Friday, November 11, 2022

Friday News And Views

Nominations are open NOW!
Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame Nominations:

Just a reminder that nominations are open through the month of November for the next class of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame. 

So, if you feel strongly enough about a person getting their due, then ask them, or their family in case of a death, and get permission to nominate them. Then write up a convincing paragraph as to why that person should be in the GCHof.

Then send that into the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame by November 30th, 2022. After all the nominations have been gathered they will be given to the nominating committee for consideration and they will vote on the Class of 2023. 

Okay, so now you know, and you cannot say that no one told you so.

Getting Lit - An Update:

So the stuff came in this week. I have attached an image here showing everything I received in the box, minus some cool stickers that somebody at Angry Catfish threw in. I appreciated those, so whomever did that, "Thank You!"

So, Spoiler Alert! The stuff worked. I'll have a post on Monday that will detail all my thoughts on the installation and my initial reaction to how the light works. 

I said I'm done, but actually I have a few details to attend to regarding my set up. I need to weather seal a couple things and I need to address the leads to the wheel, since I left them a tad bit long. 

I'm pretty happy I was able to get this done now because we are entering that season where a fat bike is a thing and commuting with a dynamo light is really nice. There is one more thing that I need to do for the Ti Muk, and it is unrelated to the lights, it is fenders. 

I want to come up with something a bit more "full-coverage" than I have, which is a bodge of a few "origami" style clip-on type fat bike fenders. I see Jones Bikes is offering something interesting, but at $180.00....... Ouch! More on that idea later....

As If It Weren't Already Hard Enough To Get There:

Have you noticed that "That Certain Event In Emporia" has been getting harder and harder to get into? Well, now it has gotten even more difficult, well- that is unless you are a Life Time Fitness member.

Yup! That's how you become more inclusive, by being more exclusive. Gotta be so, right? I mean, this is a gravel event, after all. Or is it anymore? Maybe it's something else altogether these days.

 Look, I don't really care about Unbound Gravel as an event anymore. It isn't for me and that's fine. And of course, they can do whatever the heck they want down there. People will do whatever dance they need to do to get there, if they are into it. 

I will only say that this is completely the antithesis of "gravel events" now. I suspect it will only drift further away from its roots as well. I just have a really hard time believing this event represents the "premier gravel event in North America" anymore. I mean, who declared that? Oh! Yeah, the Unbound folks grabbed that claim, didn't they. Hmm.... 

I think if this were put to a vote, and people knew what they could vote for out there, something like THIS event would be a LOT higher up the ladder than Unbound is. And this event as well. Talk about inclusivity. Talk about having a grasp on gravel culture, well, Unbound is about as far from genuine gravel culture in terms of how its run than the East is from the West. 

Speaking Of Events....

Somehow I came across this event I hadn't heard of before on social media this past week. It's called the Starrucca Crossing. It is a 100 mile, (if you do the full-boat. A 75 miler is also offered), that is held in Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

The date is May 20, 2023, and I thought it sounded like fun. There isn't much to go on, actually, but the short blurb about the course I saw said "...a course that is almost 80% dirt roads"

I thought that sounded intriguing, so I asked N.Y. Roll about the area, since it isn't far from New York and he goes through that way to get back to his home. 

N.Y. Roll said it was "all up and down", typical Appalachian bedrock based road beds. He said it would be quite the haul as far as doing that event. 

So, what exactly am I covering this for here? Am I going? Well......probably not. Number one- I can't afford going most anywhere anymore and two- I work on Saturdays, and getting a substitute to cover for me when there are two employees and a bunch of volunteers? Hard to do. So, just spit-ballin' here. But you should do this. It sounds like fun, and it's $65.00 if you register now. Pretty good deal there. 

I may feature events I think are cool from time to time here, so if you have any you think I should consider, hit me up in the comments or at 

That's a wrap on this week! Have a great weekend and go ride a bicycle if you can!


