Friday, July 24, 2015

A pleasant surprise.

Full of possiblities.
When I decided to build up a "gravel bike", despite having very little real gravel at hand, I was not sure if I was going to like it enough to ride it often.  Boy am I pleasantly surprised.  It is a bike that I have been riding more than any other in the stable and that tickles me to no end.  Who would have thunk it?

Now that I have worked through gearing changes and tire selection, at least for now, the bike is working really well.  And I have been pretty happy with the way that Salsa built the Warbird, although I still do wish they did it in a nice steel too.

At a recent press junket, I brought up the subject of Gravel Bikes to many journalists there and almost to a man they responded back with positive comments.  They either are riding a bike like that or are using their cross bike or maybe even a road bike to get into "multi surface riding".

I call it dirt.

And I find myself planning rides now that have a mix of pavement and dirt; big loops that have a good amount of climbing.  I have a buddy that just bought a Raleigh Willard.  I have another buddy that just bought a Specialized Sirrus and we have been wondering how big a tire we can stuff in there and get into some dirt here and there.  The manager of one local shop bought his and hers Cross bikes and that is what they ride most of the time now.  Another shop here in local SO Cal is hosting regular Gravel Bike rides and is reaping the bennies by selling several models in that genre.

Iowa is spilling over to the Left Coast, so it seems.

Tomorrow's self supported road century ride just cancelled, so I have my options open.  I already have a plan and it includes riding across town early on the Warbird, using local paths and streets. Then I will hit the dirt and climb for 9 miles or so on the dirt, mixing in some abandoned paved mtn roads, then returning on surface streets and paths.

I have been researching another route in a nearby town that will be the same type of mix.  My wife is all ready to take her flat bar road bike with 38s and low gears on this one, we just need to get some cooler weather.

So I think I am getting my money's worth out of this gravel bike deal, in fact I think it is paying me back!


Mike said...

I entirely agree with you. My cross bike is my go to bike and I use it for about 3/4 of my riding. On road rides, I take detours all the time on little dirt paths.

I'm also in So Cal out in Thousand Oaks. What is the name of the bike shop that hosts gravel rides? It will be fun riding with other like minded people.

grannygear said...

Well, you my friend are in luck. JRA Bikes and Brew, Agoura Hills.
Practically next door.