Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday News And Views

A gravel bike?
Breadwinner Cycles is a frame building concern from Portland, Oregon and was started by two-time Trans Iowa winner and frame builder Ira Ryan and his partner, frame builder Tony Pereira. They debuted their Breadwinner Cycles brand at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, (NAHBS), and they will be back this year again showing a couple of new models. One is dubbed "B-Road".

It'll be interesting to see just how the name is used here. On one hand, this could be a "650B road bike", and on the other hand, it could be a reference to the minimum maintenance roads in Iowa called "B Maintenance Roads", making one think it may be a gravel road bike design. My guess? Both!

Their will be several "new" things popping up on the radar screens of gravel road enthusiasts soon, and perhaps this Breadwinner model is one of those things. I already have been tipped off to another thing that will be announced Saturday and will have a connection to Trans Iowa. (You'll have to wait till Monday to find out here.) UPDATE: See announcement here.

The growth in gravel road related product seems to be continuing unabated, and I suspect it will rankle some feathers, give fodder for the punter's blog postings, and fuel the keyboard jockey's angst out there. The thing is, the growth in the participation in gravel road riding, as I see it from my seat, is still rising. Events are posting bigger attendance figures, and I have been getting new submissions for the Gravel Grinder News calendar on a regular basis for months. On the order of about 3-5 events per week over the past three months, as a matter of fact.

So, people will have some backlash to this stuff, but it doesn't negate the reality of it. Gravel road riding is popular, the events are growing and increasing in number, and the bicycle industry is going to see if they can capitalize on that. Would you expect anything less than that? I wouldn't.

Image by A Andonopoulous.

I have started to fire up the Trans Iowa v10 machine again. There is a little over two months to go, and there is much to get organized yet.

I have the Grinnell Steakhouse lined up again. They provide Trans Iowa with a free venue to hold the Pre-Race Meat-Up and in return I deliver warm bodies that will eat and drink at their establishment. It's been a very beneficial relationship for both parties for the last four years.

My job now will be to contact each racer and get a head count on meals, what the menu choice will be, and to communicate the meeting details via e-mails which should start going out next week. This has also worked to serve the secondary purpose of finding out if folks on the roster are actually going to show up. That helps save costs on my end in both time and money.

I also will be doing Trans Iowa recon with my two cue sheet checkers, Wally & George, in late March. This will make sure of the clarity of the cue sheets and whether or not they are correct, or need to be changed due to road closures. The side benefit here is I get to see how the roads are coming along.

This Weekend: I have the final four posts in the "Trans Iowa Tales" series going up and then the weekend posts will be reserved for the current Trans Iowa coming up. The Frostbike report will go up Monday, and maybe there will be a couple of posts, depending upon the events going down.

UPDATE: 45NRTH announces a fatter Dillinger

Stay tuned, otherwise have a great weekend and ride your bicycles!


MG said...

Has anyone ever finished TI on a fat bike?

Guitar Ted said...

@MG: No one has even attempted it.

MG said...

Hmmm... Interesting.