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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Where did you ride today, gravel grind edition

    Okay I could have posted it in the where did you ride thread, but I felt like starting a new one.

    I would love to ride some beautiful new england country roads this fall. I am picturing oak lined laneways with a stone wall on one side and two hardpacked dirt ribbons running on into the distance.

    Up here the gravel is different.



    There are unmaintained mountain roads. Almost more suitable for mountain bikes... but if I swing my leg over my mountain bike I am riding single track. I was looking for something different, so I built this gravel grinder to fit 29x2.0 tires. The build will change a lot when it is done, it's a work in progress. Still needs some torch time to reconfigure the braze-ons... anyway I did a 3.5 hour ride of about 46kms, mostly off pavement with over 3000 feet of climbing. Fall has arrived in the alpine, it's a bumper crop year for wild cranberries.





    After some pretty grueling climbing I had to go down a pretty brutal eroded boulder strewn descent that beat the hell out of my wrists and kidneys... will be better when I set things up tubeless. Luckily the second part of the descent was a maintained gravel road and really fun and fast cruise back out.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  2. #2
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    Looks like you have an excellent combo of scenery and challenging off road riding.

    I'd love try riding there someday, but I would be mighty tempted to bring my fly rod along.

    Nothing quite as exciting here for rides this weekend, as we barely had time on Saturday to do 28 miles in the Mississippi river bottoms.

  3. #3
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    Excellent thread! Glad to see a gravel variant of the venerable Where'd You Ride Today thread.

    This past Saturday was the second annual Kearsarge Klassic, a dirt road randonnee-style ride in the spirit of the now infamous and large D2R2. Like D2R2, Kearsarge is a hilly ride with lots of century old carriage trails that have been preserved in their unpaved state. And like D2R2, the ride starts about 1.5 hrs from Boston, so it attracts a lot of the same folks from Boston and New England as D2R2. Lastly, registration fees go to the AUsob-Sargent land trust, so proceeds are going to preserving the rural character of the region. Several routes are offered, and all roughly follow the perimeter of Mt. Kearsarge, in southern NH. I chose the "intermediate" circuit, of 60 miles and about 4700 feet of elevation gain, with grades up to 17%. I drove up there alone expecting to ride the course solo and take a lot of photos, but ran into a friend at the start, and he and I along with another friend of his ended up riding the circuit together, with very little stopping. So, not a lot of photos. I also arranged to meet Pastor Bob at the start. Bob lives just 5 minutes away, and I was delivering an 8-speed cassette he bought from me. He wasn't doing the ride, but it was nice to meet up with him and chat. He's very lucky to live in such a beautiful area!

    Anyway, on to the few photos I took.

    Check-in at the New London Historical Society barn:


    First rest-stop, about 20-something miles into the ride, and at the top of a serious climb ("Burnt Hill Rd"). Last year I almost had to walk this climb simply because of the grade, but I managed without loosing traction on Hetres. This year the town had just laid fresh unpacked dirt, and it was soft, with wheels sinking several inches in. The only riders who made it up were on cross bikes or mtn bikes with knobby tires. The Hetres simply didn't have enough bite, so I walked a few hundred feet (which was hard because my feet kept sinking into the dirt!). It was funny and surreal hearing everyone unclip at the same point on the hill as they realized they couldn't make it.


    This is about what the dirt consistency was like for most of the ride... some roads were smoother, some rougher with plumb-sized rocks, some were really wash-boarded which made high speed descents harrowing.


    This was about 50 miles in, not far from the end.


    The weather was perfect, started out in the low 50s and reached the low 70s by afternoon. This was the second dirt road excursion on my new Rawland Stag, and the bike feels great on these roads, a capable and comfortable bike. The only issue I had was pretty moderate to severe shimmy... seems like I'm going to have to swap out my headset for a roller bearing headset.
    Last edited by southpawboston; 09-09-13 at 01:37 PM.

  4. #4
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Gravel? I wish! I rode on some sand roads down in the Pinelands of NJ on Saturday:





    on my 1954 Alvin Drysdale:


  5. #5
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Gravel grinding? That would be my driveway. It's a grueling 0.4 mile stretch of mountain track with one climb in excess of 20%, sustained for at least 90 yards. Depending on which bike I'm on, I sometimes have to get off and walk that part.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
    Gravel grinding? That would be my driveway. It's a grueling 0.4 mile stretch of mountain track with one climb in excess of 20%, sustained for at least 90 yards. Depending on which bike I'm on, I sometimes have to get off and walk that part.
    beautiful... I'll be back one day. Used to live just across the straight from you good sir and have toured in your land a few times. Some great riding over there.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  7. #7
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Yesterday's gravel grinder was fast & fun, see: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/372701502

    The Des Plaines River Tail runs from near O'hare airport to the Wisconsin border.

    http://www.lcfpd.org/docs/map_22079.pdf



















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  8. #8
    Senior Member shoota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Yesterday's gravel grinder was fast & fun, see: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/372701502

    The Des Plaines River Tail runs from near O'hare airport to the Wisconsin border.

    http://www.lcfpd.org/docs/map_22079.pdf
    Dang man 16.5 for 32 miles on gravel is damn impressive.
    2005 Cannondale six13 10s SRAM

  9. #9
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    I got strava for my phone, but haven't been using it to it's fullest... here is my ride from post 1

    http://www.strava.com/activities/80845809

    road over a mountain.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  10. #10
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Yesterday's gravel grinder was fast & fun, see: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/372701502

    The Des Plaines River Tail runs from near O'hare airport to the Wisconsin border.
    That looks fantastic!
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  11. #11
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    I had a mini riding vacation in august.


    Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr


    Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr

    and cyclotoine, your bike is amazing and the backdrop, wow. Must be riding paradise with that scenery.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
    I had a mini riding vacation in august.

    and cyclotoine, your bike is amazing and the backdrop, wow. Must be riding paradise with that scenery.
    That's some pretty nice country too. It can be nice here, but I had to climb over 3000 feet to get it. The mountain biking here is where it's at. The paved roads are generally valley bottom and not great. Road riding here is the pits so I am trying to explore the gravel options.
    Last edited by cyclotoine; 09-09-13 at 01:36 PM.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member neo_pop_71's Avatar
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    Beautiful scenery, very inspiring! Makes this desk and computer seem the pits!!! Time to find some gravel in 3 hours and 29 minutes!

    Thank you for sharing,

    -D-
    I'd rather add more life to my years, than years to my life.

  14. #14
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
    I got strava for my phone, but haven't been using it to it's fullest... here is my ride from post 1

    http://www.strava.com/activities/80845809

    road over a mountain.
    That's pretty intense, 3,500 feet elevation gain in 28 miles! That's the kind of riding I do in the Catskills. This past Saturday's NH ride wasn't as intense, but still had 4,700 feet in 60 miles:

    http://www.strava.com/activities/80773473

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