So far on the Auger, I’ve ridden mostly gravel endurance events. Today, I finally rode it the way it was meant to be ridden — 32 miles of dirt, clay, sand, rooty singletrack and grass with five good guys from Dallas Bike Works. Here’s the route on Strava.
With temps in the upper 60s and spotty drizzle, the course was soaked. Thankfully, the new tubeless conversion held air all day long. Only problem was the tread (or lack thereof) on my Clement LAS tires. They were developed specifically for CrossVegas — not wet Dallas. After a few laps, they were caked with clay, which made for some interesting cornering, but I held my own. Only went down once on a rooty section through the woods.
The bike performed flawlessly. Even with the added clay/dirt/grass weight, it felt light and responsive. No shimmies, rattles or squeaks. Just the occasional disc brake howl.
Overall, a great ride. Nice to get out with some fellow CX enthusiasts. Fall is coming.
CX training ride this morning. The weather is perfect.
I’ve ridden all kinds of gravel. Loose gravel, packed gravel, mostly dirt gravel, peanut buttery slop gravel, rutty gravel, washed-out gravel and gravel that’s practically cement. But until last night, I’d never ridden any kind of gravel in the pitch-black darkness of north Texas. Ponder, Texas to be exact. On a ride called the ”Midnight Massacre” — an unsupported, metric century gravel road race with a twist: an 8pm start time.
At the start, the sun was still up (and it was still 100 degrees) but by 9:30pm, the temperature had dropped and Ponder went dark. Real dark. Averaging 15mph, that leaves about 2.5 hours to be guided solely by fellow riders’ flashing red taillights, the occasional reflective directional marker and the 20 feet of illuminated terra-not-so-firma directly in front of you. Dicey.
I ran the Cygolite Turbo 330 and a helmet-mounted, 45-lumen, cheapy headlamp — together providing me with just enough light to keep me out of trouble and see (in vivid detail) one armadillo, one possum, six barking dogs and three tarantulas with fuzzy black abdomens as big as ping pong balls.
I rode the 64.5 miles in about four hours. Here’s my Strava link. Overall, I’d say it felt pretty good — way better than Almanzo. My faith in gravel has been restored. The Foundry performed flawlessly, as usual — and it’s much more comfortable since I swapped out the WTB for a Fizik Aliante. Next up? A tubeless upgrade and more Skratch. Love that stuff.
8pm start. 62 miles, into the darkness. #gravel
Kept up with the roadies this morning at the RBM 42-miler. Lots of questions about the Foundry - most notably, “what the hell is that?”
Just took the Foundry out for its first roll after it was shipped and rebuilt. With a few quick wrench stops, the sizing is dialed and the rig is ready for anything. Here in the city, I’m running the Clement LAS meats at 75psi — should be able to keep up with the purebred roadies on tomorrow’s 42-miler out of White Rock… The saddle will be getting an Aliante upgrade ASAP, but something I’m not changing is the Lizard Skins DSP bar tape. It’s gummy, tacky and just the right amount of grippy.
Late last week, the Auger arrived. This weekend, I dropped it off at Richardson Bike Mart for a quick rebuild and a post-Almanzo once-over. Should be ready to roll by Tuesday.