August 2013


An all modern L’Eroica style gravel grinder

raw1

What is a L’Eroica style gravel grinder you ask? Well, it should start with a modern but classic steel frame design, with clearance for larger tires, say up to 35c at least and fender eyelets. Many older steel frames would appear to be quite suitable but they have the limitations of 1″ steerer tubes and narrow rear dropout spacing which prevents the use of modern drives without altering the frame. A modern frame design will allow the use of current 2 x 10 drive components. There are a lot of cross bike frames that offer these features but virtually all of them have either braze-ons for cantilever or disc brakes. I wanted to use side pull brakes to keep a more vintage look so this limited my choice in frames dramatically. The idea is to get modern function and performance while maintaining a classic look. The Rawland Nordavinden offers the perfect combination of qualities in a bike for my purposes. The classic era of bicycles in my definition runs from about 1960 thru the mid 1980’s. This is when bicycles became much of what we are so familiar with today.

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Not all rides need to be “epic” rides. Sometimes a nice day on the bike and some good food is all you need. The Portland Century ride offers just that. I have done this ride a couple of times now and one of the things that I like about is that a different course is used each year. They always route you through new parts of the region so that each year is a new experience. This year we rode out to the west and into the farmlands and wineries beyond Hillsboro. As an added bonus, the support on this event is top notch. They start you with a light breakfast and finish with a great buffet, including a bottomless glass of beer. What more could you ask for!

A casual 8 am start today.

A casual 8 am start today.

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