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Nov 2, 2021

In this week's In the Dirt, Randall and Craig take a look at gravel handlebar trends, new bags from Post Carry Co, Craig's new strength training with EverAthlete, a new Bay Area bikepacking route and tease an ongoing discussion of social media and cycling in The Ridership.

Bay Area Triple Bypass Route

Post Carry Bags

Whisky Spano Bar

Support the Podcast

Join The Ridership


Automated transcription, please excuse the typos and errors:


[00:00:00] Craig Dalton: Hello and welcome to the gravel ride podcast. I'm your host Craig Dalton. I'll be joined shortly by my co-host randall jacobs for another episode of in the dirt .

[00:00:12] This episode is brought to you by our friends at thesis bike. Yes. That indeed is Randall's company thesis. Randall donates his time to the gravel ride podcast in the dirt series, out of an abundance of passion for the sport. But he also runs a company called thesis, as you know, is the maker of the OB one bicycle.

[00:00:33] That is actually the bicycle that I ride. If you follow me on social media, you may see my custom painted pink. Thesis, OB one. I affectionately refer to as Mr. Pinky. Anyway, I wanted to give you an update. Thesis has some bikes back in stock. 

[00:00:50] As I mentioned a few weeks ago, they've got some of those SRAM rival access grupos in stock. So they've got bikes ready to go, but more importantly, they've just, re-introduced their bring a friend referral program. That'll get you $500 off an OB one. When you purchase a bike with a friend. Or if you have a friend that has a thesis. 

[00:01:13] You can hit them up for a $500 discount. So coordinate with the team over a thesis. If you have any questions, you can email 

[00:01:23] Or check them out, they offer free one-on-one consultations, which is a great way to see if a thesis. It will be. One is the right bike for you. 

[00:01:33] With that said, let me grab Randall and let's jump into in the dirt. 

[00:01:37] Craig: Hey Randall, how you doing today?

[00:01:39] Randall: I'm doing well, Craig, how are you? My friend. 

[00:01:42] Craig: I'm good. I literally just got done recording the pre-roll. 

[00:01:47] Talking about.

[00:01:47] thesis, your company's new refer a friend program, which I thought was cool. 

[00:01:52] Let I let the listeners know about that, and I appreciate your efforts as a cohost of in the dirt, but separately, when you wear your thesis bike company, hat. I do appreciate the time to time financial support you provide the podcast. Because it really is the type of thing that keeps the balls rolling around here.

[00:02:10] Randall: For sure. Yeah. In our bring your friend program is actually something we did before and had to pull when supply chains went sideways. And now that we have bikes in stock, we'd much rather reward the community rather than. You know, paying Bookface or some ad network to, to reach people. So it's nice to be able to reward those who help spread the word. And then obviously, you know, with what you do, it's been very aligned from the beginning. So thanks for the opportunity to work with you. 

[00:02:35] Craig: Yeah.

[00:02:35] absolutely appreciate it. Yeah. It's so ridiculous that there was like 15 months or more in there where bike companies just didn't bother advertising or promoting themselves because it was so ridiculously hard product into consumer's hands. 

[00:02:50] Randall: Yeah, there's really no point in trying to sell something you don't have. And don't don't know when you'll have it again. That seems to be. That seems to be a phenomenon that's going to continue well into the future for awhile. From what 

[00:03:03] Craig: Yeah. I mean, not to bring sort of macroeconomic trends in here, but I was just, just listening to someone talk about how in Apple's earnings call. There is some suggestion that. Supply chains are improving. They have not improved entirely, but that they are. Improving and that in the grand scheme of things, this will be a temporary blip, but temporary could mean two years. 

[00:03:26] Randall: Yeah. Yeah. In their case, they're dealing with chips too, which I'm getting a new chip Foundry online is a multi-year $10 billion project. So fortunately we don't have that in the bike industry. We're pretty, pretty low on the technology front, even with our. Wireless shifting, which, how did that take so long to come come about? 

[00:03:46] Craig: How are you doing otherwise? Is the weather starting to change on the east coast for you?

[00:03:49] Randall: We've had some beautiful days past several days. We had a nor'easter coming through. So I did steal away for a trail run between, between rains in the should have some good weather on the weekend and otherwise loving being with family here in Boston, it's a very different lifestyle than the one I was living in the bay area. 

