That Was Bull!:
|From Peter Stetina's Twitter feed: A bull knocks down a rider at the Rock Cobbler event.|
Last weekend on social media you may have noted a few images of people getting knocked down by a young bull during the Rock Cobbler event in California. Apparently there were no severe injuries and I did not see anything related to what the event director(s) may have stated afterward.
Comments: While every event is an expression of what the organizer(s) think is appropriate for a challenge, one has to wonder how this event will deal with the fall-out from the incidents of the past weekend during their event. My opinion is my own, but if I had to make a call here I would have possibly diverted the course around such a danger.
I have, a few different times, been exposed to "open range" conditions at the event formerly known as The Dirty Kanza 200. I am not aware that any bulls were around, but I have seen cows right on the course we were directed to ride on. That's dangerous enough, as a cow can easily cause serious injury to a cyclist that is unaware of the dangers of cattle.
And as a former director of events which were similar to the Rock Cobbler, I can tell you that some form of education prior to the event is necessary and must be repeated multiple times. Even then, you are not guaranteed the people in your audience are taking you seriously. That's why, (again- risk assessment comes into play), you as a Race Director are tasked with judging your course and the risks it may present with an ultra-critical eye. Getting outside advice is often wise as well, because no matter how 'cool' you may think a certain experience may be for your riders, you may be blinded to possibilities for things to get ugly.
In the case of open range riding and bulls, I would submit that it is not a prudent idea to submit your riders to such possibilities for injury and harm. But that's just me......
Thank you for all of the excellent comments about my recently discovered Colnago Super Fork from Monday's post this week. I really appreciated every one of the responses and considered each one.
A few good points were made. Like how often this bike would see roads? And that is really a good way to look at this. Also, some suggested just trying to polish it out to get a better read on where I am at with it. Perhaps do that and seal it with a clear coat?
And to be honest, those were the comments that resonated the most with me. Getting it painted, or re-chromed makes sense if I am creating a garage queen, or restoration of some sort, well then yeah. However; I am not at a point where I have the free cash or inclination to do a full-on early 80's restoration so I think that just getting it going with the least fuss possible is what makes sense here.
Next I will do the clean up, polish, and inspect it from there. I think clear coating the lower fork legs is a good idea to arrest the rust pitting that will be there. I probably will touch up the yellow painted bits as well. Of course, I'll need that threaded Athena head set, but I almost forgot that I'll also need a quill stem now. Hmm..... I may have to do some more digging around in the shop!
Guitar Ted 'Lube-Off' Update:
Thanks to all those readers who commented on the post from Wednesday concerning lubes to test for the next Lube-Off. I got some solid votes on one brand and some advice on using the wax I mentioned I have.
So, it was crystal-clear that SILCA's "Super-Secret" lube should be in the next Lube-Off. So, I will get a bottle of that coming and I will likely install that with a new Shimano 11 speed chain I just received for my Raleigh Tamland Two. (Most likely anyway.)
The wax is NOT going to make the cut in this round. One commenter saying, "Super secret is supposed to have most of the wax benefit without the hassle of actual waxing". Another commenter chimed in saying, "I also think sticking with a drip lube for your round up is the best
option as most people have no desire to go through the tedious processes
of maintaining a hot dip waxed chain every 200 or so miles."
That's enough reason there to convince me that using the Molten Speed Chain Wax is not really all that interesting to you- the readers- and it definitely is okay with me if I do not have to hassle with that stuff. That said, someday I'll try it.
I will work on the compiling of all the "Lube-Off" results and post that soon. Stay tuned for that and the next round of the Lube-Off soon.
Polar Bottle Debuts New Big Bottle:
|New Polar water bottles from their Breakaway series. |
On Tuesday of this past week, Polar Bottle introduced the new Breakaway series of bottles which includes a new 30 ounce size.
