Saturday, August 24, 2013

Looking Back & Looking Ahead

My teammates from the Renegade Gents Race
With the big Gravel Worlds event happening today in Lincoln, Nebraska, I sit here wistfully thinking about what might have been had I been able to get down that way to join in the festivities. No doubt, it would have been fun, and the ride would have been a hot, windy affair. Not generally my cup of tea, as far as weather, but I bet I would have had fun, despite the suffering.

Well, anyway, I figured why not run down my "season", as it were, since now I will only be partaking in a couple of night time gravel grinders, if anything, before this year closes out. Interbike generally throws a big wrench into my Fall riding plans, and I suspect this year will be no different.

So, I had a couple of successful outings, and I had a couple of really tough rides that didn't end the way I wanted them to. Let's take a look.....

Triple D: The year started out with Triple D, a fat bike event. I did well, beating my time from the year previous, despite crashing and getting lost a bit. That was fun, and I felt good. 65 miles in the middle of January on icy trails is nothing to sneeze at. So, I take a bit of pride in that accomplishment.

The Renegade Gents Race: Same team again for year 3 of my participation in this event. It was a tough wind to ride into on that weekend, but we finished well, and I felt good taking pulls with Captain Steve, who was looking uber-fit in his preparation for T.I.V9, (which he handily finished). Not that we were out there to be really competitive, but we did show character in riding in together when we had a teammate in trouble, which I felt was really cool, and showed we were not only "gentleman", but good sportsman. A win in my book.

Trans Iowa V9:, I do not ride a bicycle in this event. That said, it is "an event" for me to get right, or not, and I am up and working it for an ungodly amount of hours over hundreds of miles of roads so other cyclists can have a good experience. First let me say that without the awesome volunteers, it would have been a disaster, so on a "team" filled with great folks, I felt the event was a success and I was really stoked to have been a small part of that success.

Chasing Craig at Odin's Revenge

 Odin's Revenge: 

My favorite event of the year, (so far), and a bittersweet weekend. My buddy MG made it awesome, and my hosts, Chad and Merrie were so accommodating. The ride was stunningly awesome, and the event? I can not say enough good things about that. My performance? I guess this is where I was either beginning to fall ill, or it was the reason I fell ill, but I left it all out there and this event kicked my butt bad. I didn't finish it, and that's the only bad thing I had happen there, but it still bugs the heck outta me. So, next year, I want to return. We'll see how things shake out.

Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational: Here is my biggest disappointment in my riding all year. I didn't have anything in the tank that day, as I had been dealing with the fallout of Odin's Revenge for weeks, and looking back on this, I was definitely ill with a virus of some sort. How I even managed to get as far as I did, I do not know. However; it really burns me that I couldn't continue on my own ride. Oh well..........

The good news is that I have been getting better all the time since then, a month and a half ago now, and things are clicking again like they haven't since before Trans Iowa last April. So, I am looking forward to riding well at Interbike for the two days I will be able to do that out there, and then when I get back, I am maybe going to do a couple of night time gravel events, or.......well I can not say right now. There is a plan being hatched, but it isn't ripe for consumption just yet. If it looks good, I am going to be saying something soon about it, and if not, you'll never know a thing! Ha! Cryptic, eh?

Stay tuned. The future is looking better..........


Chad Q said...

Mark, Merrie and I are looking forward to having you back for Odin's again next year. Stay tuned for some very sweet course update's.I have found some very interesting stuff on the last exploration ride.

Guitar Ted said...

@Chad Q: I am already making changes and plans to be there and finish the next one you put on. Thanks for all your time and efforts involved in putting on Odin's.