The first rendition of the Gem Grit Grinder is in the books and overall it was a great event. The weather was perfect, the course held up great, and the venue dispelled any doubts I had. The timing system provided by Authentic Sports Timing was efficient and accurate. I have posted a link to the results below. Take a look at the finishers times, it was an amazing performance put on by the lead group. One drawback I have always noticed with USAC licensed events are their membership fees, and athletes race categories based on their points throughout the race season. If you participate in one gravel race (classified as a road race) a year you will be a 4/5 even if you are a 1/2 mountain or cyclocross racer. Additionally it requires a race license (1 day option available) that newcomers may not want to invest in for 1 event. Hopefully we will see this event return next season with a larger turnout and equally competitive field...
-King Donger..."Getting Tater’d in Idaho"
USAC Membership Info-
Jordan "Scoots" Krema, Jake "King Donger" Hampton, Braden "Bra-Donkey" Kopping
This weekend is the inaugural Gem Grit Grinder in Emmett that is being hosted by the Boise Velo Women. It will be their second event they are hosting and promoting in the last year. I decided to go pre-ride the course yesterday (05/18/17) and get a feel for what we have in store for the 44 mile course this Saturday.
Parked at the high point of the course. Million dollar views.
So smooth, almost considered road tires after the ride yesterday.
Budget must be tight, this is the roadside restroom. Giving up privacy for a more natural view.
This is Jesus's corner. I didn't see him out there, but the sign mentioned this was his barrio.
I have made the decision to ride my Cannondale Super-X this weekend. I predict you may see a sub two hour finish of the 44 mile course. The roads are buffed out smooth and the course is less than technical, which will benefit the roadie teams that show up and use team tactics.
Hopefully we have a good turnout from teams like UpCycle and 10 Barrel, showing up in force to support our local race scene is what the valley needs. These events wont last without the support of our local cycling community. Thanks to the almost 60 riders already registered, and it's not to late for registration.
Race Information: www.boisevelowomen.com/gravel2017.html
Race Registration: www.usacycling.org/register/2017-1258
-King Donger..."Getting Tater’d in Idaho"
Frank, Jake, and I spent Saturday afternoon and evening exploring some good ol' Idaho landscape. We boogied out to Sandy Point State park and up Lydle Gulch to Bonneville Point. About 40 miles round trip (50 if you're Frank) and you get everything from Golf Course surprise "trails", a beautiful ride along the Black Cliffs and the Boise River, to never ending rolling hills at the top of Bonneville Point. It's amazing what we have right in our backyard here in Boise.
I always love the views on the ride out to Sandy Point State Park.
Jake worked on his spin while Frank mashed up the climbs on his trusted SSCX rig.
This was my first off road adventure on the new bike. It was like the Overland was built for Idaho's endlessness. Lydle Gulch was a great test with sand, hard packed, loads of rocks, and mud. It handled everything flawlessly in terms of stability. I never once felt out of touch with the bike as it conquered every task with ease. I'm running the stock Clement MSO 40c tires which would have been my only gripe, and it was only in the real loose sand or mud that they were they lost any bite. They were fantastic on hard pack on the pavement.
A beautiful sunset view but it was getting cold as dark was coming. Whiskey helped get us to the brewery without loss of any fingers or toes.
Frank's Finger Canti Clearance Service.
As night came we got back onto pavement. It was in the mid to upper 20s and at this point I was pretty sure I was about to experience hypothermia in my toes.
After obtaining burritos we headed straight to Boise Brewing for a proper finish to a good days ride. We polished off our beers and headed home to call it an end to one of the most fun rides I've had in a long time. Let your friends peer pressure you when it comes to riding your bikes. You'll probably end up on a kick ass ride with great people like happened to me. Ride your bike, doofus!
Photos from the day
Cold weather riding is here
The bitter cold winter rides are back and I was in need of some new gloves to give my paws a chance against the elements. When I received an email from HandUp saying they had made what I had always dreamed of- A thin palmed, light weight, cold weather glove- I couldn't help but order a pair right away. Besides, they already happen to be the company that was also producing my favorite “rest of the time” glove.
The top is a thin layer of thermal fleece responsible for blocking some of Old Man Winter's bite, and the palm is Clarino leather with a sweat cloth thumb. Overall pretty simple, but very effective as a lightweight cold season glove.
Top notch. HandUp uses a premium quality synthetic leather with silicone "HandUp" grippers across the palm and at the ends of the first two fingers. This ensures a worry free grip between you and your bars... and beers. However, if you like padding in the palms of your gloves, these are not for you.
I run on the toasty side, so these are keeping the paws feeling good at around 30-35 °F degrees after I’ve warmed up. I generally start my rides chilly knowing I will warm up in about 20 minutes into it so that’s fine for me. That said, under 30 degrees I run BarMitts and my summer gloves, when the temps drop under 20 degrees, I use these in conjunction with the BarMitts. It seems to be the perfect combination of air flow and warmth to keep me from sweating.
If you don’t run like a super toaster oven, I don’t know that I would send you out in these under 40ish degrees. Most people would likely consider these more like cool weather gloves than cold weather gloves.
If you like to have a close grip to your bars and are riding through fall, especially at night in colder areas of the world, these gloves are a no brainer. It’s like your favorite lightweight spring and summer glove re-imagined with the spirit of cold fall days. Just don’t go out thinking these are ready to be your full time winter gloves. I don’t see myself getting rid of my BarMitts anytime soon for those deep dark cold days.
You can grab a pair in Knitted Sweater (featured) or the classic 'Merica print at their website for $28.00
Well ladies and gentlemen, winter has descended on Boise. The general thought that Boise has mild winters has been shattered once again. In my mind, it's probably been 8-10 years since we had 6-10" of snow in the valley stick around for an extended period of time. With our fairly low elevation (2730), it's a treat for those of us that embrace winter. My love for the season has wavered in the past years, from snowmobiling, to skiing, to snowboarding, but snowbiking (fat biking) has given winter a new hope in my mind. Riding the wide tire bikes in loose snow gives a new sensation, similar to riding a stationary trainer at high resistance and low cadence. With a high of 23 degrees and the sun shining, we embarked on a 20+ mile adventure. Below are some images of the day, enjoy!
Keep an eye on Fat Bike Boise for local information throughout the season...
The city plows most of the greenbelt in town, but once you start venturing out of the city limits the paths become less maintained and add to the challenge of staying upright. I have found with a 2x10 setup on my Salsa Beargrease maintaining a 12-15 mph pace is a great workout on hard packed or groomed snow. Once you venture into foot packed snow the pace slows drastically and the effort level increases.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the holidays! -King Donger..."Getting Tater’d in Idaho"
Well the "Donger For Life" crew made the trip to Portland for the 10th installment of SSCXWC and it was a whirlwind riot of alcohol, mud, strippers, and single speeds. These are a few links that have Donger Bros. featured in them...I don't need to write much more because all of these photos speak for themselves!
Spend plenty of time admiring the madness that is single speed cyclocross, because it's a lifestyle not a trend or a fad, this is Donger! King Donger.