Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Guitar Ted's Rear View Of '08: Part III

Well, I screwed up and only covered three months of 2008 in my last post! So this post will be ginormous! (Or I could just make it short and to the point, eh?)

August: This month started out with excellent weather, lots of spider webs out on the trails, and a ride with Mike Curiak. I was super humbled and thrilled to have him stop by and ride our little corner of the world with me out at The Camp. Too bad I still didn't have a good handle on the navigation of the full south side yet! We only rode half of it because I was too embarrassed to have the possibility of us getting lost happen!

Then it was more riding at The Camp leading up to the Trek Show in Madison, Wisconsin. Fun was had, cool people were met, and awesome bicycles were seen. After that little distraction, it was back to more riding. I had undertaken the task of doing the fork experiment for Twenty Nine Inches, and that was keeping me really busy. One of those rides turned out to be one of the funnest rides of the whole year for me.

September: Of course, this month is really all about ramping up to Interbike's climatic bicycle orgy in Las Vegas, Nevada. But this year there was more than just that going on.

Late in August I introduced Trans Iowa V5 and thoughts were flying on that front well into September. The venue changed and so did everything else along with it. Then on September 10th I got to do something a little extra special with my regular Wednesday test ride session. Jason from Salsa Cycles invited me to come up and ride and ride the Salsa Selma, a single speed Mamasita type rig that was to be introduced at Interbike later that month. Wow! Was I ever flattered to be invited to do that! Plus, I got to ride with my friend Jason, plus I got to ride at Murphy-Hanrahan Park! Then Jason took me into Salsa HQ and I got to get a sneak peek at the inner preparations for Interbike, which showed me how hard the Salsa and Surly folks work to get that gig done. (Yes, I know it may come as a surprise, but these folks actually do work. They were sweating and breathing hard. Really!) Then I came home and had to basically can all my excitement over the Selma because I couldn't talk about it for two more weeks. That was rough! (Yes Captain Bob, the Selma actually exists!)

Well, part of the deal with the Selma sneak peek was getting a set of the new Gordo rims to test for Twenty Nine Inches. I didn't waste anytime getting them laced up and got a few rides in just before Interbike. Then it was off to the Big Show to meet everyone I don't get to see very often, to meet new folks, and to see all the sites. This years Interbike was most memorable for me because of the Outdoor Demo and the night ride cruise up The Strip to the criterium at The Mandalay Bay resort. That was a pretty crazy night! Riding a Dahon single speed folding bike up and down the Strip with traffic will be one of my most unique cycling experiences I'll likely ever have.

October: Well, after the Interbike hangover went away, I settled back into some great Fall riding out at the Camp. There was a trail work day and The Flat Tire Festival out there. I received some more product for testing on Twenty Nine Inches, so I was pretty busy on that front as well.

There was the recon for Trans Iowa V5 that I did with d.p. and that was a great weekend. Then it was back home to finish out the month riding on one of the last nice days in the Fall. Not the last day, because there would be one more nice day to come.......

November: I think without a doubt that November was the best riding month out of the whole year. Crazy, huh? Well, it's true!

The month started out with the announcement of registration for Trans Iowa and then a big trip with Captain Bob to the Minneapolis area on Election Day. It's ironic that one of the most historic elections in our countries history will forever be remembered by me for what I was doing on a bicycle! I got to ride at Murphy-Hanrahan again with the Twin Six dudes. Then the next day it was the Fargo Adventure Ride with the Salsa Crew and friends. Awesome!

Back at home, I did my own versions of Fargo Adventures and some Cedar Bend Park rides that were totally awesome. Then a bit of Trans Iowa registration madness before a couple more rides topped off by Thanksgiving and the Turkey Burn III which once again proved to be the last real trail ride of the year, just like in '07.

December: Which brings us full circle to the present. What a great year! I was able to do much that I never thought I would ever do. I am truly blessed.

Here's a last chance to say some thanks to some folks: In no particular order.....

Captain Bob, without whom I couldn't have accomplished many of the things I needed to get done in '08. Grannygear who was a chance meeting at Interbike, (Not really "by chance" though, was it!) and turned out to be a huge asset to me in my online work, the rest of The Local Crew, MTBidwell, Deerslayer, Casey (We still need a cool nic-name for ya!), Super Saul, and anybody else that I turned pedals with from around here this year. The Blue Colnago for being a huge friend of this blog. Brett, my co-worker, who patiently deals with my items that get shipped in, Jeff Kerkove who always helps with my T.I. and GTDRI web stuff, and is my "long distance buddy". (Right Buddy? .....umm.......doode?.......don't leave me hangin'!) Sonya Looney (meeting you was really the highlight of Interbike 2008, so thanks for that!) All the folks in the cycling industry I know, and all you readers out there. Thanks for everything.

That's a wrap on The Rear View for 2008.

Here's to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2009.

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