|J.Guillem Ti Gravel bike from Lindarets Design|
Lately it seems that there has been a gaggle of titanium gravel bikes introduced. I suspect more custom, outta this world priced rigs will be shown at NAHBS this weekend as well. But even if that doesn't happen, what I have seen introduced already is kind of unusual. Its almost as if a trend of titanium bikes has been unleashed upon the gravel cycling world.
There is the Lindarets/J.Guillem bike, the Knolly bike, Moots new Routt YBB, and Mason Cycles has something new in titanium as well. Of course we have had Twin Six's titanium Rando bike and there has been titanium gravel bikes from Lynskey and Litespeed for years. Salsa used to do titanium.
What the heck, Salsa? You should never have stopped doing titanium gravel bikes. Anyway....
So what is going on here? Why titanium gravel bikes and why now? I think there are two good answers to that question, and those answers are tied to one another. First, if it isn't obvious by now, the all road/gravel category is one of the only bright spots in cycling. It seems people are still out there finding out about these gravel events and the bikes suited for them. So, if you were to get into making money on bicycles, gravel/all road is the lowest hanging fruit on the tree now. That's because the only other sectors doing anything in cycling are motor assisted bicycles and dual suspension devices. Both of those require a lot higher investment, they both require a high level of technical acumen to pull off correctly, and both have a really stiff competition in the marketplace.
The other thing is that there are a ton of aluminum and "milk jug" (carbon fiber) gravel bikes, but up until recently, there were few titanium ones. That void is about to be filled. Obviously. But that said, if you wanted to make a gravel/all-road rig, a titanium one makes you stand out from the crowd. So, I guess that makes sense as far as why titanium gravel bikes are coming out of the woodwork lately. Not that I mind. It's the material, besides steel, that makes the most sense, in my opinion, for gravel travel.
Well, it is two weeks out from the inaugural C.O.G. 100 Iowa Single Speed Gravel Championships. Things are quickly coming together for this event.
I have the hats, posters are printed, and I just got the cue sheets printed and they are in hand as of this writing. I will need to collate and bag them, find 98 number plates, gather odds and ends, and other than that, we're ready.
N.Y. Roll and I will be at the Peace Tree Grinnell tap room Friday from 6:00pm till 10:00pm. If you decide to show up, we can get your waivers signed and give you the swag early. Keep in mind that inspection and cue sheet hand out starts at 7:00am in Miller Park.
A few folks have wondered how the course will shape up. Of course, I cannot answer that with any surety, because who knows what will happen between now and then. That said, I feel we will be okay. Long range forecast look mostly dry, warm, and windy. All good things for making the gravel good to ride on. So, I don't expect the Level B mile section to be rideable, but.......you never know.
|My daughters ink painting/drawing hanging in Veridian Credit Union|
Many of you know I have two children. My daughter, Izabel, has taken to art, much like her father, and has pursued it to the point that she will be going to college next Fall and will be looking to get into graphic arts. Anyway, she was asked to submit a work for a special showing of 45 works of art from across all the high schools in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area.
Her submission made the cut of 45 selections and will be hung now at the Waterloo Veridian Credit Union's main office on Ansborough Avenue for a year. We are pretty pumped about this, and I am one proud papa.
So, if you are coming to the C.O.G. 100, one of the things each rider will get is a poster of the art I came up with for the event, tweaked out by my daughter, and signed and numbered by both of us. I am excited to see everyone get one of these posters and I am especially excited about my daughter's future in the arts. I hope that those that get the poster will appreciate them.
So, that's a wrap for this week. I hope that you all get out for a ride.