[00:04:06] And it's a very much aligned with where I'm at. Yeah. 

[00:04:09] Craig: We get, we got absolutely hammered out here by that rainstorm in Moran. I think we had the highest rain count in Anywhere in California.

[00:04:17] that weekend. I think we got on Tam and there's 12 inches of rain. So it was, it was literally coming out of every pore of The mountain. There were new streams and waterfalls being, being created. 

[00:04:29] I mean, God knows we needed the water.

[00:04:31] and is so nice. I wrote up the mountain for Dawn patrol on a Wednesday and Just to see a little water.

[00:04:36] in places where it has been devoid. Void because of the drought was, was nice. 

[00:04:42] Randall: When I did see your, your conversation or the conversation you chimed in on in, on, on the ridership about you know, opening up a new you know, gullies and things like this in the trails. So hopefully they're relatively intact.

[00:04:55] Craig: Yeah, that was fun. I mean, that's one of those things that you and I have always like thought and hoped would happen in the ridership. Just this idea that a writer could pop a message into the forum and say, Hey, we just got this huge rainstorm. How, how are the trails looking? Is it rideable or is it too. 

[00:05:11] As it a sloppy mess.

[00:05:13] Randall: Yeah, it's pretty neat. 

[00:05:14] Craig: The 

[00:05:14] Randall: been training quite a bit lately, right? 

[00:05:16] Craig: Yeah.

[00:05:16] You know, I was going to say The other good. 

[00:05:17] thing about the rain and not being, Wanting to ride my bike outside.

[00:05:22] lately, as I have.

[00:05:23] committed to a strength training program.

[00:05:25] It's one of those things as I've nagged about my back on the podcast. Many months ago. 

[00:05:31] That I've actually implemented a little bit of a plan And I've been.

[00:05:35] working via a company called ever athlete. And I became aware of them. 

[00:05:41] As one of the founder is Kate Courtney's strength and conditioning coach, Kate Courtney being a former world champion mountain Biker.

[00:05:49] who comes from This area.

[00:05:51] And what, what appealed to me most about. The ever athlete program was that they have a run specific program, a cycling specific program, and then basic conditioning. 

[00:06:03] after chatting with them,

[00:06:04] a little bit online. And I had a phone call with them just as a general consumer. You know, it was advised that I start with beginner strength training. 

[00:06:12] And Totally.

[00:06:14] spot on if I started anything beyond beginner. I would have been absolutely destroyed. And frankly, like some of the exercises. Do you have me sore in places that are not used to being sore? 

[00:06:26] Randall: So if somebody were to ask you, do you even lift bro? The answer would be not quite yet. I'm doing the beginner stuff first. 

[00:06:34] Craig: Yeah. 

[00:06:35] Exactly. Like I don't have tank tops yet and a special weightlifting gear and gloves that I'm using, But I have.

[00:06:42] I'm on weak. I'm proud of myself.

[00:06:43] I just completed week four of an eight week, week block. 

[00:06:47] Just getting my body's too. Basic strength training. I'm using a TRX, some elastic bands. 

[00:06:54] And just a few basic weights. That's not a exorbitant setup, I'm just doing it. And, you know, eight by eight area of My garage.

[00:07:02] every other day. 

[00:07:04] Randall: That's great. Yeah, I've. I've gotten on a reasonably regular routine with a pair of 50 pound power blocks, adjustable dumbbells, which I'm a big fan of I've tried a few different types of adjustable dumbbells and these are the best have had. And just like doing a basic routine with not a crazy amount of weight and then adding some chin ups and AB work and so on squats and stuff like that, with that together with running and stretching, and I'll probably be adding yoga. 

[00:07:30] As the winter progresses and I can't get outside so much. 

[00:07:33] Craig: Yeah, you'll have to put a note in the show notes for me on that one. I'd be interested. Cause I know in ever athletes list of things that I may need. That type of wait setup is, will come into play at some point. 

[00:07:45] Randall: Got it. Yeah. They don't, they don't pay us, but I can definitely endorse the power block sport. And it's totally sufficient for me, even at 50 pounds, because anything that I do with more than 50 pounds, I probably shouldn't be doing anyways. I don't need it. 

[00:07:57] Craig: Yeah, I mean, good God Right now.