Jon Bakker said...

When I first started cycling in 2020, I bought a comfort bike. I wanted to ride a local paved rail trail for 30 miles - very ambitious for someone who hadn't ridden longer than 12 miles in one day in the previous 20 years. As it turned out, my ride to the start was sleeping and I didn't want to wake her up, so I ended up just riding there from home, and THEN riding the length of the trail. With those 20 miles (mostly MI dirt roads!), I accidentally ended up riding my first half-century! At the end of it, as I looked back at what I did and realized that the best part of the ride was the gravel roads, with the hills, changing scenery, etc.. The rail trail is a pretty flat rail bed that is mostly lined with the same trees the whole way. It's a great thing for our community, of course, but I realized at that moment I was hooked on the gravel roads. Based partly on your writings on the Fargo here, a Salsa Fargo is what I ended up getting in 2021 the day before I did the 2021 version (85 miles!) of this event:
He uses Facebook for the main update page:

The KRanza started as Roy Kranz's training ride for the Dirty Kanza (now Unbound Gravel) - Roy has won the fatbike category of the DK200/UB200 every time it's been offered - six times, I think. He's an awesome guy, very energetic! His courses are hard - mostly dirt/gravel, plenty of climbing, seasonal roads with sand, two-track through state and/or national forests, etc.. It's offered in 85 mile or 170 mile lengths, and while the first few times they just did an 85 mile loop twice, a few years ago he put together another big loop west of his original loop (it's even climbier!) and the 170 is the majority of both loops combined. Last year he moved the start/finish from a country intersection where 50+ cars just parked on the shoulder for a Saturday in May to a campground with shower facilities, and the 85 became a loop on the west side of the course (more climbs than the east side!). And with all of that, you sign up for the event, and there is no registration fee. It's free. If you want to stay at the camp the night before, you call them and arrange it, and it's very reasonable. If you want to park there day of, that's free, but you can pay a small fee and use their showers and water if you want. Of course, you are on your own for support, water, food, tools, air, etc.. It's a great challenge and while there are some pretty fun trophies for the winner, it's all about the camaraderie on the bike and making it. There is no cash prize up for grabs, nobody cares who drafts who, people help each other as they can along the way, and it's just an awesome, challenging, beautiful day on the bike in the middle of Michigan!

Guitar Ted said...

@Jon Bakker - Thank you for the story, it's a great one, and it shows that yes- Even in 2022 people are discovering "gravel".

It's interesting that you should bring up that event. I find it really interesting that these events thrive and continue to inspire people despite the media narrative that there are only a few gravel events, because that is all they are willing to give a spotlight to.

They don't mention the literally hundreds of events, much like the Kranza, which are going on across this nation and beyond. This exclusionary coverage is pernicious and causes people to post things on Facebook like I saw the other day claiming that there are only a "few gravel events". Seriously!

So, thanks again for breathing a bit of fresh air here into the comments and that through your story. I loved reading it, and I know there must be many more stories like yours across the nation, despite the best efforts of the cycling media to exclude them from view.

MG said...

Thanks for the GW shout out. I agree 100%. I also think Joe Billsbach’s Solstice 100 event is absolutely one of the best grassroots gravel events going. That’s a can’t miss event for me every year.

Have a great weekend, Brother. Cheers!!

Guitar Ted said...

MG - Yes, the Solstice knows what's up too. Many events do, but getting any media to cover that fact is like pulling teeth.

Have a great weekend! Love ya, Brother!

sherpaxc said...

Please continue to post some of these events. I want to travel to a location to ride but don't want to buy in to the BWR/Unbound style event. I'm not new at all to bikes (or your blog) but am new to gravel riding and it's been so fun exploring new areas.

Guitar Ted said...

@sherpaxc - You got it! Thanks for reading the blog!

teamdarb said...

Absolutely post more unique events. It will give me an interesting POI map for next year. long as the fees don't kill