Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday News And Views

Another bear sighting in Iowa recently. From the Iowa DNR page on Facebook
The Bears Come And The Bears Go:

Some folks live in "bear country", so this will be no big deal to them, but here in Iowa, bears are rarely seen. Last year I believe it was, there was a black bear sighting near Janesville, which is a village I cycle in and around often. This year in Northeast Iowa black bears were spotted again, which, for Iowa, is where you would expect to see bears. The terrain up there and the proximity to Wisconsin and Minnesota, both black bear homes, makes this occurrence less spectacular.

However; when you see that a bear has been spotted in Grundy County, which is due West of here, and mostly agricultural, it raises your attention levels. Especially in Fall. Spring and Summer bear sightings are most common, if you are to see a bear at all in Iowa, but Fall? I've never heard of it before.

Actually, I've never heard of black bears in Iowa until recently. When I was young, or in my 20's and 30's, it wasn't on my radar and no one spoke of such a thing. We would see the stray moose now and again, but never bears. Maybe I just wasn't aware of them and they have always been coming through Iowa. Hmm...... I just know that if I see one out gravel grinding someday I'll think I was hallucinating!

Ibis introduces the Hakka MX gravel/adventure bike
 Hakka (Gravel) Lugi:

Cyclo Cross spawned a subset of weirdness at one time which was sort of refreshing. I remember when Ibis debuted the cross bike they made in steel back in the day. They understood cyclo cross was a totally anaerobic, pain infested form of cycling, and the name they picked for their entry into the CX world reflected this in typical Ibis humor. They dubbed the bike the "Hakkalugi", in reference to how the lung searing efforts of cyclo cross would often cause one to hack up a large wad of mucus.

Well, cyclo cross got all serious, so maybe the humorous part of Ibis' past has been lost, but they have entered a rig in the gravel/adventure category and dubbed it the "Hakka MX". That's kind of a lame name, considering Ibis' past. I mean, it's obvious we don't have "MX" to "hack up", so whatever that means is lost on me. (I cross....whatever...)

The bike seems to be pretty on point as far as geometry and the current "multi-wheel fit" mania that has taken hold of the cycling world lately. Really.....who is going to actually swap out wheel sizes? It is a selling feature more than it is a practical feature, in my opinion. But however you see that playing out, it is a cool bike. It fits pretty big tires, and should make for a lightweight platform for a racy gravel rig. Plus, (little known TI fact), a Hakkalugi rider won T.I.v8. So there is that.

A T.I.v14 Rookie started an "event page" for Trans Iowa. Funny thing- I never was asked about it!
Things Unasked For:

Back when Jeff Kerkove launched Trans Iowa (V1), he did it on his Blogger page and on the Endurance Forum. Social media wasn't a "thing" back in late 2004, so, ya know, he did what he did. It worked, and it worked really well. Discussion about the event flourished on the MTBR forum for the first four or so Trans Iowas, but after T.I.v3, social media crept in and people moved away from blogs and MTBR's endurance forum became a sort of wasteland. About around 2010, I noticed more and more gravel road event promoters were either doing actual "dot-com" sites, using Bike as a defacto event site, or even more so, using Facebook as a "free event page" platform. Now in 2017 I would estimate that 60% or more of the events we catalog on's Events Page are Facebook addressed websites.

I have doggedly avoided Facebook for Trans Iowa purposes. It has become necessary to use it to link back to the original Blogger site, or this blog, to get information out there, but I almost never announce anything directly on Facebook, and a Trans Iowa page has never been set up, until now. And I didn't do it nor did I ask for it! 

Apparently some Rookie decided Facebook should be utilized as a place for discussion about the event, and set up a page, which looks "official", (he even pinched my artwork without asking), and is set up as though you might think I had something to do with it. I don't, and honestly, I don't care other than that this is a pretty cheeky move on this rider's part. I mean, you would think he'd have had the decency to at least ask. 

I guess I'm all wrong about that!

Have a great weekend and get in some riding. Thanksgiving is coming!


Unknown said...

In this age of entitlement we live in, asking (or manners are not required).

bostonbybike said...

Swapping out wheel sizes is actually not a bad feature to have but it needs to be well thought-out from the beginning (when bike is designed).

My bike can fit either 650B wheels with 2.1" tires or 700C wheels with 35mm tires. Both wheels have the same diameter so when you swap them, you won't change bike's geometry or handling dramatically. I can use wider tires on routes with more off-road riding and chunky gravel or use narrower, "road" tires on pavement.

It's a matter of convenience. It's faster to swap out wheels than tires, so it's almost like having two bikes in one.

DT said...

I don't know if it's worth taking offense, they probably thought they were doing you/the event a favor

Guitar Ted said...

@DT- Maybe it was "good intentions", but with my experience doing this for 13 + years, the confusion it could possibly cause with regard to what information is shared there that some may see as "official" due to the use of the webpage's design on Facebook is not necessary. Had the individual involved in putting up the page simply asked me first, it could have been headed off.

A Facebook page set up for the sharing of ideas is one thing- a page set up to look like it is the "official event" webpage is quite another. Frankly, I find it offensive and it will quite possibly cause me some headaches. I don't need another thing to keep watch over.

It's things like this that make me wonder why I even keep doing Trans Iowa, to be honest.

Nebo said...

Contact Facebook security. I bet you could get it taken down.

Rydn9ers said...

Bought my first multi wheel size optional bike this year with the Fargo, to an extent I agree that it's not all that practical but it could be if there were an option to buy the bike with extra wheels in the varying sizes. I may never build up a second or even third wheel set to cover all possible wheel diameters I could run on the Fargo but then again what's to say that 27.5+ doesn't go away in the near future? From that standpoint haveing a bicycle that can swap to an available wheel size would be less expensive (maybe) than purchasing a new bike.

Guitar Ted said...

@Charles Martin: Update- The individual in question reached out and made the desired changes. All is well.