[00:07:58] Randall, I'm basically doing almost exclusively body weight exercises. 

[00:08:03] 50 pounds seems a long way away from where my current strength training is at. 

[00:08:08] Randall: Oh, you can get a whole lot of resistance with just body weight too. So there's no need to buy too much expensive gear, but yeah, these are a good one.

[00:08:15] Craig: Yeah.

[00:08:16] totally. I mean, I think I'll walk away from this, knowing that just even, even strictly a body weight program would be hugely beneficial. 

[00:08:23] Randall: Yeah, I think so. I'm curious to hear how your back is feeling in a couple of months. 

[00:08:28] Craig: Yeah, for sure.

[00:08:28] So I've got an a, as I said, I've got another month on basic, and then I think I'll just carry over into their cycling, their first cycling Specific program.

[00:08:36] And I've been chatting with them.

[00:08:37] and I think I'll have them on the pod so we can get just a deeper dive into. 

[00:08:42] Not just Their program.

[00:08:43] but just strength training specifically, and the, and the value for cyclists to take a break and do something different. 

[00:08:51] Randall: I remember hearing a quote somewhere that the biggest problem with cyclists in their training program is that they only ride their bikes. 

[00:08:59] Craig: A hundred percent.

[00:09:00] It's funny. You mentioned that because another guest I've got coming up is a pretty world renowned. Bike fitter, but he from the UK, but he wrote a book called the midlife cyclist. 

[00:09:10] And I'm going to dig into it with him, but yeah, one of the key takeaways is as an average, enthusiastic and passionate, enthusiastic cyclist. 

[00:09:19] we're probably riding more and closer to our, not more by volume, but closer to our threshold than professional cyclists do because We go out there.

[00:09:28] and we hammer, you know, we're just feeling like we're out there for a good time. 

[00:09:31] And the best thing you could do is probably. Lose a workout or two on the bike and change it into some strength training or something. That's you know, testing different parts of your body. 

[00:09:41] Randall: Yeah, I look forward to that episode. That'll be a good one. 

[00:09:44] Craig: Yeah.

[00:09:45] I'm super excited about it. I mean, I've just been thinking about it. In light of my own winter and what I want to achieve and how I want to set myself up for success next year. And success for me just means into being healthy and strong enough to tackle. You know, a big event or two here or there and not have it totally destroyed me. 

[00:10:03] Randall: Yeah. And I think that for some of us do I, I ended up talking to a lot of athletes who are. You know, or later in years, and just being able to know that you can, you have some control over your ability to ride well into old age and maintained flexibility and bone density and injury prevention and all these other things is you know, it's, it's it's a good resource for folks to have to, to know how to, how to approach that.

[00:10:28] Craig: Yeah, totally. I've.

[00:10:28] got another great episode that I'm recording actually immediately after this with Brian McCulloch. Ah, 

[00:10:33] Former pro road racer, former BWR winner, and most recently just won. I think it was The masters category.

[00:10:40] of mountain bike nationals. 

[00:10:41] So Awesome guys.

[00:10:42] super enthusiastic. And one of the things he was telling me in his coaching practice.

[00:10:47] was that, you know, he coaches plenty of athletes whose goal is I want to complete the event and then be totally Pepe for the beer garden afterwards.

[00:10:57] And he's 

[00:10:57] I'm Totally down with it. No one wants to just barely crawl across the finish line And then have to go to their car.

[00:11:04] to take a nap, especially in these gravel events. We want to finish, we want to commune with our fellow participants and, you know, I think that's a. Admirable goal for anyone to not only cross the finish line, but be able to. Party Hardy as the kids say. 

[00:11:20] Randall: Yeah. It's you know, you have the combination of having endured something with, with other people and then getting to connect like the, the vehicle for connection elements shines out of that, that statement there, which is certainly why I ride. 

[00:11:33] Craig: Yeah, totally. And speaking of events I know I did a recap episode of Water, but I thought we chat about that a little bit since it's something you've participated in, in years past.

[00:11:42] Randall: number of times. Yeah, this is actually the first year, the first time in years that I didn't go. It, I just reading the reporting. It seems like the. You know, the new stuff was relatively sparse. There's a couple of things that you and I want to, to jump into in future episodes with the new BMC. 

