Wednesday, May 07, 2014

What's Been Going On

I got out for a couple commutes
While all the T.I.V10 recap was unfolding here, I wasn't idle. I was off the Monday afterward and pretty much was incapacitated by weariness, but I fully expected that. I did go out on my rat ride fixed gear to pick up my son from school though, so I got a short bike ride in!

Mostly it was a week of suffering through fits of being so completely tired and wasted I could hardly stay awake punctuated by long stretches where I was not 100% but functioning. I was at its worst from about 3:30pm till about 6:00pm everyday last week and then at 10:00pm I would wake up completely and not want to go to bed. I short circuited that Friday by going to bed earlier! That seemed to help quite a bit. Friday was also the best day I had the whole week, which was great in that I was making progress back to becoming a normal human being again. (Well, as normal as I am gonna get!)

The weather was cold, dreary, and wet for almost the entire week. Not conducive to riding or for business at work. That played to my recovery in a good way, since it was easier at work than it could have been and I didn't feel guilty for missing out on great days for riding since there were none.

New gravel tires!!!
It was an excellent week for tires though, and I have gotten in two sets of the latest shoes dubbed "gravel road" worthy for Gravel Grinder News testing.  In fact, one is called the "Gravel Grinder" and is by Challenge Tires. This isn't like the hand made, glued up variety, but is a fully vulcanized casing like most tires are made.  It is dubbed a 38mm tire from Challenge's "Race Series" and has a file tread center with outer lateral lugs deigned to enhance stability and cornering on dirt roads.

The other tires I got were the WTB Nano 40's. Obviously a downsized version of the acclaimed Nanoraptor tread pattern on a tall "C" shaped casing. A center line is there to make a fast tire. We'll see how fast when I get more time on this one.

I got both sets mounted and in a minor miracle of sorts, both measured out as claimed. Weird. That almost never happens with the mountain bike tires I get. I have ridden the Nano 40's around town here but not yet on a proper gravel ride since it has been so wet up until just recently, but I have actually gotten in a decently long gravel ride on the "Gravel Grinder" with some friends down near Amana last weekend. In fact, we started out of Amana, went East and North, then South across the Iowa River and then back West and North again to close out the loop.

One of the guys I rode with, Craig had won a set of HED Ardennes+ wheels by being the last person in to Checkpoint #2 at Trans Iowa, and I figured I would hand deliver them. As long as I was coming down, why not ride? So that's how I ended up riding down there, and Charles  came along as well. It was a great adventure for sure!

See the chunky gravel under Craig's feet? Much of our route was covered in that.
There were some "water crossings"!
Charles in front and I crossing one of the four water hazards on the ride. (Image by C Irving)
When I came down to Amana I noticed "festival" signs everywhere and a large amount of traffic. When we finished the ride Amana was jam-packed with folks attending the annual "Maifest" celebration. This made finding a bite to eat easier, as there were vendors all over the small village. We parked in front of Millstream Brewing where there were bratwursts and, of course, Millstream Beer to be had.

Charles, Craig, and I all had good food and drink with some very good, (and at times, deep), conversations. It was a great day to be out and having it fall on Maifest was just pure dumb luck that only added to the fun of the day.

The end of the weekend was a rest day. Having my legs ripped off by Charles and Craig made me really tired again, like I had been after Trans Iowa. That dictated that I take it easy, or I feared I would be running myself into the ground, which would only end in bad things! I did a bit of bicycle maintenance, catched up on some writing, and hung out with the family instead.

Outside it has transitioned from cold, dreary, and wet to warm, green, and Summer-like. Time to get busy and train up for Odin's Revenge, get the Trans Iowa Master's Program dialed, and do some recon for the GTDRI route. It's going to be a very busy May! That's what has been going on and what will be going on in the short term here at Guitar Ted Productions.

Thanks for putting up with all the Trans Iowa madness over the past few weeks.

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