I made my first visit to Iowa City last week to have my good friend Adam swap out the rims on my g-fiddy pugs for some of Surly’s fancy new powder-coated Rolling Darryl, drilled 82mm units. My rear wheel on the pugs had developed quite a wiggle and when I washed up the bike in preparation for the swap, I discovered that I had a broken spoke and never knew it. I made my way out to World of Bikes through the University of Iowa campus and was delighted to see a slew of fat-bikes on the shop floor. I got my first (hands on) look at the black anodized Salsa Mukluk and was delighted to see that the shop owner (Ryan) and a couple of the other shop rats rode fatties. Ryan’s Muk 3 was getting a new white wheel-set and sported a pair of beautiful wood fenders matched to a set of black floyds. I hung out a bit and watched Adam get my pugs prepped for surgery.
After a bit, I headed south out of town with my cross bike to ride some gravel, while the pugs went under the knife and got my first taste of Iowa ‘B’ roads. I had heard the stories about how they eat SUV’s and small children, but did I heed these warnings? No….I had to give them a shot. I rode through the small town of Hills with a howling north wind keeping me honest and plenty of climbs that made me feel right at home. I eventually headed back to the shop with some cold ones for the fridge. My Rohloff was deciding to be finicky, so we headed on over to the Hideaway for kareoke along with most of the Iowa City Gnome-Fest Family. Once again, things got pretty swervy, but I’m pretty sure we ended the night with a cab ride home from an establishment, called the Job-Site in the whee hours of Friday morning. Thanks to everyone that came out to welcome me to Iowa City! I love you all like cousins…
Friday started off slow, but eventually we followed a trail of empties back to our bikes and various items that we lost along the way. We stopped at the Blue Bird for a really delicious breakfast and then returned to World of Bikes to grab my pugs and head out for it’s maiden voyage. Adam and I were joined by Queen Gabi the 1st riding her gleaming white pugsley, named Daisy. With Sugar Bottom closed, Adam chose a bit of social trail and beach riding that soon turned into free forest thrashing. I was loosly following Adam through some thick brambly woods and just as I looked up I saw Adam’s Cincinnati Bengals Crocs flying up in the air as he went over the bars down into an old dump. Crazy what you find out in the woods sometimes. Later we came across a 1970’s Buick Electra out in the middle of the woods like it had to have been dropped there by a massive flood or something. I couldn’t help but feel – “These are the best of times! ” My pugs rode great and my initial test ride left me smiling from ear to ear. More in depth testing will be forthcoming on my new sexy red wheels.
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