Marin Mountains 200K tire advice (summer conditions)

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Brian Volkoff

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Aug 5, 2018, 4:29:57 PM8/5/18
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For several years I've been planning to ride the Adventure Series, but one thing or another would get in the way.

I've read varying tire recommendations over the years.  In the past the 200K was later in the year though?, and would that make a difference on tire choice this time of year?

I have two road bikes (an old Diverge that maxes ~36mm with knobbies, a packed away Ritchey Break-Away CX that should do ~40mm) a hardtail 29er MTB that I could lock the fork on, and a couple recumbents.

I MTB a lot and not too concerned about riding road bikes in dirt as long as the tires are up to it.

Would tubed 36mm slightly knobby tires be a good choice this time of year (Challenge Gravel Grinders)?  Knobbies important at all, or tire volume?  Tubes and risk of pinch flats, just go slow and try to avoid, or tubeless?

Thanks, and hope to see you all next weekend.

Roy

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Aug 5, 2018, 4:40:00 PM8/5/18
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I've used 28mm Panaracer RIBMO's, and Continental Gatorskins. Not recommended. I've used Nanoraptors. Great choice. 40 mils. I'm considering using Challenge 31 mil tires. Not sure using that or the Nanoraptors. I've had a considerable amount of flat issues with the Nanoraptors. Do tires get "jinxed"? Do they get old and flat more often? Anyway, I think you might do best with the Diverge and Challenge tires. Or you could get some non-cursed Nanoraptors. Maybe they make a kosher version that might get you more luck. They grip and roll fast on the road. Both important aspects of the Marin Mountains ride since time is of the essence and an MTB bike isn't fast enough on the considerable amount of road on this course.

Roy.
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Roland Bevan

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Aug 5, 2018, 9:02:06 PM8/5/18
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Brian, I've completed the Old Cazadero 300k and attempted the Orr Springs 600k twice  (ran out of gas on the second day on my first attempt, wasn't in shape for Fish Rock Road the second time), and also completed Carlos' El Paseito Mixto and Los Cabos Sueltos 200k on my Carbent Raven recumbent. I use Vittoria Randonneur Pro II 32mm tires for mixed terrain rides - they are sturdy enough to bomb down the dirt and rocks on Fish Rock when you can't jump/bunny hop, good grip for 15%+ dirt and gravel climbs and fast enough on pavement to take advantage of recumbent aerodynamics, which is where you'll really put time in the bank for all that climbing. They also measured a little smaller than that 32mm suggests, even on 25mm HED Belgium+ rims, so I was able to fit them in my relatively narrow frame and fork. I've gotten no flats and the tires came through with remarkably little damage. Reflective sidewalls for the after-dark portions of the longer rides are nice too.

On my first attempt at Orr Springs I used Conti Grand Prix 4 Seasons 28s, and even though I got through the ride with no flats the sidewalls were nicked enough that I retired that set of tires afterwards. 
  -Roland

On Sun, Aug 5, 2018 at 1:39 PM, Roy <di...@kfjc.org> wrote:
I've used 28mm Panaracer RIBMO's, and Continental Gatorskins. Not recommended. I've used Nanoraptors. Great choice. 40 mils. I'm considering using Challenge 31 mil tires. Not sure using that or the Nanoraptors. I've had a considerable amount of flat issues with the Nanoraptors. Do tires get "jinxed"? Do they get old and flat more often? Anyway, I think you might do best with the Diverge and Challenge tires. Or you could get some non-cursed Nanoraptors. Maybe they make a kosher version that might get you more luck. They grip and roll fast on the road. Both important aspects of the Marin Mountains ride since time is of the essence and an MTB bike isn't fast enough on the considerable amount of road on this course.

Roy.

On 8/5/18 1:29 PM, Brian Volkoff wrote:
For several years I've been planning to ride the Adventure Series, but one thing or another would get in the way.

I've read varying tire recommendations over the years.  In the past the 200K was later in the year though?, and would that make a difference on tire choice this time of year?

