After getting some fat 47c Maxxis Ramblers mounted to my 650b Astral Outback hoops I figured I needed to give them a real test. And a real test it proved to be. (If you missed that video check it below)

So I grabbed my trusty and lusty LIbre DL off the wall and set out for a familiar but challenging gravel loop, the Day Creek Gravel loop from the first iteration of the Roanoke Stage Race p/b Roa-Stoked.

You see, I flatted on the Black Horse descent just before the finish and had to limp it in. When you pair that with heavy legs, because that was the 2nd stage we did that day, I thought there was room for improvement and time to bring back.

This time I was commuting from the house, which is a nice change. I rolled up the BRP to the Black Horse Gap descent, dropped it to the Day Creek Gravel parking lot, and rolled straight into the route.

A few things happened during the morning and at the beginning of the ride, which hinted at the bad ju-ju hanging over head like a big black thunderhead ready to open up.

Between things not going smooth as I was getting ready to leave, to having a black bear (rather than a black cat) cross my path on the way to the start of the segment, to flatting on the descent down to the Day Creek parking lot before the segment even started, I should have turned around but that sounded dumb, I don’t believe in superstitions.

I’ll leave things at that. Don’t want to spoil the, less than ideal, outcome. All I’ll say is that I’ll be back with a vengeance… and bigger tires!