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Pondering a Bikepacking Trip

        It is August, which means we are in the middle of peak riding season.  It is also the time you realized you let another summer slip by without a "real" adventure.  I am pondering a 24-36hr bike packing trip.  I am looking at riding the Root River Trail in Southern Minnesota.       Granted it will not compare to riding around the Western Rockies in British Columbia.  But why do we bike pack?  For each person that is a separate answer.  For me it is to be removed from my daily life.  It is a way for me to spend a lot of time outside and reminds me of my childhood in the country.       I am even pondering just doing a sub-24hr ride from my house and camp along the CVNT (Cedar Valley Nature Trail) at a State Park near LaPorte City.  I have in the past bandit camp along the Katy Trail when training for Trans Iowa in late fall.  When I bandit camp it is not really a big deal, just pull off on the trail to a park bench on the path in the dark.  I figure if an park official c
Recent posts

Been off On Vacation and other Adventures

   Since my last post I have been off on vacation.  The Guitar Ted HoF ride occurred, and was a success.  I define success as one other person showing up.  I am not in to huge numbers and huge social media following.  I am not one to make something bigger than it is, of the best of the best.  I just  want simplicity, put a date, time, location out and see what occurs.  Mark did a great recap of the ride, and I am sure if you are reading this blog.  You probably read Mark's and you read his re-cap.       Since then, Mark and I have launched another podcast, I believe episode #96, by end of the month I hope we have #99 recorded, but that is if we have viable stuff to chat about.  That should cover Riding Gravel Radio Ranch podcast .  So far, I need to be more crisp on my responses and thoughts.  You are getting my hot takes on what Guitar Ted (Mark) brings up.  I do not see his sheets or notes prior to the show.  So I read his blog, because that should give me an idea of what he want

Group Ride Etique

    A few years ago I was trying to resolve a new rider issue we ran across as we saw a surge in new riders.  A few of the new riders created a unsafe issue in front of the pack and one led to a pretty big wreck that resulted in a few broken bones and bikes.  So instead of harping and calling people out, I tried to resolve issues by holding a few rider clinics aimed at road group riding.  That led to me posting cliff notes of the event to Facebook.  That led to it being posted to Reddit, I never saw the thread as I am not on that social media forum.  Evidently it was well received.  So today I am going to revisit it to the best of my memory.      The following is generic advice and is not all inclusive, but is intended to get you through your first rides with a new to you group.  (SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT) 1. Show up to the ride a few minutes early, and be ready to go at the stated time.   2. Refrain from audio devices, do not ride with ear buds, speakers, or bone conduction head phones.  S

Mark's HoF Ride Post #3

Cliff Notes: - June 19th:  - River Side Park, Vinton, Iowa  - Time 9am start  - Mile 24 C-Stop Center Point - Expect a group ride time of 6.5hrs total. - Post Ride Social: Tootsie Ice cream/Hamburger stand on the NW side of Vinton. - Group Size Unknown: At Least 3 of us.  But I have heard rumblings, so car pool if possible.  I am speculating about 30 -50 people. - No facebook post or event to follow about this.  If there is, it is someone else celebrating Mark and that is cool too and I recommend doing both rides. Today's Post: After talking with Mark (Guitar Ted) it is apparent to me I am re-configuring the route to be more like the original route.  With that said I took some liberties to keep it a large group capable route.  Two areas of awareness is the roll out out of Vinton north, and the roll into Center Point to a Caseys at Mile 24.  Mile 24 will be the last C-stop on the route, so top off.  Plan on a 45 minute pause for people to facilitate the facilities and re-load.  It i

Mark's HoF Ride Post #2

  Cliff Notes: - June 19th:  - River Side Park, Vinton, Iowa  - Time 9am start  - Mile 42 C-Stop Center Point - Expect a group ride time of 6.5hrs total. - Route to be publish via Strava in June. - Post Ride Social: Tootsie Ice cream/Hamburger stand on the NW side of Vinton.     I keep re-positing the same information because someone will ask for it, it also keeps it simple and reinforces the major points.  As I previously said in the first post, this day was picked based upon Mark's availability.  Yes it is on a Sunday and Yes it is fathers day.         A bit more about the ride, it is a social ride with a spirited pace.  In short it will not be a race of any sort.  If you are into that, then this ride is not for you.  This ride is also not a party pace ride, nor is it a drop rode. If you had to ask me for a pace for this ride to target for I would say 12.3456789MPH.  I have a few stops planned a long the way.  Right now we will cut through Pleasant Creek park via the multi-use tr

Gravel HoF Inductee Ride for Mark

Guitar Ted, I think 2021 July Saturday ride.         So if you are reading from outside of the glorious Cedar Valley you may not understand how close I live to Guitar Ted.  I am less than a 5 minute bike ride away from his front porch.  So it is fairly easy for me to coordinate a ride from time to time with him.  Oddly enough I think I am the only person outside of Tony in the area that askes Mark to ride.  I think a lot of people have a built up image of the "Gravel God" and his opinions on their rides.  In reality, I think he is just happy to share some gravel ribbon with others.  Often I have found he is more interested in the same things I am.  I think we both enjoy, bridges, old churches, and cemeteries.  And yes, we both have a thing for barns.  I wont dive in to barns, but occasionally you see some Iowa State developed round barns that are gorgeous, and occasionally I see a Western New York style barn that gets me excited.  Yes, I miss being 8 years old and throwing ha

Bouncing Around

      It has been a minute since I last posted, and well that is due to the fact I have not beeen up to much.  Recently I have been deep diving into replacing bearings on my bikes from BBs to wheel hubs.  I bought an I9 wheel press set years ago and well it is generic enough to help with other wheels.     Why is the bearing replacement interesting?  Simple, I am buying generic bearings off  Amazon or other online vendors by their ISO number.  Here is an example, I looked up the wheel bearings on the Hunt Wheel site for my bearings.  Their website says I need a 6902-2RS bearing.  I did some digging and found a ceramic wheel bearing set for $19.  The replacement has gone well and wheels are rolling nicely.      Next, I took aim at my Phil Wood Eccentric BB.  It uses a 6805 bearing, I have ordered up a set and will install them to see if I get an improvement.  Phil Wood also has this handy bearing sheet .  This sheet is a great way to look up other bearings you may need.  Basically anyone