What: A long gravel road group ride for fun. Nobody gets left behind.
Who: For anyone that loves to ride gravel, loves a challenge, and likes to have fun.
Where: In and around the North East Iowa communities of West Union, Strawberry Point, Elkader, and Elgin Iowa, with a few smaller burgs thrown in.
When: Saturday, July 19th, 2008 We'll probably start sometime early morning, just after sunup till sundown or just after, who knows?!!
The Commentary: The GTDRI is nothing to fear, it's just a fun, yet challenging ride that anybody can come and try. The approximate distance of this years trek will be about 115 miles. Here's a look at the proposed route: http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/ia/west-union/787324184315 You can expect lots of hills! I figured this route on another program that indicates total climbing and it shows around 6,000 plus feet overall. That's only a guesstimate though. The point is, there will be lots and lots of hills. Part of the course will take in sections of the T.I.V4 route, (including the dreaded Dove Road section) and some of it will be totally new course. Keep in mind that I have used parts of former GTDRI courses on Trans Iowa routes. (hint-hint!)
Typical modus operandi is as follows: Get up at dark-thirty, gather for a pre-event breakfast, or not. (More on that in a minute) Get riding by first light. Take an easy pace, yet keep moving as much as possible. There will be breaks to keep the group together. Stop somewhere for lunch. Continue onwards until the finish. Maybe a group supper, maybe everyone will go home, and maybe everyone will just want a cold beer! Who knows? Find out and join the fun.
Things to seriously consider: While GTDRI is a group ride that "leaves no one behind", you are still responsible for you! It is a self supported ride, so be aware that none of us are going to bail you out in the boonies. Ya gotta ride out yerself, or have a "Plan B" for getting picked up if you can't make it. Bring plenty of water, energy food, anti-cramp remedies, whiskey, or silver bullets to bite on in case of pain! Bring money, you'll need it! A cell phone wouldn't hurt either. There will be cue sheets, so if you fall off the back, or feel adventurous and racy, you can self navigate it, but most prefer the group mentality and follow the leaders.
You had better be in some semblance of riding condition since this course will be brutal. We've been known to slog it through storms, heat, and wind. We've also finished well after dark before too, so think about bringing a light. Oh! Yeah.......there will be B roads too!
Time for a Survey! This is where I'm going to ask you to comment using the comment link at the top of this post. I am considering where to start along the loop. There are two choices. Each choice has motel accomodations or camping options nearby in State Parks equipped with all the facilities. The difference being that one option has a great breakfast joint, the other......ah.......not-so-much! The decision will be left in your hands. Wanna eat before the ride with all the crazies on board for GTDRI? Then Option #1: Strawberry Point is your choice. Don't really care about getting together for a pre-event breakfast because you would rather just get on with the ride? Then Option #2: West Union is your choice. Please indicate whether you want Option #1 or Option #2 by commenting. I'll go with the majority.
Hopefully I can get a new, updated look on the GTDRI site soon and I'll strt posting news there. Stay tuned and I hope to see you on the GTDRI this coming July! Note: New site graphics by Mr. 24 are up! Check it out on the link ^ ^ ^
Not Interested? Well, for those of you that can not come to GTDRI or are just not interested, here's a bit about 29"ers that I did from Sea Otter that was posted by Rich Kelly of Interbike Times. Not often that I do interviews, so this is a rare look at Guitar Ted in action. Enjoy! (Note: Rich got the title a bit wrong- "Gutar Ted on What's New in 29'ers". That'd be an awfully big wheel!)