|Header image from earlier in the Summer of 2021.|
While it seemed as though Spring weather took forever to get out of the way, Summer did make its annual appearance and hot, humid weather did make its impact. Life changed in a significant way in my family as my son, Jacob, graduated from high school and in June we had a party for that. Meanwhile things were busy on the blog front here and later on in Summer preparations for Gravel Worlds were in play. Obviously, Summer closed out with my ride at that event.
|Black goo. From my "Lube-Off" testing this past Summer.|
I was busy doing the "Lube-Off" test between the SCC Tech lube and the Blue Devil lube from Nixfrixshun. (By the way, I'll have long term updates on those soon here) Then I did a little handle bar switcheroo on a couple of bikes. The Carbon Jones Bar took a rest from duties and the new Answer Pro Taper Carbon bar went on the Ti Muk 2. I also swapped out the Winston Bar from the T-6 Standard Rando v2 and went back to the Carbon Whiskey Drop Bar. I also had a big project going with regard to water bottles and how to pack them for Gravel Worlds. Finally, I had "Project Wide Gravel Wheels v2" going and I determined what I think is too wide and just right for inner rim widths on gravel wheels.
With early year time tied up in taking care of family things and graduation plans, I was finally off the hook after the big deal in June for my son and was able to start stringing together some longer rides. Later on I actually got a couple rides in with N.Y. Roll and a few other long rides doing some research into a circumnavigation of Black Hawk County on gravel which I was going to do. I wanted to pull that off before Gravel Worlds, but it did not happen then.
|I started getting in some longer rides finally.|
What I was able to do was to ride in the most stifling conditions I could all on a purpose to get myself acclimated to what I thought would be a hot, humid Gravel Worlds. Usually it is beastly there that time of the year. However; this time the conditions were nearly ideal. Who knew! At least I'd done my due diligence, but only for hot weather riding. I really did not get in the longer rides I think would have made a big difference.
The culmination of all of Summer's activities was Gravel Worlds. I was nervous, actually. This whole pandemic thing was still iffy, and I had not been to an event to ride for two years. It was like doing it for the first time, in a way. Tony McGrane went with me, as was our usual plan, and that part was really enjoyable again. However; looking back at my experience of the event, I have to say that Gravel Worlds- outside of the riding- was a disappointing weekend on several levels all having to do with how the event was handled.
|From the Gravel Worlds course.|
Overall things were 'okay', but when I see garbage up climbs and face masks tossed off on the gravel, with zero mentions of anything being done about it during, immediately afterward, or for next year, I get dismayed. When I see things that "got you where you are today" getting overshadowed due to the enormity of the event, well all the social issues being addressed by the event mean a bit less to me. Things I thought should have been done like the celebration of folks who have low representation at gravel events. They were there this year. But were they feted? Not so much. Next year? Yeah, I know..... 1000 women and all that. I get it. It's just something that- had you been noticing what was going on during the event- maybe it could be better explained. I'm doing a terrible job making my feelings understood here, and I apologize, and this is just my take.
I didn't get on with the loudspeaker issues at the start, and I just wasn't digging the overall vibe. Look- Things change. When they do, maybe you are down with the changes, maybe you are not. For this guy, it wasn't connecting with me like this event used to do in the past. So, I get it. It isn't for me anymore. It's for other folks, maybe, but me? I probably will be choosing other events, if I choose to do events.
|A little 'gravel home from work'.|
So, that was my Summer. I got my century ride in- finally. I got to ride in an event after two years of not doing anything. I got to ride with a few friends, which was nice. We started a new chapter with my son's graduation, and I got plenty of riding in.
Next, I'll move into Fall and what happened with the blog and riding for me during those months.