[00:11:58] Headshot, they're not calling it a headshot, but it's, it looks like a head shock and surrounds new flight, attendants, suspension, and so on. So that'll be fun to dive into, but I'm curious, what else did you see that was compelling? 

[00:12:09] Craig: Yeah. You know, I mean, it's first off for those of you who don't know, it's quite the festival. I mean, you've got everything from downhill and Duro, gravel cross-country road racing. 

[00:12:20] While I find it.

[00:12:21] a bit overwhelming, the sheer number of cyclists and people that are there. At Laguna Seca. It is fun to see someone in spandex and a pro road kit. Riding through the pits next to you, a downhill kid with his full face helmet, shoved back on his head with a neck brace.

[00:12:39] Randall: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. 

[00:12:41] Craig: You know, from a, from a product perspective and manufacturer perspective. The number of booths was down. I mean, it still was quite a Hardy show, but I would say. You know, with the absence of the international. 

[00:12:54] Manufacturers.

[00:12:55] coming is probably like 40%, less sheer booths. So it made it more manageable. Whereas now the last time they held it in person. 

[00:13:03] I felt like covering it in one day was just too much. Like I really needed about a day and a half or a day and three quarters to get around.

[00:13:12] and make sure I poked my head in every booth That was out there.

[00:13:15] this year was a little bit more manageable. I think in three quarters of a day, I had cruised around and seen everything I wanted to see. 

[00:13:22] Randall: Cool. Cool. And you only spent the one day. Yeah. 

[00:13:25] Craig: Yeah.

[00:13:25] I just did a day trip which I think. Made me like it a little bit more. I mean, I think the last time we were down there, It was just such a cluster AF to, you know, get in and out of there with your car and you were parked so far away. So I found that this fit where I was at this this year.

[00:13:42] Randall: Yeah we had a booth last time too. So we had all of that setting up and tearing down and so on. But yeah, hopefully by next year, it's it would make sense for me to get out there again, cause I've always enjoyed that. It's actually the only, the only time I've ever lined up at a race with like international. 

[00:14:00] Racers. 

[00:14:01] You know, just cause they you know, even if you were a low, a low level, regional domestic pro, you could line up in the, the UCI cross-country race. So you're not necessarily racing the same race, but burry stander was there and Christoph saucer was there and it was just like my moment of oh wow. 

[00:14:16] You know, getting to. Line up. 15 rows behind them. 

[00:14:20] Craig: You're like, I'm going to stay on their wheel and 50 meters. And you're like, I'm not going to stay on their wheel.

[00:14:24] Randall: Oh, they, they started 20 seconds before I did. By the time everyone's actually rolling. So there's, there's no staying on any wheels regardless. 

[00:14:32] Craig: That's all. It's the funniest thing. When I'm at these big events, when they, they shoot off the starting gun and you're far enough back that nothing happens. There's no movement. 

[00:14:41] Randall: Yeah, the slinky effect. 

[00:14:43] Craig: Yeah.

[00:14:44] But there have been, you know, there's been some cool stuff dropping lately that I think we should talk about. You 

[00:14:49] know, I think. We should jump in a little bit into the handlebars that have been coming out because I know. In talking to you. You had a particular design in mind that you. 

[00:15:01] thought was what you would design. If you. 

[00:15:04] were going to design a Handlebar.

[00:15:05] from the ground up, and then lo and behold, someone came out with one that was pretty darn close to what you described. 

[00:15:11] Randall: Yeah. So I've called out this Aero Jaya. I think it's called my three T a number of times. And this was the closest thing to what I would design that I had seen. But whiskey just came out with a bar called the Spano. Or Spanno however they want to accentuate that a and pretty much everything about this is the way that I would design a bar. 

[00:15:30] There's a few things I would do subtly differently and I can definitely share that. But You know, it's 12 degrees at the hoods and 20 degrees to the drops and it's a compound flare. And so you don't have to have the same flare. At the hoods and in the drops, because a lot of the leavers these days have some flare built in anyways. I would probably go with a little bit less flare with the hoods to give it a little more roadie position, maybe eight degrees, but still. 

[00:15:53] For, you know, this is well done. It's a flat top design there. It looks like they've had some engineered flex. Built into, you know, what I would call like the wings of the bar so that you get some vertical flex. From the bar, which could help to, you know, negate the need for something as substantial as like a suspension stem. 