I have two road bikes (an old Diverge that maxes ~36mm with knobbies, a packed away Ritchey Break-Away CX that should do ~40mm) a hardtail 29er MTB that I could lock the fork on, and a couple recumbents.

I MTB a lot and not too concerned about riding road bikes in dirt as long as the tires are up to it.

Would tubed 36mm slightly knobby tires be a good choice this time of year (Challenge Gravel Grinders)?  Knobbies important at all, or tire volume?  Tubes and risk of pinch flats, just go slow and try to avoid, or tubeless?

Thanks, and hope to see you all next weekend.
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Roland Bevan

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Aug 5, 2018, 9:05:07 PM8/5/18
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Haha, of course it looks like these may not be available anymore, but I believe I have a set in my NIB stash if you'd like to give them a try - 700x32.
  -Roland

Roland Bevan

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Aug 5, 2018, 9:10:22 PM8/5/18
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Oh, and I should add when I said they measured smaller I mean in width. They are definitely taller than the size suggests.
  -Roland

Koss, Brian R. (ARC-RE)

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Aug 5, 2018, 10:44:29 PM8/5/18
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I’ e Done MarinMountains twice on a hard tail mint bike. I used tires similar to the kenda happy mediums which are my tire of choice. If it is raining the tire choice would change.

Brian
________________________________________
From: Roy Ross [sten...@gmail.com] on behalf of Roy [di...@kfjc.org]
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2018 1:39 PM
To: sfra...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [SFRandon] Marin Mountains 200K tire advice (summer conditions)

I've used 28mm Panaracer RIBMO's, and Continental Gatorskins. Not recommended. I've used Nanoraptors. Great choice. 40 mils. I'm considering using Challenge 31 mil tires. Not sure using that or the Nanoraptors. I've had a considerable amount of flat issues with the Nanoraptors. Do tires get "jinxed"? Do they get old and flat more often? Anyway, I think you might do best with the Diverge and Challenge tires. Or you could get some non-cursed Nanoraptors. Maybe they make a kosher version that might get you more luck. They grip and roll fast on the road. Both important aspects of the Marin Mountains ride since time is of the essence and an MTB bike isn't fast enough on the considerable amount of road on this course.

Roy.

On 8/5/18 1:29 PM, Brian Volkoff wrote:
For several years I've been planning to ride the Adventure Series, but one thing or another would get in the way.

I've read varying tire recommendations over the years. In the past the 200K was later in the year though?, and would that make a difference on tire choice this time of year?

I have two road bikes (an old Diverge that maxes ~36mm with knobbies, a packed away Ritchey Break-Away CX that should do ~40mm) a hardtail 29er MTB that I could lock the fork on, and a couple recumbents.

I MTB a lot and not too concerned about riding road bikes in dirt as long as the tires are up to it.

Would tubed 36mm slightly knobby tires be a good choice this time of year (Challenge Gravel Grinders)? Knobbies important at all, or tire volume? Tubes and risk of pinch flats, just go slow and try to avoid, or tubeless?

Thanks, and hope to see you all next weekend.
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Massimiliano Poletto

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Aug 6, 2018, 3:25:54 AM8/6/18
to Brian Volkoff, SF Randonneurs
Right around 35mm is probably the right volume for Marin Mountains, considering the mix of dirt and pavement. The most difficult part is Pine Mountain / San Geronimo Road, steep and with big loose rocks, but the difficult sections are short enough that you could just walk them (I have, when riding 28s) and still do fine. Beware, however, tires with overly soft/supple sidewalls: the course has lots of sharp rocks.

max


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Greg Merritt

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Aug 6, 2018, 3:53:55 PM8/6/18
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I started MM one year with 700x40, modestly knobby, up front, and a 700x35 file tread out back....front tire's bead failed(!) while on pavement en route to Marshall, and I replaced with my spare 700x28 Pasela.

I thought I was going to be cursing the 700x28 road-ish tire on Vision and Bolinas Ridge, but it was fine. (What's not to like about Paselas?)

