Friday, October 08, 2021

Friday News And Views

Old School Gravel:

Cruising the "Book Of Faces" the other day and I came across a new addition to an existing event in Kansas. It is called the Flint Hills Gravel Race and it is put on by a guy named Bobby Thompson. The new distance, which is in addition to his 30 mile and 80 mile distances, will be 120 miles. 

Okay, so that's cool and all, but what caught my eye was in the comments about the event on that social media channel. The chatter indicated that the event's new distance would only be navigated by cue sheets (!) and that the distance would be divided into three parts. Once a rider started they would only get cues to the first 'checkpoint' (!!) and then they would receive cues to the next and so on. Event timing would be based upon a 10mph average (!!!). I went to the website for the event and learned more about it (!!!!)

Where have I seen something like this before? Right? 

This definitely made my day. I cannot say whether or not Bobby was influenced by some certain other event, but no matter. Yeah, so if you know, you know. Interested? The registration opens soon and Bobby is taking on only 50 riders for this. (Maybe up to 73, you'll have to read his reasons why) Go HERE for the details. 

A rendering of the Rogue by Alchemy Bikes from the press release.
Also In The "Where Have I Seen This Before?" Files:

This is Sea Otter week and news will be hot and heavy seeing that the event hasn't happened for a year and a half. One of the newsy bits that hit my inbox was about a bike that Alchemy Bikes is releasing called the Rogue. 

Alchemy claims that the new Rogue model was "designed with a more progressive/modern geometry". Okay, that is a very common claim amongst manufacturers pushing out new gravel bikes. Sometimes it is true, and sometimes it isn't. What would the geometry chart for the Rogue show me? 

I looked and smiled. "Where have I seen THIS before?!

The Raleigh Tamland, that's where. A bike that debuted in 2014, if you want to know, and the Rogue's numbers are dead-on to what the Raleigh numbers were seven years ago. In an industry where, at times, what happened five years ago can be so outdated it may as well be antique, a company basically copying the Raleigh Tamland's numbers really are not pushing any boundaries here. 

That all said, I love it. The Rogue's geometry, that is. This geometry works. It is what I requested in 2012 when Raleigh asked me about what I'd do for a gravel bike, so yeah.....I would like that, but the Tamland was a hit when it debuted back then so a lot of folks did get on with that bike's geometry. Anyway, welcome to the Club, Alchemy! 

Handmade Bicycle Show Returns In '22:

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show returns after a two year hiatus due to COVID-19. The show often reveals new trends in cycling and is popular with cycling nerds.

The show will be held in Denver, Colorado at the National Western Complex on Denver's North side. The dates are set at September 23rd-25th. People who bought tickets to the cancelled 2020 show will be rolled over to this 2022 show in Denver. Details will be released at a later date. 

Comments: I've never been to a NAHBS show and many years it is just too far away for me to even consider going. But Denver is a place I can get to by car and, well.....maybe. It's something to consider, for sure. 

I'll be honest though, much of that show would likely be about seeing other people and less about the bikes, (but the bikes are spectacular!), so I wouldn't likely get much of anything substantial from it in terms of Riding Gravel, on the one hand. It is hard to say, but the last several NAHBS shows really did not have the impact that the NAHBS shows in the 00's had. in my opinion. 

There is a lot of time to mull it over. I'll wait and see......

Refining Product:

More news from the Sea Otter press fall-out. Kinekt (Body Float) posts are pretty rad items for those who want to take the sting out of trail, gravel, or road riding. I've used various iterations of this post for years and I have tested and reviewed others for Riding Gravel. 

In all of that time Kinekt never sat still. They have continued to take criticisms and raves and they have refined the product all along. Gotta give them props for continuing to implement better and better ideas as the years go on. The latest version of this post, (which I have not seen or handled, by the way) is said to have been improved in the following ways:

-New Bushings
-New Branding
-Improved L/XL Unit

And they have their own saddle bag which is compatible with this post now, which is nice because it was difficult to  add a saddle bag on their posts in the past without some issues. So, I thought I'd mention all this here since many of you may remember me running a Body Float post, (the predecessor to the current Kinekt posts) on a couple of my bicycles in the past. 

The Mid South and Gravel Worlds Announce Double Double Championship:

 From the press release: "The Mid South and Gravel Worlds announced they will be partnering their 2022 events to do a multi event biathlon challenge unlike any other. New for 2022, Gravel Worlds will be adding a new event called Land Ho 50k Ultra Marathon sponsored by Fleet Feet.

Gravel Worlds Promoter, Jason Strohbehn, said there will be a Gravel Worlds Double Championship that combines the time of the 50k run and their 150-mile bike race.

“We will be adding the new event to our 2021 race line-up. The Mid South has had a run/bike double option since 2017.”

According to The Mid South Promoter, Bobby Wintle, the Double Double Championships will combine the finish time from the 4 events to create one of the most unique challenges in the world of gravel."

Comments: So, take away the novelty factor, (running on gravel and racing bikes on gravel to determine a champion), this is a de facto series. Basically, Gravel Worlds and Mid-South are drawing a line in the sand by joining their events, (it really doesn't matter if it isn't ALL their events, or that it includes running/cycling), and now the door has been cracked with regard to having the straight up gravel events in this series. This quote from the press release, "Ultimately we want this to be a sign of unity in the gravel family”, by Jason Strohbehn, promoter of Gravel Worlds, says that this idea is on the table. What would say that more than having all the events in a series between these two big gravel events?

I've talked about the allure of the single big events to join together into a series which would bring together the energies of those events and propel them to even bigger things. The mere idea is a popular thing in our culture because - for whatever reasons - if it seems that you aren't growing you are failing. So, while there may be no substance to any of this, this announcement certainly opens the door to a way to bring this idea of a series about.

That's a wrap for this week! Have a fantastic weekend and thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions

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