Monday, December 31, 2012

Rear View 2012: The Last Third

September kicked off with the weather still pretty dry, but the heat had backed off a wee bit at least. Still, the effects of all that dryness were everywhere to be seen, and the gravel roads and dirt trails were crazy dusty and cracked.

Well, I was in the throes of trying to get two things accomplished before Interbike. One was getting my Clement USH tires to set up tubeless. After weeks, (literally), of trying, it finally did happen. However; the other deal was not going as fast as I wanted it to go. Getting everything together for a sub 24hr overnight bikepacking gig sounded easy, but it turned out to be something that took too long.

I went to Las Vegas again, for the last Interbike in the Sands Convention Center. It was a good show, by most accounts, and I did get around to see almost everyone I wanted to see. Big trips always kind of freak me out though, so I was super happy to set foot back in Iowa afterward and find out it was in the 50's and raining. Whew! Fall was showing up after a long, dry, hot summer.

The bikepacking thing was just coming together when illness struck our household and I had to put all those plans on hold to take care of things that needed done at the time. By the time everyone was well again, it was November and too cold to really do anything with the warm weather gear I had accumulated to use for this. Next year.....

One really cool thing I got to do in this period was to ride in the Moonlight Metric. Craig, one of the guys who had been showing up off and on for the 3GR's was putting this on, and I went down with Robert, (another 3GR rider), and we got our night time gravel on.

A crazy moon over Iowa in October
It was super dusty! The worst dust I'd ever seen out riding gravel roads day or night. The dirt B Maintenance roads were like cocoa powder 4 to 5 inches deep. Weird stuff! But this was a very fun and enjoyable ride I won't soon forget. Craig hosted a great ride with an after party that featured enough to eat and drink for five times the amount of folks that did show up. Very awesome and very much appreciated.

That was my last big organized event for the year. Closing out October, I was very busy getting testing and reviewing done on several things while still doing the weekly 3GR events. The gravel Saturdays were a favorite part of my week, and even though I had days where it was hard to get out of the sack to do those rides, I miss them now a lot. 3GR went up into November before I shut it down for the season. These rides will pick back up again in the spring.

The next big deal on the horizon was registration for Trans Iowa V9. It started in early November with the Finishers claiming their spots, then the Veterans, then finally the Rookies got their shot.

The registration was "okay" from my standpoint. I got some nice things, which I appreciate, but what I really mean is the registration has lost a bit of the frenzied atmosphere it used to engender in years past. Hmm.....probably has something to do with how I've tweaked it out these days, so I can only blame myself!

I decided to allow 120 registrants this time and the roster did fill up, so we'll see how many are left when I toot the horn at 4am April 27th, 2013. Usually there is a precipitous fall off in roster population before any Trans Iowa occurs.

Another surprise came in mid-November when I learned that the documentary film about Trans Iowa V7 called "300 Miles of Gravel" won a regional Emmy for "Best Sports Programming- One Time Event". That was kind of exciting to learn that I was a part of an Emmy winning project. In other T.I. related goings on, the recon was completely finished by December when in two separate shots, Jeremy and I got it done. It was the quickest, easiest recon of a Trans Iowa course yet.

December arrived and I sort of held my breath thinking Winter would hit at any minute. The first couple of weeks went by and I snuck in several "last rides" for the year before a big blizzard, the first in several years, hit and dumped a ton of snow all in one hit.

I signed on for another Triple D event, and commenced training even before the snows came. All the family birthdays, Christmas, and my up coming 14th wedding anniversary were all consuming parts of my time and mind in this period, but it has all been pretty good this season.

Looking Ahead: So, that's that. 2012 is shot and another year is about to begin. I have lots of things gelling around in my mind that are fun, exciting possibilities for 2013, but ya know what? I'll likely get swept away in a totally different, fun, and exciting direction than I think I will. We'll see, won't we?

2012 was a banner year for this blog, by the way. More hits, more readers, and the second highest post count I've ever had for a one year period. First- thank you to each and everyone of you that has ever landed here and read anything. I appreciate it very much, and I am humbled by that fact. Secondly, I guess I still like to write a lot, eh? That was one of the main reasons for firing up this blog in the Spring of 2005 in the first place. Onward then.....

Happy New Year!

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