For a wetter running of the event, I put on Clement 700x33 MXP's, and, after the rock sections on Pine, I sailed right through the vast regions of mud thanks to my "skinny" tires sinking down to the hard stuff, while other wider-tired riders slid as they "floated" a bit more above the hard bottom, and had trouble advancing.

No one right answer -- but always an adventure!!

-Greg

C. Duque

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Aug 6, 2018, 5:10:52 PM8/6/18
to Greg Merritt, San Francisco Randonneurs
It seems  your off road skill are good, Since this is your first time in this route I would go with < 40mm (almost) slick tires; it is nice to be able to ride the off road sections fast without worrying to much about flats. I don't think a difference of up to 10mm in tire width, say 32mm to 40m  (assuming the same tire model/brand) makes much difference in speed on pavement and makes things more fun off road.  You may have to walk 1 or 2 short sections depending on trail conditions.

The grain of salt: I don't know much when it comes to tire brands/model and pick my tires based on thread/weigh/price. Have never used a gauge to measure my bike tires pressure; do all my biking, including road brevets in the same rigid/thumbshifters 26" MTB bicycle and do a fair amount of mixed terrain riding.

Carlos

Jesse

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Aug 7, 2018, 1:38:31 PM8/7/18
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I completed the course in summer conditions with 32mm Panaracer Paselas. There was some walking involved, but I think that it was better to walk in the Pine Mountain area than to try to ride anyway. More efficient. So one part of my answer is to run a 30-40mm road tire with walkable shoes, optimizing for speed on the road. And it should be a road tire with durable sidewalls!

If I were to attempt again, I would use a cyclocross tire designed for fast hardpack courses, like the Continental SpeedRide in 40mm. That would be a better choice for the Vision descent (more grip) and Bolinas Ridge (more volume for hitting roots and rocks at speed).

Caveat: I rarely pinch flat. If you pinch often, use a larger volume tire.

Jesse

Greg Merritt

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Aug 7, 2018, 1:53:28 PM8/7/18
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and Bolinas Ridge (more volume for hitting roots and rocks at speed).

 There were rocks & roots under the ponds that stretched the full width of the trail the last time I rode it?!? (Not summery conditions, lol...)

Fortunately my dynohub survived!!!

Yes...adventure series, indeed!!

-Greg

Roy Ross

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Aug 7, 2018, 2:08:33 PM8/7/18
to Greg Merritt, San Francisco Randonneurs
I remember that! Finished with a minute to spare!! It was raining hard by then and the puddles were so deep that my wheels sunk to the hubs. I was running 28 mil tires. I fell behind on the mud on Pine Mountain. Those tires sink deep in the mud. Yes, adventure indeed.

Roy.

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Brian Volkoff

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Aug 7, 2018, 10:37:28 PM8/7/18
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Thanks all!

I'll be riding the road bike for this one Roland.  I'll consider the recumbents for the longer rides, though should probably make an effort to pre-ride some of the dirt bits if I do so.

After all these comments I'm thinking I'll leave the Hutchinson Sector 32 tubeless tires I've been riding this past year.  I've taken them up and down Stagecoach and Clementine Trail in the confluence in Auburn with no signs of wear -- one ride there has killed the sidewalls on a few Conti 4000S 28 and 32mm tires over the years.  I'll experiment at home with how low they can be aired down w/o burping in the meantime.

froste....@gmail.com

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Aug 8, 2018, 12:00:58 AM8/8/18
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Come on people! wider is not slower! I will be dancing over Pine Mountain on Compass Switchback Hills 48mm tubeless.
I guess I have totally fallen in Jan Heine's trap but man, riding bikes on wide tires is so much fun!

