough.
Now it seems that every gravel promoter is trying to come up with their own version. Picture frames, found trash on the road, statues, or whatever are employed as a kind of "selfie imaging spot"where cheesy images of riders are taken and posted to social media for "the fun of it". I'm not a big fan of promoting social media during event time because, well, there is already enough of that to go around already. It's getting out of hand, in my opinion. At some point, it may tip to being a detriment to events. For instance, I see drone footage of riders during events now. It makes me wonder, why should I go ride your event if you have live drone camera footage? I can be "virtually there" and never have to leave the couch. Speaking of couches.......
Come tell me a story though, and tell me your experiences about an event, and well.....I may just want to get off my couch and go see for myself. Maybe promoters are being led to give too much away with social media. That's my thoughts on the matter.
Look, I get it. I like fun, and in reality, I don't mind a bit of shtick when it comes to promoting events. So, yeah, I am just poking fun here. Don't take this too seriously, but I think that y'all can come up with something more original and better. In fact, I think making a socializing attempt for everyone pre or post event is a much better event enhancement. Let the course be the course and the experiences don't have to be manufactured. But pre or post event? Yes. Get the tribe together and yuck it up all ya want to.
Just my two cents......
|Cane Creek eeSilk suspension post|
Cane Creek has their own version of a suspension seat post now for gravel travel called "eeSilk". If it looks vaguely familiar, it should. Cane Creek sells the Thudbuster suspension seat posts, which the eeSilk is a variation of.
Like the Thuddys, the eeSilk has an elastomeric damping material sandwiched between two pivoting links which are connected at the seat post base and head/clamp. While Cane Creek claims a "vertical" path for travel, it clearly cannot move completely in a vertical plane due to its design. It only features 20mm of travel, so it isn't going to really do much other than absorb high frequency chatter. Of course, gravel is perfectly suited to that, so it makes sense that way.
I've used the Thudbuster ST, a 76mm travel post, and thought it worked fine. The only nit I have ever had with this sort of design is that eventually the pivots develop slop and you will start out by hearing a rattle when you are off the bike. If it is allowed to get worse you can feel it while riding. Cane Creek does offer rebuild kits to remedy this. Now I cannot say if the eeSilk post would be prone to doing that, but since the design is so similar, it wouldn't come as a surprise to me if that pivot wear would become an issue with this new design as well at some point.
Still, it is another choice which may make sense for many gravel riders. I expect that it will be of high quality, just like my Thudbusters were, and it should be a great solution for rough gravel roads where you only need to have the buzz taken out.
It's going to be a chilly....but dry....weekend. Get out and ride!