[00:16:12] I think that these compliance structures are our real opportunity to add. Compliance to the bike without necessarily having to add mechanical linkages and things like this. 

[00:16:22] Craig: Yeah. Yeah. I think that that, that compliance is something that people would really benefit from. And if, if, if the manufacturers can do it in subtle ways, I think it all adds up. 

[00:16:33] Randall: Challenges that different riders are going to have different needs in terms of let's just say you want to deliver the same experience to everybody. Then, you know, with a given handlebar under a bigger rider, you are going to need it to be stiffer in order for them to have the same experiences as a lighter weight rider. Who's just not exerting the same force. 

[00:16:50] So that would be one thing where, you know, that's hard to do without having two versions of the bar or some sort of tuneable flex mechanism, which is something I've played around with, but adds complexity. 

[00:16:59] I do like how the, the drop is really shallow. It's a hundred mil. The reaches is pretty short, 68. I would have the drop scale with the size of the bar would be one minor thing, because presumably on average, the, you know, the width of the bar is scaling with the size of the rider. But even that there's a huge amount of variation on that bell curve. 

[00:17:19] Overall, like. It's this, this is from what I've seen and what you can do with the leavers that are on the market. Because there's only two companies that make them and they control Libra design. This, this is the most interesting one to me. Hopefully we can get our hands on one at some point and provide a proper review, but it looks really, really compelling. I'm glad to see this direction towards compound flares. 

[00:17:41] Craig: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:17:41] I thought that I was going to key in, on that. Those words you used compound flares, because I do think that's interesting because you know, one of the things that. The F the former roadie in me, I do not like when the, when the shifter lovers are angled into too far. And it doesn't feel, it doesn't feel great. And it seems if there's a. 

[00:18:00] If there's a design way too. Still get the flare you need at the bottoms while not overly adjusting where the hoods are, you know, that's a win. 

[00:18:11] Randall: Yeah. And, and, you know, in our bars, we went with a. Non-compounded 10 degree flare because it is, you know, the best, the most glared you can get without it. Really effecting the ergonomics at the hoods, especially with say ceramides mechanical road leavers that have a kind of a square edge. So if you rotate them too far out, you get a kind of a pressure point in the middle of the hand.

[00:18:31] But yeah, it's a pretty neat handlebar. So

[00:18:35] Craig: Yeah. And with everything. You know, I think you've gotta be tooling costs are obviously like the big concern and changing it. Dramatically. Size wise each time. And so you, haven't got to think about. How many sets of tools are you willing to buy to bring this product to market? Handlebar replacement. I don't know what kind of volume any of these companies do with their handlebars, but it's, it's a little bit of a balance there. I would think from a manufacturing perspective. 

[00:19:03] Randall: Yeah to, to dive a little bit into this without going too deep nerd. So if you're a big manufacturer, like a specialized or a track or something, you can amortize those tooling costs over a large number of bicycles that are specking that this handlebar at the OEM level, if you're doing an aftermarket bar, 

[00:19:19] It's a lot harder. And the tooling cost is quite material on an item like this, where it's low volume and you have so many different sizes. Usually it would be three tools. You'd have. You know, or at least the three component tool. So you have. You know, the two drops and then you have the center section and maybe the center section is a single mold. 

[00:19:38] With different inserts or even like you make one long one and then you chop it to the width that you want. And then you essentially bond on the drops. Which is where some extra weight comes in. So if you see bars like 250 grams or so if you want to drop 50 grams without compromising the structural integrity, that has to be a one-piece bar, which means. 

[00:19:57] An independent, large mold. That's that's moderately complex for every single size. And if you're only doing a few hundred units a year, which is a good volume for an aftermarket handlebar, that's hard to justify economically. 

[00:20:10] Craig: Yeah.

[00:20:10] that makes a ton of sense. I'm actually curious, and maybe listeners can either hit us up on social media or in the ridership, ideally about how often. 

[00:20:18] People replace their bars. And is it the type of thing that When you're building.

[00:20:22] the bike, you get that bar and you never think about it otherwise. Which I suspect, I know I've certainly been there in my bike ownership life. But I do think there's a decent amount of innovation in gravel bars for people to consider and just keep an eye out there for what are the performance benefits? How do these different bars feel? 