Larry Sokolsky

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Aug 8, 2018, 12:43:24 AM8/8/18
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I agree, but unlike Jan, I like a little tread. I have some 650x47 Terrene Elwoods (tubeless) which are totally the bomb on the dirt and not bad on pavement. I rode 42 slicks on the Coe Monstercross and had two issues: 1) traction on steep climbs is not awesome unless the trail is a little tacky but not wet, and 2) they are a little sketchy and scary at the limit on fast downhills. the sketchiness can be mitigated somewhat by running low pressures (around 30 psi or so) but then they feel a bit squirmy on the pavement, and I hate adjusting tire pressure in the middle of a ride.
Larry

> On Aug 7, 2018, at 9:00 PM, froste....@gmail.com wrote:
>
> Come on people! wider is not slower! I will be dancing over Pine Mountain on Compass Switchback Hills 48mm tubeless.
> I guess I have totally fallen in Jan Heine's trap but man, riding bikes on wide tires is so much fun!
>
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Eric Walstad

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Aug 8, 2018, 8:50:58 AM8/8/18
to Froste Wiström, San Francisco Randonneurs
Standard or Extra-light casing?

Do you carry spare tubes on the ride? 

Thanks,

Eric



On Tue, Aug 7, 2018, 21:01 <froste....@gmail.com> wrote:
Come on people! wider is not slower! I will be dancing over Pine Mountain on Compass Switchback Hills 48mm tubeless.
I guess I have totally fallen in Jan Heine's trap but man, riding bikes on wide tires is so much fun!

Greg Merritt

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Aug 8, 2018, 1:58:45 PM8/8/18
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On Tue, Aug 7, 2018 at 9:01 PM <froste....@gmail.com> wrote:
Come on people! wider is not slower! I will be dancing over Pine Mountain on Compass Switchback Hills 48mm tubeless.

ONLY 48mm, and smooth?

EricM did Hopland 400k in about 18hours on ~2" knobby-ish tires....Level up, Froste!! 😂

By the way -- I now measure bike part price in terms of The Compass. For example, "I got my Sidis on clearance, they only cost me two Compass!!"

-Greg

Megan Arnold

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Aug 8, 2018, 2:08:50 PM8/8/18
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What's the difference between a well-dressed man on a bicycle and a poorly dressed one on a unicycle?


attire


- Megan

froste....@gmail.com

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Aug 9, 2018, 7:41:25 PM8/9/18
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I will be on the extralights, just installed a new pair, (need to set them up sans tubes tomorrow, 25psi fore and aft). I actually like them slightly squirmy. It is just so comfortable and if Jan is right fewer watts go to heating my body and more into propelling me forward. This route beats you up pretty bad. Comfort is key. 

Slicks are fine on this route as the descents on unpaved roads are limited (like all Adventure series routes). Go easy on the descents, hard on the climbs? 

Looking forward to see you all, its been a while!

Metin Uz

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Aug 9, 2018, 8:34:09 PM8/9/18
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Slicks are fine on this route as the descents on unpaved roads are limited (like all Adventure series routes). Go easy on the descents, hard on the climbs? 


Maybe true if you are really comfortable on dirt. The only time I rode this course my heart was beating faster while descending Sylvestris Fire Road and Inverness Ridge Trail compared to any climb. 

--Metin

Brian Volkoff

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Aug 12, 2018, 10:56:01 PM8/12/18
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I rode my 32mm slicks at 55psi and did fine, though I'll definitely ride something larger in the future.  While I kept the bike upright the whole time, I definitely had some pucker-inducing moments with no traction in the rear and accelerating downhill.

Paul S

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Oct 23, 2018, 1:41:51 PM10/23/18
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Bruce Gordon's Rock n Road in this string.

This tyre has been around for several years. I first rode it in about 2012, and with all the tyre manufacturers coming to market since then with tyres for mixed terrain riding, I've still not ridden anything that's nearly as good all-round as this one.

It's 43mm and weighs about 430g. I run mine with tubes because at the time I was weighing around 185-190lbs and thus had to run it around 45psi (to prevent pinch flats and rim damage). I was doing 80-90 mile rides from San Francisco, for example: head out on-road to China Camp, over the back to San Rafael, up to Gunsight, Dixon Ridge, Devil's Gulch, then up Bolinas Ridge, Tam, then back through Green Gulch, Miwok and Rodeo.

