Friday, September 24, 2021

Friday News And Views

 Double Posting Of Trans Iowa Stories For This Weekend:

Last weekend a Trans Iowa Series post was scheduled but another one was inadvertently scheduled to drop at the same time. This caused a technical issue which I could not resolve, so I ended up pushing both posts back a week.

That mistake is on me, and to the fans and readers of the series, I apologize. 

The good news is that both of those posts will appear this Sunday, one following a little after the other time-wise. They will appear as originally intended also, so you won't be missing a thing that I originally formatted for you to see. 

So, that's a brief note, for those who care, about what happened to last week's 'Trans Iowa Stories' post and what to look forward to for this Sunday. Now with that, I should be back on track and hopefully there will be one post for each of the following Sundays for the remainder of the year. Look for the series to wrap up sometime early in 2022. 

Rides Requiring Proof Of Vaccination:

Recently the news that the Mid-South was requiring proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID test, to get into their 2022 event spread amongst the gravel community. Now word is out that a smaller event out in Vermont organized by the group that puts on the well known Rasputitsa event is also going the proof of vax route. 

While the "Grateful" isn't a big nationally known event, the fact that the organizers are pursuing the proof of vax/negative test route seems to point to a trend in the gravel event scene. It also seems to be consistent with many concerts. sporting events, and with what some businesses are doing. 

Andy and I speculated about this on the podcast recording this week and my take is that this is probably being driven by three elements. 1- A Sense of Social Responsibility where promoters feel compelled to protect and care for their riders in the best way they can. 2 - Legal Ramifications where the possibility that being sued over COVID transmissions, or deaths/health issues may loom over an event, especially when that event is charging a healthy entry fee. 3 - Insurance requirements where it may be possible that municipalities and/or event insurance providers are leveraging event promoters to require proofs of vaccination to hold an event under their insurance/oversight. 

Now, you may have issues with the whole proof of vax/testing thing, and that is a completely valid discussion and far too big a deal for this column. I'll just say this- you don't have to go participate in any events, much less those that require proofs of vax/negative COVID tests. You could organize your own rides. You are free to ride how you want to ride. 

That's a very important thing to remember in all of this. 

The Whisky Parts Co. Spanos Bar

Big Week At Riding Gravel:

The bits and baubles came rolling in over the past week for testing and review on (See the Standard Disclaimer Page here)

Amongst the products that were received are some unusual things. How about some woven cloth bar tape? No.....not the traditional type. This is quite a bit different stuff from Grepp. They claim it is reusable, washable, and that it has superior grip properties over traditional tapes. 

Then there is the American Classic tire, the Wentworth, which I purchased with my own money, by the way, and will be checking out here and on Riding Gravel. 

Then there is the Topeak Gravel Gear Bag, which is not maybe what you think it is. This is an organizer with tools and spaces for tubes and things which you strap to you frame for the rare case that you may need to repair a tire in the field. 

Finally, there is the Whisky Parts Co. Spano Bar, (pictured) which is a carbon fiber drop bar with some unique features. It has flattened tops, a squished profile for the bar in the drops, and a very short reach and drop. 

So, I've spent the week getting all these things set up and checked over for longer rides to come soon. Most of the blurbs I write will be over at Riding Gravel, but you'll probably see this stuff in images and mentions over the next several weeks.

A newMTB trail system is planned near Copper Creek in Des Moines.

New Mountain Bike Trails In The DSM;

Recently, AXIOS Des Moines reported that a new mountain bike park is set to be implemented which would connect Des Moines and the Pleasant Hill areas. 50 acres of undeveloped land have been purchased for the project which will include an area to buffer rain run off to help prevent flooding and improve water quality in the area. 

The park, named the Copper Creek MTB Park, is envisioned as a way to satisfy recreational cyclist who have been using local trails at an ever increasing rate. Plus, this should draw more tourism to the area due to the other local cycling attractions and Iowa's dearth of public lands devoted to off-pavement cycling.

For more details on the project see this link.

NOTE- I'll have a missive on the UCI/Gravel World Championships and series for tomorrow. Otherwise, that's a wrap for this week! Enjoy your weekend and get some riding in!

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