[00:20:43] When you put them on your existing bike. 

[00:20:45] Randall: I do think that one of the major constraints here is simply cost and that actually has less to do with the unit cost and more to do with having to amortize the tooling costs over. So few units. But I, you know, handlebars like a carbon bar on the one hand, it's somewhat disposable. If you design it, if you don't design it right. Where if you crash, like you really want to replace it. But on the other hand, the, the opportunities for compound shapes and for compliance being built in. 

[00:21:12] Negates may negate the need for more expensive and complicated solutions elsewhere on the bike to achieve the same goals. You know, I'd like to see if I could do a handlebar at scale, You know, the, the actual cost on something like this is for a tiny fraction of the actual sale price of, you know, 250 to 400 bucks on some of these bars.

[00:21:31] Craig: Yeah.

[00:21:31] That's the thing. I mean, once you've got, once you've got your bike frame. And you're not going to replace that. You really need to look at your attachment points as the, you know, how are you going to tune the bike?

[00:21:41] Randall: Yeah, the touch points. Exactly. 

[00:21:44] Craig: On the other end of the spectrum.

[00:21:46] curve had a bar called the Walmart. Out for a while. And curve is probably best known for their massively wide bars. I mean like 50 plus centimeter bars. 

[00:21:58] Very different riding style. They've actually gone the other way and introduced a narrower version of that. And I just think it's interesting to see them coming in. I mean, I can imagine that she super, super wide bar is a big part of the markets. I suppose it's not surprising. To see them go narrower. 

[00:22:15] Randall: They're also going with aluminum. You know, your tooling cost is. It's basically a jig. So it's not, you can do smaller volume and, and carve out that little niche for oneself, but yeah, they went with a 40 and a 43 with, it looks like here, but the. My concern would be the flare is so great at the hoods. 

[00:22:34] That you'd really want to be mindful of the shape of the hoods that you're using to make sure that it's not going to put a pressure point in your hand. 

[00:22:42] Craig: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:22:42] I think it's a bar for a very specific customer. Follow up question for you on a aluminum versus carbon in the handlebar from a field perspective, what are the what's. How should people think about the difference in feel between those two materials? 

[00:22:57] Randall: It really depends on how it's engineered. It really depends heavily on how it's engineered. And I was. You know, the particulars of the material, how it's shaped, how it's drawn is it, is it. You know, buddied and so on, which is an actual budding process. And with carbon kind of same thing, like. 

[00:23:13] What is, what is the shape? What type of carbon is being used? What is the layup? You can make a structure that is incredibly stiff or very compliant you could add. I think loaf their bar, they're using some You know, some fancily branded. Fiberglass material in order to create you know, some, some even, even greater, even greater flex in the part of the handlebar, just beyond the clamp with the stem. 

[00:23:38] GT did this with their original grade and may still to this day on the seat stays, they actually have a fiberglass wrapped in carbon fiber. So fiberglass is what's used in like a fishing pole. So think about the extremes of flex that you can get with that before it breaks.

[00:23:52] So there's it really just, it just depends, but in terms of the opportunities to tune flex and so on. Vastly greater with carbon, for sure, for sure. But this trade-offs with that. 

[00:24:03] Craig: Yeah. Gotcha. Gotcha. Hey, the other thing I wanted to mention in terms of new product drops recently was our friend mark at post Kericho. I dropped a couple of new bags. 

[00:24:14] Randall: Yeah, let's take a look at these. So he's got a new handlebar bag. Which these, these things are hard to. Talk too much about with action without actually experiencing one, but 

[00:24:27] Craig: Yeah.

[00:24:28] I think the interest, the interesting thing about all Mark's stuff is he's a very thoughtful designer and one of my pet peeves around the handlebar bags, and it's got nothing to do with. Like general use of the bag. Is that with the zipper being up top? 

[00:24:43] With my bike, computer Mount, and oftentimes a light it's really hard to get at them because it's being pushed down and Mark's designed the zipper to be in the middle of the front of this bag. 

[00:24:57] I saw some comments about Alex, stuff's going to drop out. But I think at the end of the day, you're going to know that it's there and that's where it's located. So I think from a practical perspective, it's still going to work, but it would solve my personal problem with trying to get in there without unstrapping the bag from the handlebar. 