Last year I did a bit of a series on water bottles and using larger sized ones. I found that by doing some careful tweaking utilizing some bottle mount expanders like the Wolf Tooth B-Rad, I could carry as much water on the bike as I could have with a hydration pack on my body.
While not everyone can use bigger capacity bottles, perhaps due to shorter frames or specific frame limitations, those who can may want to look into that. It works out well in practice on longer rides and I have seen the benefits of not having a heavy hydration pack on my body.
I get that hydration packs have their fans and reasons for being a great choice. One, and maybe the biggest reason of all to use a hydration vest or pack, is that you can drink 'on-the-fly' easily and that this promotes better hydration. That's an excellent case for using a hydration bladder somewhere on your body or bicycle. However; those systems have some pretty significant drawbacks as well.
Keeping the hoses clean, the bladders clean, having weight on your back, (if it is traditional system) and having more of a hassle in filling a bladder in the field are but a few of the concerns. "End-of-service" life of hydration packs is also a bit more difficult than with bottles, and is a subject not many consider when thinking about bladders and packs.
At any rate, it is nice to see options in bottles now.
Surly Bikes Debuts The Ghost Grappler Drop Bar Trail Bike:
|The new Surly Bikes Ghost Grappler|
A bit of a surprise here from Surly. A drop bar trail bike that has a very familiar look to it if you are a Fargo aficionado. It is a bike designed around a drop bar for bike packing, trail riding, and gravel with a focus on versatility and 27.5" wheels. Steel, of course, and it has several interesting features.
Besides looking like a Gen I Fargo, the Ghost Grappler has through axle capabilities with Surly's "GnotBoost" rear spacing, a Boost spaced fork which is not suspension corrected, and new bottle mounts on the seat stays near the drop outs. Stealth dropper post routing is also offered along with rack, fender, and Three-Pack mounting options on the top and bottom of the down tube.
Tire clearance is 27.5 X 3.0" or 29" X 2.5". The frame has a straight, 1 1/8th head tube and the fork, called the Surly "Dinner Fork", is available separately.
Comments: Yeah, if Salsa Cycles had ever done a Fargo Gen I reissue, this Ghost Grappler would be pretty much what I would have expected from them. It's very close, in my opinion, to what a Fargo should be now days.
But hold on- That name! Yes, this is Surly Bikes, after all, but still. Weird. I guess that's the whole point? Anyway...... GnotBoost rear spacing? Rear facing, track fork style drop outs? Uggh! In some ways Surly's bent to be the most versatile bike choice is also its undoing. If you've ever dealt with their various versions of multiple-standard rear drop out designs, you'll understand. A Salsa version would have been elegantly executed with their Alternator Drop Out. But this is Surly's way....
After checking out the geometry, this really isn't all that far off from the Gen I Fargo. Tweaked for the modern day trail rider, yes. And I like what Surly has done with the geometry. Tire sizes that can be used here are also very appropriate, in my view.
Some will grouse and say that the Gen I Fargo had a better drive train compatibility, but with Boost spacing? You are not going to get old, triple crank drive trains, or even a double with a big drive ring, on a bike like that. Boost pretty much kicked all that to the curb and so 1X is pretty much going to be the jam here, unfortunately.
Finally- A straight steer tube MTB in 2022? I did not see that coming. I think that's a big mistake, but whatever. It should ride better, and maybe that's one reason Surly did that. It also pretty much takes the whole, "Can I put a suspension fork on this?" question off the table. Regarding the fork: It is soooo short, axle to crown, that anyone thinking it might work for their Gen I Fargo, or an older 29"er should reconsider that. Axle to crown is a short 420mm, which was the old sus corrected length for 26" wheeled rigid forks. It'll clear a 29"er wheel/tire, but juuust barely. Plus, because it is a short fork it would really steepen most 29"er bike's head angles to the point that you would negatively affect handling. (I know- I've tried it before.)
That's a wrap for this week! Thank you for reading Guitar Ted Productions and I hope that you get out for some riding this weekend!