Land Run 100…….. Not because its easy, but because its hard.
This is my Routt RSL single speed. Our amazing production crew finished it up for me right before my big week of Midwest cyclocross races in September, it was so last minute we ran out of time to give the frame its signature Moots bead-blast finish that all of our frames receive.
Keepin’ it simple. One gear, 100 miles.
Our custom bikes tend to fall into a few buckets; folks that are on one end or the other of the; height bell curve, folks that have owned 20 other bikes & know exactly what they want and folks looking for a bike with very specific features. My bike falls in to all 3 of these buckets.
Being a bike dork, I’ve always had my next 2-3 bikes brewing in the back of my mind, but a lot of the inspiration for this bike came from my friend and Moots dealer Joe Fox at Cycle City in Kansas City. A few weeks after hanging out with Joe at the Dirty Kanza in June he called and said, “I have finished almost every edition of the DK and now I want Moots to build me the most bad ass single speed gravel race bike so I can race DK single speed in 2018 and do really well.” Having already been thinking about a similar bike for myself I knew it would be more efficient to have our production crew make two ‘off menu’ bikes instead of just one for me personally.
We started with the ever popular Routt RSL featuring our superlight butted tubeset and quick handling; using the super reliable Paragon single speed sliding dropouts instead of our 3D printed dropouts. The frame was built to be single speed specific with compromises being made in chainring clearance with an emphasis on generous tire and mud clearance.
A slightly worn Clement PDX mud tire in a 33mm for that famous Oklahoma red clay mud.
For the parts it’s a mix of new items I wanted to try out such as the Lauf fork and stuff I had in my parts bin like the vintage Selle Italia saddle. My philosophy for this bike was Single Speeds are dumb and slow so I’m going to have to ride it aggressively to do well. Even though the Lauf fork and cross top levers are not my normal style they fit the ethos of this bike allowing me to ride very aggressively. I love some of the little touches on this bike like the OG Dura Ace 7970 Di2 brake levers and internal brake routing. Being the bike dork that I am, almost no part went untouched for example; the TRP Spyre brake calipers have been updated with Ti hardware and Shimano pads.
Remember…..bikes are fun! So are events like the LR100.
I’m Jeremiah Gantzer, I lead European and Central US sales here at Moots. Over the last two years I have had the privilege of participating (racing?) in some great gravel events…… The Land Run 100, Gravel Metric, Almanzo 100, Crusher in the Tushar and Dirty Kanza to name a few. My real love in cycling has always been cyclocross racing; gravel is the perfect fit for the other 8 months of the year, it is great motivation to get out a put long miles in before the CX season in the fall, you get to travel to new places with friends new & old and even the most serious races are still pretty relaxed and fun. Plus I get to use my same trusty CX bike.
The crazy part with going to all these gravel events is that there is so much hype around them but each one I have participated in has greatly EXCEEDED the hype! Out of all these events my favorite is the Land Run 100 in Stillwater, OK. Bobby and Crystal Wintle who also happen to own our excellent dealer District Bicycles. 2018 will be the 6th edition of the LR100.
In 2017 there was mud.
People who have heard about this race but have not ridden it always ask why you would want to go all the way down to Oklahoma early in the season and ride your bike in the worst red clay peanut butter mud for over 100 miles, in freezing cold conditions? For me it is all about the people! Over the last 6 years Bobby and Crystal have built their whole business around getting people stoked about riding their bike, for them it does not matter what bike you ride, how far you want to ride or what kind of beer you drink after, they just want to get folks outside and excited about the community around ridding. I wish I had Bobby’s speech from the rider meeting in 2016 on tape, it was nearly religious! As a good friend of mine always says, “If every ride was 70 degrees, sunny and downhill you would never have any good stories to tell” One does not go to LandRun because it is easy, but because it is hard! If you’re going to Land Run this year I will be there smiling, drinking beer, meeting friends new & old and you happen to get to ride your bike 100 mile. If you’re not going to Land Run come next year to ride your bike, but you will come back the following year for the community and camaraderie.
Getting ready for your next gravel event/personal adventure? Check out the ROUTT RSL and start building your go-to rig: