|Let's look at these flowers from my yard and try to forget about the rain.|
Wednesday it was learned that a major connector trail from down town Cedar Falls to the George Wyth State Park had been closed due to flood damage and also from damage incurred when a person drove a car down that part of the trail.
This is on top of the closure of the River Loop Trail in Waterloo for repair of a sewage line that ruptured and is sending raw sewage into the Cedar River.
As if that weren't bad enough, now we are supposed to have possibly severe weather and up to two inches of rain through Sunday. What do you suppose our water logged ground and swollen rivers will do with that? Yeah..... Hopefully it isn't as bad as they say it might be.
Then there is the chances for bad weather as I try to get to Nebraska. I'll have to be on guard for any severe weather and gauge my chances carefully before trying to drive through any potential storms. Saturday looks better down that way than Friday, but I have to get there safely first. If I manage to miss the bad weather, things should be okay, but I imagine the roads will be wet to start out with for the event.
|The Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX. The Kingpin rear end is pretty interesting.|
Secrets..... For about as long as I've been writing this blog I have had some secret or another I have had to keep under my hat. The Topstone Carbon bike is one of those secrets. Yesterday it was finally announced, so now I can talk about it openly.
I've known much about this bike for about a month, and I saw actual images of one a few weeks ago. In fact, MG, who broke the story on RidingGravel.com yesterday, has one. Of course, if you think about it, we all pretty much knew Cannondale would eventually come out with a carbon version of their Topstone aluminum bike, but the Kingpin rear end was not foreseen.
As far as the bike goes, I am sure there is something to it. It makes sense, and I think the idea is sound, but as with anything that moves on a bike, it eventually will become a problem. How this Kingpin deal wears and acts after a couple of thousand miles is what I am interested in.
I'm a little dismayed at the lack of tire clearances, (40mm tops for 700c) , but I feel this is more of a Domane competitor than it is a gravel bike. The whole geometry package is basically a Synapse, so that kind of tells the story there. Cannondale isn't concerned about working on a solution for the front end of the bike to mitigate vibrations because they are hedging their bets against a fall off in the gravel scene. If that happens, well, with Synapse geometry and a slick 32mm road tire this is right in the Domane/Roubaix bike wheelhouse. Not that this is a bad thing, but I think Cannondale isn't really making a gravel bike in the vein of a Warbird, for example, either.
|Next thing ya know they will make brake actuation electronic.|
I know you've been wondering when these brake manufacturers were going to get rid of those unsightly and snaggy brake lines. They are just always in the way, right? (Said no one ever) Well, Magura is your huckleberry as they have just announced a hidden master cylinder/hydraulic hose/handle bar set up which only leaves the lever sticking out now.
This is radical stuff. It's cool that they can do this, but do we really need it? Sometimes I like to turn the reality of new designs on their head and look at it 180° differently. So, in the case of these levers, what if we all had this sort of set up, and had it for years. Then suddenly we get an introduction of a product with exposed brake lines. What would be "better" about that than the internal, hidden brake stuff? Then I like to take the answers for that and compare to what the marketing says about the "new" way. Magura says the new set up is more crash resistant, (real world data? I just don't see this myself), and the design is "cleaner and more integrated". Soooooo.......it's about looks?
The way we've been doing things allows for quick and easy stem swaps, handle bar changes, and ease of installation. Brake systems can be moved from bike to bike easier, and replaced without much fuss.
You tell me which way is better. If you want to explore this concept more, the Magura page on this "innovation" is here.
That's it for this week. Have a great Solstice and get out and ride if you can. The days get shorter from here!