Friday, July 19, 2019

Friday News And Views

Tour Divide Issues Precipitate Dismissal Of Jay-P:

Well, if you haven't been paying attention to Tour Divide this year, (and for the record, I have already said I wasn't paying attention anymore), there were controversial actions by a few individuals that precipitated the letting go of Jay Petervary as a sponsored athlete of Salsa Cycles (and related QBP brands as well). There is a LOT of conjecture and opinion already floating around the internet about this, and I am not going to add to that.

As I have said- I have a pretty solid opinion on Tour Divide. Read that bit if you want to get the background on what I am about to share here today.

Tour Divide, as an organization, is barely that. In fact, if there ever were an event with almost no rules, no oversight, and no current updates, it would be Tour Divide. Their webpage was last updated in 2014, and the Facebook page is a ghost town. The RD does communicate via e-mail, as far as I can tell, but as far as any oversight, it seems, well..... Pretty lax, that would be my characterization of it.

And in my opinion, this is what leads to the alleged actions we are reading about now. I have run an ultra-endurance event, and I have somewhat of a feel for what could have happened had I not been vigilant, had rules, and made them as well known and explained as I have over the course of the years. In my opinion, expectations not set ahead of time regarding actions of participants, in a very direct, explicit way, leaves the barn door wide open for crazy stuff to be thought up and to have those thoughts be acted upon. I know. I've had some very weird requests and people who tried to interpret my rules in unforeseen ways, which I had to act on in a very decisive way.

There should be expectations set ahead of time. From the research I have done on the matters regarding this Tour Divide, I haven't yet been convinced anything of the like was done. That, to my way of thinking, should be the central point of focus regarding this controversy. And that's all I have to say about that.

The new Cervelo Aspero gravel racing bike.
Getting All Racy:

The Cervelo company has had a decidedly racing focus for as long as I have been aware of the brand. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that their latest bicycle is a racing bike, but this time it is all about gravel racing.

I also was immediately reminded that Cervelo was co-founded by Gerard Vroomen, who happens to be co-founder of OPEN Cycles, who also have done a very similar bike to the new Cervelo which is called the OPEN WI.DE.

OPEN have been in the gravel scene for several years now. I remember seeing my first OPEN UP's at the 2015 Dirty Kanza 200. So, the Cervelo seems a bit derivative, and the fact that both companies have a connection in founder is maybe irrelevant, but still kind of odd. Anyway, both bikes are pretty much lean, mean racing steeds and while that is fine, this isn't the sort of rig that will be right for most folks.

For one thing, they both are chasing the "long front/center, short rear end" thing. Short chain stays are generally less apt to flex, and they place the rider right close to being over the top of the rear axle. Both things that do not make for smoother riding. That's something that is important for many folks, and just hold on to those "bigger tire" comments for a minute. While the OPEN can handle pretty big tires, the new Cervelo is limited to 40's, if you want any mud clearances, and that isn't going to be enough tire for many places.

The other thing these short chain stays do is that they make the rear center less stable. So, to sort of counteract this, both the OPEN WI.DE. and the Cervelo have deep bottom bracket drops. Okay- so what? Well, to get you the bigger tires for comfort, you need to move to 650B's. Guess what? That lowers the bottom bracket a bit more. Yep.......pedal strikes. I know. I've tried 650B with a bike that had 75mm and 72.5mm of BB drop. So, maybe all this getting racy isn't right for everyone. (And I haven't even mentioned the fragility of carbon when mud, sand, and rocks get ground against it in muddy conditions.)

Good thing there are a LOT of choices in gravel/all road bikes these days.

As seen in 2017.
Fargo Resurrection....Again!

I have been looking at my Fargo Gen I sitting in the Lab forlorn and unridden for far too long now. I am itching to get back on it again. But.....I am wanting to swap out tires, and this rig is still stuck in 9 speed mode, which isn't a bad thing, but in terms of wheel swaps and what not, it is way off the back when all my other stuff is 11 speed.

I have a line on some Vittorias but that keeps slipping away and time is running out. Plus, I want to ride this bike for the GTDRI in a week or so. I had better figure it out real quick-like or it isn't going to happen and another whole year will slip by wthout many, or maybe any, miles put on that old thing.

Big problem, I know, when I have great bikes at my disposal to ride around on. I could always just use my Black Mountain Cycles MCD, or my Tamland, and I'd be just fine. I still have the Noble Bikes GX5 around, which is very light, and I always could ride the Ti Muk 2. So, I shouldn't whine on and on, but in my opinion, if you have a bicycle, you should use it, or get rid of it. I sure do not want to get rid of that Fargo though! So, we'll see. Maybe a set of tires will get slipped on yet this weekend.

That's a wrap for now. Thanks for reading and please get out and ride those bicycles. ALL of them!

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