Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Dirty Kanza 200: Training Log I

Okay, the next big thing on the calendar is going to be the DK 200, so for the next few Saturdays I'll be going over what I've been up to in preparation for this 200 miles of gravelly goodness.

I have been percolating some ideas on what set up I'll be running down there and I have made a big turn from my original plans. I am not quite ready to divulge what that set up will be yet, but I will say that it won't be what I rode last year, and it may really surprise a lot of folks here. Well, I think it might. Stay tuned........

I've been riding the gravel lately and things have been feeling pretty good so far. To that end I have hooked up for what I hope will be a regularly scheduled series of rides all summer with d.p. On Thursday evening we met up for the first ride in Traer and started at night. This was a great way to get some light testing in and see how I was doing with riding on gravel with the lights on.

I have the hacked up lamp I made last year for the DK 200 and it is a great "wash" type light, but it doesn't have "throw" down the road. So, I grabbed my trusty Blackburn Voyager light and used it in conjuntion with the hacked light and what do ya know? It was pretty decent. Not great, but decent enough to allow for some speedy decents without too much trepedation. I want to find a lamp/flashlight unit for my helmet though that will be better at the "throwing of light" further ahead without buying a crazy set up that costs a gazillion bucks. I just do not think it is necessary. I have been thinking about this light, which seems pretty reasonable and gets good reviews. We'll see.

Well, as far as Thursday's ride went, it was pretty fun. A couple of things of note happened. d.p. and I headed out of Traer to Ridge Road. We got out to about L Avenue when we came across a big red Dodge diesel pickup. The guy driving it was kind of acting strangely, driving very slowly and then taking off in another direction after we passed by him. Not far up L Avenue we saw some parking lights pop on just off the road. Then the headlights flashed at us a few times. (Remember, we have our bicycle lights on as it was dark) Seeing us up closer, the truck starts up and drives away after we passed. Weird! Rural drug dealers? Folks smoking grass? Waiting to "hook up" with someone? Who knows. It sure was strange though.

Then we were looking for a three mile stretch of B Road we had ridden together before. We thought we had gone far enough northward to our right hander, but we hadn't. Next thing we know, we're rolling into the backside of some little Iowa town I was unfamiliar with. Turns out we were in Dinsdale, although in the dark, I hadn't any clear idea where we were. That was kind of fun, being slightly lost.

Then d.p. and I wended our way back to P Avenue and southwards to Traer through a few sprinkles. It was all good!

We talked quite a bit about the post T.I.V6 stuff and we are bouncing ideas off each other for T.I.V7. I hope to continue these rides not only for the DK 200, but because it's a lot of fun to hang out with d.p. and ride. Next week, I hope to have another ride report for DK 200, and to have spent more time with d.p. We'll see. It's supposed to be a rainy week!


Jerry said...

I've got a Princeton Tec yukon that has a helmet or bar mount. I think it was $50 or $60. pretty nice light.

Aaron M said...

MiNewt Mini-USB - Nice light. A little more than your budget, but throws out alot of light with a 3hr burn time. I use it for gravel, commuting, and single track.

Let me know if you have any questions. Schnee

Guitar Ted said...

@Aaron M: I have a friend that tried those, and while very bright, and very small, he had all kinds of issues with the batteries. That kind of scares me off.