My dad is bald, he’s been bald my entire life. He’ll always be bald. I am not bald. I have been bracing for baldness since puberty yet at 46 years old all I’m contending with are minor problems in Sectors 1 and 31, but I am not bald2 My tires, on the other hand, are quite bald.
The baldies in question are 700 x 36c Clement (now Donnelly) X’PLOR MSO tires. In the past couple seasons, I have gone through a set of the 40s and now two sets of 36s. I totally dig the tires but they are increasingly harder to get hold of now that everyone and their third cousins (twice removed) is riding gravel. BASTARDS!!
I have also had relations with WTB Nano 40s and Ritchey WCS Speedmax 40s. I’m pretty slutty when it comes to gravel/dirt road tires and will pretty much ride anything with a (low rolling resistance) tread, but I draw the line at bald (shouts of BALDIST!!! go up from the too sensitive wound tight crowd). However, since I lived the winter like spring was never going to arrive I never took the time to have the shop order me up some new kicks and now I’m riding dirty and rolling bald for the immediate future.
Because I gave up brand loyalty for Lent (about 7 years ago) I’m hoping to try the Panaracer Gravel King 700 x 38, but only if I can locate it with black walls. Not sure who started this tan sidewall bullshit, but I’m not driving a ’38 Packard, I’m rolling 38s on a cross bike and I want black side walls goddamn it, I don’t care if the tan side walls come with a guarantee I will never flat and never go bald (speaking only of the tires of course), I ain’t rollin’ no tannies. Edit: Ended up with the Maxxis Rambler 700 x 38c tires since the shop had them in stock and they looked good enough to me.
As for my ride on Wednesday; it was swell. The sun was out, the wind was calm (enough), and the temps were warm enough that I was able to ride without a jacket for the first time in months. I rode south of town on the balding Boone with my Nikon D500 and enjoyed dry roads. The county was out laying some fresh dirt on a couple of the roads and that occasionally sucked some power, but overall two days of riding in a row were just what I needed to say goodbye to February.
Of course, the first day of March has brought snow in the air and a drop in temps, but it looks like things might be crawling back up into the mid-forties by the weekend. Hoping to get back outside with my camera on the Boone, despite its balding handicap.