Thursday, August 01, 2019

GTDRI '19: Gear And Final Thoughts

The BMC post-GTDRI '19
The gear rundown for the GTDRI was pretty simple and had pretty much zero defects. Starting out with the bike, which is the pink Black Mountain Cycles MCD frame/fork. I won't say a whole lot more than my one year review said here other than those rough Level B Roads were traversed with no problem.

The Shimano shifters and derailleurs were spot on. the Whiskey carbon bar and seat post were perfectly smooth. I will highlight two items on the bike which I thought made the day and without them, it would have been a harsher ride.

One certainly is the Redshift Sports ShockStop stem. I've been using this for two solid years now and it has shown no signs of looseness or that the elastomeric spring is crushing/damaged/giving up. I know of several instances where having that stem meant having control versus not having it while bombing Level B roads at 30+ mph. Besides the benefits of vibration damping, that absorption of the big hits- just taking the edge off and keeping my ability to be in control- is worth the price of the stem right there.

The second thing is the Spinergy GX gravel wheels. Yes.....they look pretty. That's nice and all, but if they don't stay true, hold my tubeless tires well, or if they were heavy, they wouldn't be on my bike. I don't care how nice they look. They are stiffer than some other blingy wheels I've tried and cost less than any of them. PBO spokes are weird, yes, I understand the hesitance to getting into such a wheel from that standpoint. However; it has been my observation over the years that these spokes can withstand a fair amount of use and abuse. I'm not too worried about it, to be honest. And as I have already said, if I can pound on them as hard as I did during the GTDRI, I have full confidence in their integrity. Plus, they have a custom program now and a chance to win wheels. Check it out here.

The computer tells the story
Well, as for my thoughts on the day, it was a success overall. People along for the ride seemed really happy with the route and there was enough rain, or maybe not enough, I suppose, to make it interesting. The Level B roads I put in the route were, frankly, spectacular. Now, the having that happen, that was purely speculation on my part, because remember- I did not recon the route at all. I knew from seeing these roads, while passing by many of them during various Trans Iowa recons, that they looked interesting. That's all.

My back issue was probably responsible for my early demise, but the fall at around Mile 50 probably sped that demise up. I still am not "right" and the muscles will take time to heal. But I was happy I made it as far as I did. I wasn't sure I'd even be able to ride at all Friday evening.

I made it 70 miles and a little bit more. Probably 2+ of that was walking. Still- My average speed, according to GPS from the Lezyne, was over 11mph! I find that hard to believe. I think my GPS is trying to butter me up because I don't necessarily feel compelled to use it all that much. Anyway, the last several times I have checked into my average speed on different courses, I have been surprised by what I have done in that regard. Still, I'd like to double check that against a wireless CatEye or something. I'm still suspicious.

On the nutritional front I was pretty happy. I've been trying some new things and they have been working. I also learned that Starbucks Double Shot Latte is an eye opener. I never once had the urge to just fall asleep on the bike, as I have had happen at Gravel Worlds last year and during other long events. This isn't the being tired that I experienced this GTDRI. That was pure fatigue. This "falling asleep while riding" is something different because my body isn't tired. It's my mind just shutting down. Sugary Coca-Cola snaps me right out of that funk, but that comes with its downsides. This Starbucks thing? That may be the ticket. 

One other interesting bit was that the average temperature was just under 80°F for the ride with a high of 102°F at one point near to the end of my ride. The Sun did come out in scorching fashion right at the end there, but 102? Meh! Not buying it, but......who knows? I just know I was baking while walking those final couple of miles on gravel. Concerning data, I was rather disappointed in the cues that Plot-a-Route generated. they were completely useless unless you were well versed in how the county roads are marked and even then it was super confusing. I am going to have to apologize for that. I maybe could have gone into the cues and cleaned that up, but I'm not sure the Plot-a-Route cues are editable.

If I can get around to it, I am going to do proper cues and put them on PDF and attach a link to the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational site for future reference. This is a course I'd like to do again.

Maybe next year?


Rydn9ers said...

It was a great course, I'd do it again. Not sure how precise the cues on RideWithGPS are but the GPX file from there was spot on, if you want I can send you the cues from that route builder and see if they are better.

Tom Scott said...

Thanks for a great day out on the bike. I had serious thoughts of ditching gravel at Brooklyn but am glad I continued on. Thanks to Steve F. for keeping with the spirit of the ride and checking back on us in the "lantern rouge" zone. I left a "body imprint" in the sand on the county line "B" road, but was happy for the cushion, less so for the grit in my teeth for the next half hour or so. I was really amazed at how many "B" and "C" roads Poweshiek county has. Cheers!

Guitar Ted said...

@Rydn9ers- Thanks again for coming out to ride. yes- if you'd like to share what you have on the route, you can e-mail me and I'll check it against what I have. Thanks!

@Tom Scott- THANK YOU!! You represent what is great about the gravel riding community. Also- I talked to Tony today and he said that many of you were so pooped out at Brooklyn that y'all would've taken a shuttle back right then and there. Apparently the course was tough. Good thing it wasn't hot and humid all day!