#adventuremobile photo by @ianaveryleaf! #poler #polerstuff #campvibes @polerportland by polerstuff
Factory Visit to NITTO.Production process of Track Keirin Handlebar.
Source : Ryota Kemmochi
We said we would return with the gear choice of The Marin Mountains 200k brevet last weekend. Knowing what San Francisco Randonneurs informed us about in the last post, we opted for exactly that and a bit more. The Full Nuke Peacock AWOL Transcontinental was the bike of choise and it turned out to be a good one. This was acctually the roughest and gnarliest terrain we’ve done with the AWOL (even rougher than The Oregon Outback) but it performed at it’s highest. Giving us a fast rando bike on the long paved stretches and a potent off road bike on the gravel.
The 45C slick and fast Fatboy tires gave a lot of confidence on the gnarly gravel and mud sections. Together with the Shimano hydraulic brakes we had enough stopping power to go all in on the rough downhill sections of Mt Tam. These brakes and levers are something out of this world. The perfection in actuation and tactile feedback enables you to really max out on the descents and leave your fellow Randonneurs with Canti brakes in the dust. There is so much confidence with these brakes. It makes a good combo with the Shimano Alfine 11 Di2 internal gear hub. It might seem a bit overkill and we agree. Alfine also has its own more affordable Di2 shifters but you’ll miss out on the hydraulics.
The Gates Center-track belt drive is set up with 46 x 28 and with the right tension on the AWOL Swinger drop outs, this set up really is one of your best friends in harsh conditions. No sound, no grease and no maintenance. Bomb Proof.
San Francisco Randonneurs provides both a buffet of GPS files and analog cue sheets. Most GPS’s won’t last even the shortest brevet ride, especially if it’s an older one. Our GPS is powered via the Supernova USB plug sitting on the stem. A cool feature that can save Your ass on the long haul but also a vulnerable one on a course with a lot of steep and long climbs like this one. The Plug will only provide power over a certain speed (approx. 14-16 km/h) and unless You’re Contador, it won’t help you. A small battery pack could be a better solution and such one can also provide energy to your smart phone as an extra navigation back-up. If you do dynamo powered lights, the lamps needs all the power so the Plug is worthless during the dark hours anyway. Navigation is like camping. Always bring more than one source of fire. If your matches are wet, there will be no camp fire.
Riding the first hour and a half in darkness requires a good light source. Randonneurs will not accept just any small blinky light. You must show that your lights will last and keep you safe the whole ride and on all the longer distances there is a bike and safety gear check from the organizers before start. Safety gear includes reflecting wrist bands and a reflective vest. This ride didn’t have the bike check. Blinking rear lights are not allowed, it would drive your fellow riders nuts. Team AWOL use Supernova front and rear lights powered by a dynamo hub that also provides power to the Plug when the lights aren’t on.
We were actually set up with 3 bottle cages but one fell of from the shaking about half way. Luckily the checkpoints of the route were at stores and delis so water access was easy which is not always the case. Planing both water and food intake is a crucial part of being a good Randonneur. On a “short” distance like 200k it doesn’t have to be perfect but heading for the 300, 400 and 600 kilometers of the Super Randonneur title, a bit more effort needs to go into a strategy of eating and staying hydrated.
We will continue to do posts about Randonneuring. Doe’s, Dont’s and gear selection. Team AWOL will do another full Super Randonneur title in the spring.