Heard from the King

In a recent posting, I'd recounted discovering a food energy source for my longer rides that incorporates more natural ingredients. The line of products, based on the nutritional goodness of pure maple syrup, is offered by UnTapped, a brand started in 2013 in Vermont.

Pleased with the results derived from using their on-the-go waffles — having tried the maple, lemon, cocoa, and raspberry flavors — I emailed UnTapped, providing a link to that particular blog writing. Well, by golly, I received a nice response on the very same day.

It came from none other than Ted King himself, a co-founder of UnTapped and former WorldTour professional cyclist. Today, he is displaying his skills within the gravel cycling scene, having captured first place in the Dirty Kanza — now called Unbound Gravel — on two occasions.

Here's what he had to say ...

Hi Patrick,

Thanks very much for the thoughtful note! We’re thrilled you’ve tested out some of our product line. It’s funny for me to pick a favorite waffle, since it seems my answer is "whatever the most recent one I ate." I thought I was over the coffee waffle, but then I had one yesterday and think it’s as tasty as ever.

If you haven’t done so yet, please use the code "welcome15" for some handy savings on your next purchase from UnTapped. We really appreciate it!



It was pretty awesome hearing from the main dude at UnTapped.

Shop update

Still busier than a one-armed paperhanger at Mathieu's bike shop. Just for the heck of it, we looked up how many tune-ups we've done so far in 2021. The total is currently 650 at our two locations — Farmingdale and Oakland — and we are ahead of last year's pace by 120, as of the same date.

Yes, fixing bikes is flourishing, but getting parts — and new bikes — remains painfully slow. In fact, Alan exclaimed the other day, "I'd have better luck digging a hole in the ground and finding a pot of gold than trying to locate an 8-speed cassette."

Hopefully, it will get better.

Going gravel

I've done it once, so surely I can do it again — I hope. What's that, you might be asking? I have registered again to do the Northwoods Gravel Grind, slated for Sept. 11 in Rangeley, Maine.

At Northwoods Gravel Grind in 2018.

I did it back in 2018 with my friend Jon. I remember getting pretty beat up, as there was a wide variety of different surfaces: obviously plenty of gravel, two-track, and logging roads littered with big stones and bone-jarring chatter bumps.

Just like last time, I will be dodging danger on the 50-mile course that, for the most part, is out in the middle of nowhere. There also are 35- and 70-mile routes. You see participants using all types of bikes, but I'm banking on my Specialized Crux cyclocross beast — with 38mm tires — to do the job.

Actually, I'm looking forward to the event, which has been in existence for eight years. It takes place in the beautiful western mountain region of our great state, and the day's atmosphere is extremely festive. I'll let you know how I do.

'Thought for the day'

"So perfect is the safety bicycle, in fact, that, if the rider had sufficient skill not to interfere with its action, it will travel straight ahead and keep its own balance." — E.J. Prindle, from Scientific American, 1896

From "Words To Ride By ... Thoughts on Bicycling" by Michael Carabetta (Chronicle Books, 2017)

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