Tuesday, May 30, 2017
The route for Sunday is confirmed, after a recon drive out to Dusty country last night. Same as last year. Here's the map.
We'll have cue sheets to hand out. The GPX file is here. It's from a few years ago when the start was at Victoria Settlement, but the route is the same.
The meeting/starting point is the small parking lot beside the monument with three flags, about one km east of the Metis Crossing campground.
This year's Dusty 100 looks to be especially challenging. The gravel is fresh, soft, and deep in places, especially on the first half of the route. It's going to be a grind. I would not attempt this ride on tires less than 32 mm wide, and even that could be pushing it. (In fact, you could quite literally end up pushing your bike for stretches.)
Have a look at the route and scope out a back up plan for if you have to bail. There are a few obvious places where you can cut the ride short.
Oh, and the Dustometer is off the charts. I'll be packing the dust cover for my bugle.
Friday, May 26, 2017
Tim Moore is a funny guy, a talented writer, and the author of three popular cycle-travel books. His first, French Revolutions (2001), recounts Moore’s hilarious attempt to ride—with virtually no training—the route of the 2000 Tour de France. I loved that book’s very British brand of eloquent profanity, self-deprecating humor, and (also very British) anti-French satire, as well as its entertaining tidbits of Tour de France history and mythology. That formula worked so well that Moore went on to apply it to the second-most-famous grand tour, the Giro d’Italia, and the result is his thoroughly entertaining Gironimo! Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy (2014). (No, Moore’s third cycling book is not about the Vuelta. It’s called The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold: Adventures Along the Iron Curtain, and I have to admit I haven’t read it.)
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
There are a lot of hard things in cycling. Hardmen race the classics, mountain bikers ride hardtails and are hardcore (or not), and roadies prefer hard tires. We go hard and then bonk hard, and in a velodrome, the shouts from coaches of “Hard! Hard! Hard!” are common. So, last year, when I read in the fine print that the Dusty 107 was also hard, I didn’t give it the thought or respect I should have. I stuck the widest tires I own--35c knobbly cyclocross tubs--on my steel road machine, packed a towel, and was off.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Over the Easter weekend in late March of 1913, the thirty-five-year-old English writer and naturalist Edward Thomas rode his bicycle west from South London to the Quantock Hills in Somerset. The 130-mile trip was a pilgrimage, both seasonal and literary, his destination the place where spring traditionally comes first and, more specficially, Nether Stowey, where, in the late 1790s, the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge had written some of his most famous poems.
Thomas is best known now as a poet himself and for being one of a handful of accomplished British poets who died in World War I. But in 1913, Thomas was a prose writer, a literary critic and author of more than half a dozen books about English country life. It was only after publishing In Pursuit of Spring that Thomas re-invented himself as poet. During the next four years, up until his death at the Battle of Arras in March, 1917, Thomas produced an impressive and influential body of verse.