Saturday, July 20, 2019

Minus Ten Review 2009-29

In the "Whatever Happened To This?" files.
Ten years ago this week on the blog here I was sharing more 29"er news. There was news of a long travel bike by Niner Bikes dubbed the WFO 9, which was the precursor to the 150-170mm travel enduro style trail bike 29"ers of today. Keep in mind that even in 2009 people were saying long travel like this was always going to be the realm of 26" wheeled bicycles. Doing this with 29"er wheels was "stupid", "dumb", and other things unsuitable to put on the blog here.

Where are they who said these things now? Probably riding 29"ers, that's where.

Speaking of "where are they now", I also showed a sneak peek of a proposed livery for a Raleigh XXIX 29" single speed bike. Brian Fournes, the marketing honch for the brand back in those days, was fearless when it came to ideas to liven up the Raleigh line of bikes. This was back before Raleigh became the hollow, online retailer of today. Back then, Raleigh was enjoying some resurgence as a second tier brand and had some relevant mountain bikes for the first time in well over a decade.

Anyway, he forwarded this to me and I was very excited that it might become available in a very limited edition form. Now, I was , and still am, over-loaded with single speed 29"ers, but for this, I would have made room. And why not? I live in the town that put John Deere on the map in terms of farm tractor machines. But, as you probably have guessed by now, there was a visitation from some legal department in letter form and that was that.

Still, I gotta wonder where this ended up.

Also from ten years ago. Just look at that view! GTDRI course.
The Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational was run this weekend ten years ago as well. I had a successful ride and about seven or eight folks joined me.

I've said it before, and I still believe it- This is by far the most beautiful gravel course in Iowa that I've ever seen or heard about. At least from start to finish, and it is over 100 miles in length.

The views anywhere along this route are often beautiful, and in many spots they are jaw-droppingly stunning. I need to go try this course out during Fall colors season sometime, because I bet it would be even better, if that is possible.

Oh yeah, and it ranks as one of the toughest courses I've ever ridden as well. LOTS of climbing. I did not ever run my own GPS device on this route, but riders that did told me there are lots of 10+% grades and several in the 12-15% range. There is one grade that maxed out at 18%, according to what I've been told. It's such a tough climb that a local well drilling concern has to use a Caterpillar tractor to pull its rig up that particular grade. Trucks cannot do it because they lose traction on the gravel!

I also have a sort of reticence to riding here again though, as it is the course I was struck by a drunk driver on. I still deal with some physical issues from that impact to this day. So, there is that bad memory to this course for me as well.

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