Friday, September 08, 2017

Friday News And Views

T.I.v14 News: 

The announcement of another running of Trans Iowa seemingly went over well. Seeing the response on Facebook and the number of hits on the blog post seems to point to that. I have gotten a good number of requests for volunteering duties which is greatly appreciated, but I will be needing a few more folks on that end of things, in case you were still thinking about helping out. Just let me know. I'll get you on my list and plug you in.

There is one thing I want to get out there about a change to the event right now. I'll be reminding you all of this throughout the coming months because it is a fundamental difference from how things were done in the past. First off, this change is being implemented due to a discovery I made regarding cheating.

What Happened: I was made aware through a random Facebook thread that riders were taking the cues for the first section of the event, normally handed out at the Pre-Race Meat-Up, and transferring the cues to their GPS devices for navigation by an audible cue instead of having to read the cues. This gave those who did that an advantage as they only had to listen for a sound and look down at their GPS for a direction and they did not have to do navigation as it was meant to be done- by the cue sheets and by observing the signs on the road. 

What The Change Is: Since only a few were doing this, it was an unfair advantage over the rest of the field. Also, it is expressly against the rules. So, as a result, cue sheets for the first part of Trans Iowa v14 will be handed out the morning of the event just before you are to take off. I haven't decided yet just how this will look, but I am thinking that you are going to have to line up single file and get your cues based on your race number plate, (to avoid anyone not in the event from getting cues), and riders will just have to deal with it. This will probably happen within minutes of the start. So, be prepared!

How This Affects The Pre-Race Meat-Up: First off- attendance to the Pre-Race Meat-Up is still mandatory! There will be no "morning of" registering or signing on. This would be too much of a burden for me and my volunteers, and there is no need for it. Plan on the Pre-Race Meat-Up to be pretty much as it was with a slight change to the end. (No cues to get and put in your GPS, for one thing!)

What If You Don't Like This Change? That's simple. Please do not consider coming to Trans Iowa. My decision is final and it will be done this way whether three of you show up or 120 do. I simply will not put up with cheating, and this is how it is going to be dealt with.

It's no different than usual, but...........
Trek Quietly Debuts Domane Gravel:

Some of you may know this, but Trek recently debuted a 2018 model dubbed the "Domane SL 5 Gravel" and an aluminum framed counterpart as well which costs less and is down spec'ed from the carbon frame and forked SL 5 Gravel bike pictured here.

I've been a big advocate of Domane geometry for gravel going since the Domane was introduced. I have pestered Trek  employees to bring out a version which could handle wider tires since its debut. Trek came out with the Domane disc version a couple years ago, and that bike was rumored to accept up to 30-something millimeter tires, but no one I ever talked to would put a hard  number on what the limit was.

Well, now we have a "gravel version" of the Domane. Or do we? Actually, I have it on good authority that, in fact, this is just an ordinary Domane Disc frame and fork. Yes, it has 35mm Scwalbe G-One tires, but that is all. It isn't a specific frame for gravel road riding, and thus the 35mm tire width limitation. That said, there is a specific gravel frame and fork coming.......

That's all I know. It is already in the pipeline and probably will get released sometime next year. What it will be called and exactly what sized tire it will take is not yet known, but if it cannot handle 42mm tires, then it would be seen as a fail in my eyes. That and if they change the geometry radically from the current Domane, which would immediately put me off. We'll see.

If it does turn out, as I hope it will, as a Domane with wide tire clearances, I'm on board. I would have to try it out. With ISO decouplers front and rear, wide tire clearances, low bottom bracket height, and the typically relaxed angles the Domane has always had, it would be the best gravel bike geometry/technology going by a long shot.I know Open and others promote a short rear/short wheelbase ideal, but they are appealing to a road racer, not what works best on gravel the Mid-West has. But, we'll see......

Have a great weekend. Thinking of all those folks in harms way in Florida. Stay safe!!

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