Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Renegade Gents Race V3: Prepping The Rigs

It's morphed into a dirty rando rig!
This Saturday is the third annual Renegade Gents Race which takes place out in the countryside North of Ankeny, Iowa. This is a team event where five riders work together and must start, go through a checkpoint, and finish together. I have been in the two previous versions of this event and am competing again on the same team as I have both times before.

I wanted to ride my new-to-me Vaya in this event, but as the forecast is predicting rainy weather now, I am readying the "Orange Crush" rig for possible duty instead. If it indeed looks to be rainy, I will be using this bike since it has fenders. Saturday's ride proved that the fenders work great on wetter gravel and that they really do not get in the way or catch a bunch of wind.

The funny thing is that with the fenders, the front rack, and the El Cofrecito bag, the ol' Orange Crush is looking more and more like a rando bike. The thing is, at this time of year, all of this is good stuff if you (a) want to keep the crap off off you, and (b) if you want to put on or take off any amount of clothing to match changing conditions out there on the roads. So- for now- the stuff stays on there. However; as the weather gets warmer and less likely to be soft and crappy out there, the fenders, bag, and rack will disappear for awhile.

The Black Mountain Cycles bike is also going to be sporting some new tires. I got ahold of some 37mm, (claimed), Panaracer Pasela tires which have a puncture protection belt and skinwall sidewalls which only adds to the "rando" effect of my current set up. I haven't really ridden these much at all yet, but a tire like this one should do fine. Besides, it is a very well regarded tire by touring cyclists, so I am not too concerned about them holding up to gravel abuse. Now how they handle on the other hand.....

However; if the weather is looking to be dry, well then- I will then be riding the Vaya. It has some beefy, big Vee Rubber X-C-X tires and there is no chance of squeezing in any fender on there. Oh sure....I could put on a clip on fender thingie, but I really don't need that sort of thing, since I already have the BMC with real fenders on it already. The Vaya is stripped down to basics, and if the weather is dry, then I will go with a minimal kit. We do get a drop bag, so I can drop off some extra clothing if I get warm in the beginning of the ride. It is forecast to start off cool, but get into the 50's, which by our standards for this Spring would be pretty warm.

My choice would be to ride the Vaya just because I want to find out more about how it works for me on longer rides. So far it has been really good, but I know things like the Renegade Gents Race will help me refine the beast even further and more quickly since it is a metric century length event. Of course, the BMC is awesome and dialed, so if conditions are crappy, I would rather ride that bike since I know it so well and it needs no further refinements in set up anymore. Sure- I could always upgrade components, but the set up is dialed.

So, there are the two choices, and now I just have to do a bit of a ride on Wednesday and I'll be all ready for a good, fun, gravelly time on Saturday, no matter which bike I take.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading about it,my friend,have fun :)

The DC

S.Fuller said...

You sound like many of your TI riders. ;)

Guitar Ted said...

@S. Fuller: While legends persist, I am not immune to being human. :>)