The cloud has been fraught with bike love OCD over tomorrow's Orleans 70, although that was never the intention. The original seed was a good, long, steady road training ride, specifically on *road* bikes and not necessarily one of our sloppy, meandering junkets. I laid the course out based on some interesting looking roads and even borrowed a bit from Puddle's Journey to Orleans, from kybikerides.org. I found our course and that one to be similar upon later inspection. So a road ride we had. The forecast, though, has vexed us a bit. A cold front and rain is coming through tonight and may- or may not- linger tomorrow morning. Several of us have more than one bike and I personally would rather drag the fendered "mud" bike through the junk over the shiny new bike with the really expensive Campy cassette. So now a decision ensues. Further muddying the waters is a hunch and some closer inspection of some of our route. While googlestreetview can't help us, I have the distinct impression that we'll be hitting some gravel along the way. We like out-of-the-way roads, and in rural IN those are often gravel. I guess I wasn't thinking, "more major roads, appropriate for 25s, we're not Rapha Continental with a sag van". A "tizzy" may be a bit strong, but I for one am vexed. Apertome is definitely unsure- pretty, blue fast bike or "dog" LHT (his words). Barturtle is thinking "which tires?" or for that matter, "which sized wheels, 26" or 700c?" and PJ is brooding over 33s, 38s or 42s. FatGuy is best placed, as Dammit, he's riding his Schwalbes whatever they are in whatever conditions there may be.
Ultimately, I'm going to be happy b/c my two 700c distance rigs are rolling really nicely for me and I can't go wrong. I like the compact double gearing and sprightliness of the IF, but the stability, fenders, and luggage of the Blueridge do me well too. Under different circumstances, these seems to be a perfect ride for the 650b Bleriot, but compared to the others, it's not in the same sentence any more (well, except for here in this paragraph). BR it's going to be, but a fall project might have to be some nice fenders for the IF. It's time.
But isn't that what muck bikes are for?
1.1 I had a further spat of bike decision angst last night after choosing the BR over the front wheel. I'm rolling a very nice SON front hub. I also have a standard front hub wheel I can use as a back-up in place of the generator hub. Quandry: which to use? It's sort of annoying to take off the generator hub, but not that difficult. BUT the standard wheel has a Kenda small-block 8 on it, which proved for me to be a fast comfy tire, but a delicate one. And there's no need to push small knobbies for 70m for a bit of gravel. And the Pasela 35c may not fit under the front fender. Get my drift? Keep the SON. It's not featherweight carbon.
1.2 It's 6.40 and I should be getting ready. The rain seemed to have gone to the south of Orleans and Louisville both, so I think we'll get dry conditions. Considering the gravel possibilities, I'm still pleased with the BR. Now it's whether the legs do the trick.