[00:25:14] Randall: Yeah. And this bag is also quite compact, this new bag in the mini handlebar bag that he came out with. And so I could imagine. Strapping it to the bar and the little strap on the back around the stem, as opposed to, you know, having to strap it in a way that may push cables or the bag itself into the head tube, which is a very common problem with these handlebar bags. 

[00:25:35] And you know, leads me to actually on my bike packing bag to have add straps in order to have it connect both to the bar and then to like right behind the hoods. So you don't get that rotational flop and it

[00:25:49] keeps it off the head tube. But that's a

[00:25:51] Craig: And are they get minimum? At minimum for anyone writing. Riding. You know, a lot, lots of types of bags, just consider putting some protective film over your frame in case there's rubbing.

[00:26:00] Randall: For sure. For sure. Yeah, we, yeah. Good recommendation. 

[00:26:05] Craig: The other interesting one he came up with was this bomber top tube bag, which is a very long and, and Kind of not, not a big stack height bag that can go along the top tube or underneath the top tube. It's the, maybe three quarters of the length of the top two, but it looks like. 

[00:26:21] We're just, it's interesting. I don't think for me, it's like a daily rider type thing, but I do love the multiple different positions of it. And I could see for a bigger trip or a bigger day out this being like one of those bags that I just add on for specific purposes.

[00:26:36] Randall: Yeah, And presumably it's a bit lighter than his existing frame bag, which I own, I'm not sure if you own as well. I'm a huge fan of that bag for, for bigger days on the bike where I need to bring stuff. 

[00:26:47] Craig: Yeah.

[00:26:47] no. I imagine like running that quarter frame bag and then adding this one on top, you know, if you were doing some epic back country ride and wanted to maybe bring a full pump or what have you I think this is a neat option to add on and augment that kind of storage. 

[00:27:02] Randall: One comment I did see in one of the articles was this idea of, you know, maybe it would be a mountable on the bottom of the down tube. Which I actually think is a a space where, you know, a design, a bag that was designed specifically for that space could both lower center of mass. And Potentially provide some protection for that part of the bike from rocks kicking up and so on, which is a significant concern, especially when you get into more Tundra terrain on one of these gravel bikes. 

[00:27:31] Craig: Yeah. I think some more of the hardcore bike packing pack bag manufacturers have solutions for that area, whether they're building off the bottle cage, that's often down there and a lot of these gravel bikes. We're otherwise attaching agree. It's a, it's an interesting place. There's so many different nooks and crannies. 

[00:27:50] To jam stuff on these bikes with all these new modern bags. It's a, you're not, there's no dearth of options for you, depending on how you want to set up your rig. 

[00:27:58] Randall: Yeah. And the last thing we'll call out here is the the seat bag, which is a pretty standard, but really elegantly designed seat bag. And I just got to, you know, give a shout out for him on just the aesthetics of these bags. Then also the cost structure, like the seat bags, 30 bucks. You know, the, the bomber bag. 

[00:28:13] I'm seeing 35 bucks. So really getting like this high quality construction and design at a very accessible price point. So Bravo mark, keep up the good work. Good to see you. Continuing to put product out. 

[00:28:25] Craig: Yeah, kudos. Speaking of other things that people, we know, people from the ridership we're putting out there in the world. Some cool stuff on bike, 

[00:28:34] Randall: Yeah. So our friends Emily Chung and Seth Hur from over at bike index. So you've worked with, did he do the full triple crossover? 

[00:28:44] Craig: He did. 

[00:28:44] Randall: Yeah. So the bay area, triple crossover, which was published on bike, over the past week or so, 161 miles, three to four days 65% unpaved and a really, a lot of great photography and so on. And it covers essentially from Marin. North of San Francisco all the way around the bay, back to south bay. 

[00:29:06] Maybe in the other direction, maybe that's how they finished up, but it's a, and there's actually a way. Yeah. And there's a way to, and we discussed this in the forum to connect to the bay area Ridge trail through the Santa Cruz mountains. If someone wanted to do an entire loop here, which 

[00:29:21] She, she very well may do at some point in posts, but a really cool to see members of the community going out and having good adventures and sharing the routes with others so that others can follow in the footsteps or pedal strokes. As we may say. 

