Saturday, January 12, 2019

Minus Ten Review 2009-2

The only image all week ten years ago.
Ten years ago this week in 2009 I was thinking a lot about the economic crisis we all were going through. Gas was sub 2 dollars a gallon, and I figured that couldn't last long. I thought eventually gas would go back up and we'd all be not attending races or traveling to ride as much as we used to.

I was wrong.....

Speaking of events, in an early "Gravel Grinder News" post, (it was a part of this blog before I broke it off on its own), I was talking about how the DK200 had opened up registration. For the single, 200 mile distance. That was all they did then. And........they had increased the field limit to 100 riders!

This would be pretty much the last time the DK200 had what would be called a "small field" of entrants. It was the end of an era for that event. I also reported on a brand new event in Michigan. It would later become the largest gravel event, in terms of attendance, in the USA. Maybe the world. Barry-Roubaix started out as a humble little gravel event no one knew about in 2009. times have changed! 

Finally, I had a unique sponsor come onboard for the then upcoming Trans Iowa v5, which would be the first that had nothing to do with Decorah, Iowa. It was to be held in Williamsburg, Iowa. The sponsor was Ritchey Design, and they wanted to send us rim strips and tubes. I had to poll the riders to get tire sizes and diameters down so Ritchey could send the correct sizes and amounts. This proved to end up being an early poll on what tire size was "best" for gravel riding as determined by a random sampling of Trans Iowa riders.

This turned up the 700c X 35mm-40mm size as being the largest segment of the tire market in the small, new gravel scene. Keep in mind that there were no "gravel tires" then, no tubeless tires for gravel, and wheel size was yet to be squared away in a lot of people's minds. I think this was when the whole thing got settled though.

The idea of 700c x 38mm tires as being the baseline for gravel tires drove early design for the first gravel bikes. The Salsa offerings being notable here. Of course, that evolved to bigger sizes now, but that wasn't what was considered as being "good" in 2009. It's an interesting tidbit of gravel history.


Ari said...

Two tires come to mind:Scwalbe Marathon Extreme 700x35 and Ritchey Speedmax. Ari

Rob E said...

Someday everyone will realize 3.8 is the way to go. ;)