Monday, March 31, 2008

The Aftermath and the Planning

The comment I made in my previous post about the T.I.V4 course being hard to drive was only part of the story. Yesterday I felt the results of 300 plus miles of bad gravel road pounding on my body. My back muscles were screwy!

The funny thing is, in the literally thousands of gravel road recon miles I have done, this has never happened before. Was it the vehicle? Nope...........couldn't have been. Just a weekend prior to this I put in 1250 miles of travel in the same vehicle. I used it for part of last years recon too. No, it was the severity of the roads. Put that into your thinkerer as you contemplate Trans Iowa this year.

A little ibuprofen did the trick for me though I still feel it this morning. I thought I was going to be able to catch up with Captain Bob for a spin yesterday but I thought better of it due to the back issue. I went down to the Lab for a while instead to start the process of bike set up and choices for Dirty Kanza.

I have more than one choice for a bike for this gig. (A great blessing and luxury, I admit). I am primarily concerned with comfort, ability to carry water, and comfort. Did I mention the bike needs to be comfortable? Uhh.........okay, why so much emphasis on comfort? Well, let me tell you; Dirty Kanza is rife with some of the roughest gravel around. Iowa gravel shudders in fear when Kansas gravel is mentioned. Really, it is pretty dang rough down there. So I am considering what 200 miles of pounding will potentially do and I am thinking comfort, okay?

This leads me to four rigs in the stable: The Blackbuck, the Pofahl, the Badger, and the venerable Dos Niner. Problem #1: I signed up for the single speed class. The Dos and the Badger are geared specific bikes, so a single speed conversion and chain tensioner would be necessary. Not the most preferred set up, that's for sure. The Dos is interesting for the soft tail aspect and the Badger is interesting for its uber comfy drop bar style.

The Pofahl may be a great choice, but I'm still dialing in the cockpit on that one. I may not have time to get that right and train on top of it. The Blackbuck is a possibility with it's superior water carrying capability and it has a pretty nice steel frame for comfort. I am currently playing with set up on it though, as well, so it may be nixed unless a suitable set up is hit upon.

So, the bike is still up in the air yet and what will shake out should be pretty interesting. I have parts coming to experiment with and some parts already here. The coming weeks should prove interesting with results and more fiddling. Stay tuned!

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