[00:29:34] Craig: Yeah.

[00:29:34] for sure. It's so valuable to have this sort of bait out there. And I love all the imagery. I. People should go to the bike, Link and you can find it either in the ridership or we'll put it in the show notes for this episode, stunning pictures. And it's so cool. I think there's one picture I'm looking at right now. 

[00:29:52] Of the four of them riding across the golden gate bridge. In part of their journey looks like they're heading towards Marin and this pitcher just starting off. I just love it. I'm in such, such sort of iconic. Imagery around the bay area. And for those of you not in this area, 

[00:30:07] The idea.

[00:30:08] that you could fly into SFO. Take a Bart train into the city with your bags or even write up and then start on this journey. From a major metropolitan area is just awesome. And even from some of the imagery, you would think you're nowhere near any sort of major city.

[00:30:26] Randall: Oh, yeah, that was one of the things I loved about living in San Francisco was if I needed to be out in the middle of nowhere, I could be so with no one around in 45 minutes over in the headphones. 

[00:30:36] Craig: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:30:37] exactly.

[00:30:37] So kudos to MLA for all the great photography and her partners on that trip. Super cool and amazing that they put it out there.

[00:30:44] Randall: Yeah. And another thing just to mention with this too, is a. They're in the forum. And so if this is something you want to do embark on one of the motivations, there was to be able to go to a new region and just reach out to folks and say, Hey, what's the beta. Hey, does anyone want to join me for a segment? 

[00:31:00] You know, one of the group rides going on and we've been seeing those dynamics, which is really cool. 

[00:31:04] Craig: Yeah, exactly.

[00:31:05] I mean, it's so it's, so it's so great that there are so many sites out there that are publishing adventures and things like that. But being able to talk to people, locals about current conditions or. 

[00:31:17] You know, even advice for that. Ad-on you described down into the Santa Cruz mountains, like That kind of stuff.

[00:31:22] is awesome. And invaluable. If You're going to spend.

[00:31:25] a week of Your hard earned time and vacation and money in a particular area.

[00:31:30] I don't know about you, but I, I just want to get the most out of it as, as possible. 

[00:31:34] Randall: Yeah, and this is something that you know, a conversation that sprung up organically in the forum and that we're going to be looking to facilitate a lot more conversation around, which is. You know, the role of, you know, what might be called social media, just online tools for connecting with others generally in the cycling experience. And so what is, what is a healthy role? What are unhealthy roles and how do we create something that. 

[00:31:58] Facilitates things that, that help people live live better in gets out of the realm of say what certain large players have been accused of credibly in terms of That's the same behavior that is not, is more in the interest of profit and shareholders. Then the the people that they've disk. 

[00:32:14] Describe as users. 

[00:32:16] Craig: Yeah.

[00:32:17] that, that thread in the ridership's really interesting and some very thoughtful commentary. It's fascinating how different people view different platforms. You know, obviously you've got mainstream social media and then more cycling specific sites that kind of serve similar purposes. So it's something, you know, I know you think a lot about, I've thought a lot about. 

[00:32:38] In the context of the ridership and and generally interesting how other people are expressing their sell themselves. And. What types of things they use and don't want to use.

[00:32:49] Randall: Yeah. So this is something that you know, we're also considering how to evolve the, the forum as well. We built it in slack because that was the best. Tool available. But we're exploring other tools and add ons and things like this. And if this is a conversation that interests you we'd really love your, your feedback and it's, you know, that conversation is happening in the ridership. So come join us there and let us know how we can make it better. 

[00:33:12] Craig: Yeah.

[00:33:12] As always.

[00:33:13] I mean, we are very open to your input about these episodes and any other episode of the gravel ride podcast. 

[00:33:20] The ridership forum is something that, you know, we started from Our hearts but it's really a community run initiative.

[00:33:26] and we want to evolve as the community wants us to and, and directionally where they want us to go. 

[00:33:33] Randall: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

[00:33:35] Craig: Yeah. 

[00:33:36] Cool.

[00:33:36] I think that's about it for this week's edition of in the dirt Randall. I appreciate your time as always. 

[00:33:42] Randall: As always as well. Craig

[00:33:43] Craig: And to all the listeners until next time here's to finding some dirt under your wheels.