Sunday, December 29, 2019

A shortened and still worth it Gran Fondo Ephrata

oh heck might as well publish this now. Let’s make it a whopping 2 posts for 2019!

This happened back in March, and this is what I can remember now. I had downloaded the pics to Blogger on my iPad and then ran into the usual issues between the two. I fired up my ancient MacBook for the first time in months, and after a few sprays of starter fluid in the carbureter got it up and running. And now I’m back on the iPad.

Due to the incredible winter weather we had in February, many of the paved and gravel roads of the traditional Gran Fondo Ephrata route were near or flat out impossible to bike. For the 80 miler, the course was re-routed to one of Vicious Cycles' regular road rides, and the Medio 50 miler was turned into a 35 miler - a hilly 17 mile loop on paved roads biked twice, another regular ride for the club. I had signed up for the Medio and was bummed out we wouldn't ride Overend Road, wasn't sure if a 35 mile was worth the drive. But I thought we should make the best of the situation and go for it.  Besides, we'd get to bike down the super fast, super fun Sheep Canyon Road twice!

I brought my Salsa Vaya, which is my trusty gran fondo/charity/century/commuting machine.

Decisions, decisions, what to wear. The weather was nice and sunny, but it could still be cold at the 3,000' level that time of year. I ended up with smartwool tights, long and short socks, knickers, t-shirt, and long sleeve. Maybe two t-shirts, not sure now.

Oh and I forgot my 5Tens, so had to go with my everyday Vans made of thinner material.

The Medio crowd, started an hour after the 80 miler.

Met bike buddy Arnold from Spokane at the start.

Up in the hinterlands, bright sun, bright snow. I had a good climb the first lap, and biked up to a group who were pedaling just a little slower than me. I didn't want to slow down and ride with them, so instead of losing some momentum, I rode on by. I don't get many opportunites to pass.

The riders spaced out after the climbs up Johnson Rd and Sagebrush Flats Rd.

This is the point in the blog where I get tired of writing.

Arnold lowered his saddle after the first lap, then zipped up the hill the 2nd time. My second go around was a bit slower.

found my Vans were not keeping my feet warm on the 2nd time around, also.

Came back with mom's recipe for a family favorite. Raisins are not optional in my book.

that’s all, looking forward to another go at it next March 15, registration opens Feb 1.

In other news, the left brifter* on my 2013 Vaya is broken and I’m going to overhaul the bike. REI has the 2019 Salsa Vaya on sale -54 and 55cm sizes are available and I’m tempted by it. The plan right now is to change the crankset from 46/34 to 46/30 and go back to 11-36 cassette. I switched to a 11-40 or (11-42?) but it just doesn’t shift well. And convert to 650b tires. I’m not sold on the size but I could fit some wider wider tires for commuting over bumpy streets. Or I could just buy the 2019 model that accepts up to 700x45 tires with fenders or 700x50 without.

Nah... I’m keeping the 2013 model.

*I forget if that’s the current tarck(tm) approved usage

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail (fka JWPT) -permitted

Ok I’m officially legal for the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail! I think that’s the official new name of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail/Iron Horse Park Trail. I can’t ever remember if the Palouse or Cascades goes first.

The original Race King tires on my Fargo are barely sorta kinda legal for the 2” limit for hanging bikes up in the baggage car on Amtrak’s Empire Builder. That is, with no air in them and the calipers squeezed tight. They have a big 2.2 on the side. I’ll box it if I have to, but I’m thinking it’ll be ok.

Anyhoo, I ordered some 50c Gravelking SK. They might not be the best choice for the rockier sections on the eastern section of the trail, but I’m going to give them a trial run and see how they do.