I’d been wanting to ride at Fort Polk for a while now, but timing and transportation just hadn’t worked out until this last trip. My friend Patrick was there for a few weeks and he had brought his cross bike (a Trek Boone). He has been riding daily, and texted me to let me know he found a few cool gravel trails, and some fire roads that would be suitable for a good time, so I prepped up Zoe (my Kona). I had some really good Continental Cross Speeds on the bike all winter and they were getting a bit bare, so I swapped on the Gravel King SKs I’ve been sitting on for a few months (more on those later…), cleaned her up some, and changed out the mount for my ELEMNT to the “Out Front”.
We kicked off right in front of the billeting Patrick is staying in, so we were on pavement for the first few miles, then we picked up the gravel path that runs the length of post. There were some seriously fun swooping sections, switchbacks, a rail crossing, a couple of ponds, and plenty of shade to make the oppressive Louisiana humidity bearable. I broke off down a couple of the dirt roads, and I wish I had more time to ride those, they were really nice, smooth, hard pack, and fast. Overall it was a cool ride, though short. Next time I do it I’ll build in more time for the side roads, and a spin around the airfield to get some legit miles in. See the Strava page here.
As far as the Gravel Kings go, they are fantastic tires. All the supple side wall I had read about, and really good traction. Even on the asphalt, there was no buzz or hum, and they just felt like good road tires. I ran them at 40 psi with standard cross tubes in them (that I didn’t powder for whatever reason), though I’m looking forward to setting them up tubeless. I think honestly that once setup tubeless, they will make the bike almost perfect for the kind of random riding I do most.