Although only 43mm, the tyre feels like a full-fledged mountain bike tyre, offering enough control to get me close to some Strava records on some descents - and that's with a full rigid bike. I can't descend nearly as fast on any other mixed-surface tyre I've ridden. More speed is the result of more control, and while not everybody is into bombing down hills, I've not yet met a dirt rider who is not interested in having more control at whatever speed on a descent. On the road it's fast enough to cruise at about 20mph on a flat stretch with no wind, and on good days I'd surprise some roadies by staying with them in a sprint. It's an amazing tyre.

Anybody who rides mixed surface, has not yet tried this tyre, and can fit a 43mm tyre into their bike, owes it to themselves to try it out. Bruce is still selling them. My only complaint is the center ridge wears out too quickly. But for the all-round quality of the ride, that is not a deterrent.

Irving

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Jun 6, 2022, 12:11:40 PMJun 6
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Bumping an old thread for the upcoming Marin Mountains 200K on 6/18/2022.

Was doing some different training rides the past two months to test ride portions of the MM200K route with 27.5x2.1 Schwalbe Thunderburt tires. While it was comfortable descending some of the chunkier sections, I still found that my skill level didn't allow me to continue riding on the chunkiest sections of Pine Mountain Road. Also per some of the recommendations above, I needed some new cycling shoes and chose a shoe with a comfortable Vibram sole that made for easier hike-a-bike-ability.

This past weekend, I swapped down to 650b x 42mm IRC Boken Plus tires which have a smoother tread and got out for a test ride on the dirt section of Mount Vision.

Curious to hear about other people's setups!

-Irving

Doug Williams

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Jun 6, 2022, 12:21:55 PMJun 6
to Irving Pham, San Francisco Randonneurs
I'm really stoked on these Pirelli Cinturato M 700x40 tires I got at Luckyduck in Oakland. They have fairly aggressive knobs for a "gravel" tires, are well spaced to clear mud, but still are dead silent on smooth pavement.  They've held up really well so far too, no flats so far (running tubeless with cushcores)


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Greg Merritt

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Jun 6, 2022, 12:22:40 PMJun 6
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On Mon, Jun 6, 2022 at 9:11 AM Irving <irvin...@gmail.com> wrote:
 
I still found that my skill level didn't allow me to continue riding on the chunkiest sections of Pine Mountain Road. 

This is the rubber I'd recommend for the chunkiest sections of the Pine Mountain Road:

image.png

 -Greg

Dan P

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Jun 6, 2022, 12:34:22 PMJun 6
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Last year I rode on GravelKing 650Bx42 slicks and thought it worked very well for the mix of terrain. I think I survived Pine Mtn without having to walk much (though my phone decided to make a break for it and leapt out of my bag).

I also used flat pedals (ISSI Thump) and minimal running shoes (Xero Prio) for all of the Adventure Series rides last year. 

-Dan P

Larry Sokolsky

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Jun 6, 2022, 1:48:46 PMJun 6
to pan...@gmail.com, San Francisco Randonneurs
Likely you will have to walk the roughest parts of pine mountain even with the chunkiest rubber. I’d optimize for the rest of the ride. 700x40 or 42 with not a lot of knobs would be my choice.  650x42 would be ok too. 

On Jun 6, 2022, at 9:34 AM, Dan P <pan...@gmail.com> wrote:

Last year I rode on GravelKing 650Bx42 slicks and thought it worked very well for the mix of terrain. I think I survived Pine Mtn without having to walk much (though my phone decided to make a break for it and leapt out of my bag).
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Br!an V

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Jun 6, 2022, 8:45:27 PMJun 6
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I'll be back again for this years ride -- I haven't ridden it since I created the thread in 2018.

This time I'll be riding GravelKing+ 35mm tubeless slicks (~38mm on my wheels) instead of the tubed 32mm's I apparently rode last time.

The only portion I walked in 2018 was Pine Mountain (I recall Robert Sexton pedaling past on a Lefty-equipped Cannondale), though I'm looking at a pic of Roy and Sourav walking behind me and I dunno why we weren't riding that bit as well.

Anyways, looking forward to this years ride.

-Brian V
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