Sunday, August 05, 2018

The Touring Series: The Time Between Tours

A Guitar Ted Productions Series
The "Beg, Borrow, and Bastard Tour" ended and I went back to being a bike shop mechanic and my first wife was working as a used light airplane sales person. Things swiftly changed in my life after that August. 

This section of the Touring Series won't have a lot do with bicycles, but the events of late '94 asnd early 1995 would inform what I did with bicycles for years to come, and that all culminated with the next tour we undertook in 1995 during a hot August.

So, for a couple of weeks or so I will unravel the tale between two tours. Today's entry appeared on the blog in 2009 and I will have additional comments afterward. 

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 This post doesn't really have a thing to do with touring, but it has everything to do with it. From my perspective anyway, and this is my story after all. So here's the deal..........

Lots of life altering things occurred during the rest of 1994 and into 1995. I won't get into any gory details here, but I lost my first wife to methamphetamine. Now she didn't die. She got hooked, was dealing, and one day she disappeared. It was a traumatic thing to deal with. I had to go through a weird divorce, and for a time was fearing for my life since I had dumped almost a thousand dollars worth of meth down a toilet. (Drug dealers don't take too kindly to that sort of thing.) I even had to "steal" my own truck and hide it for nine months before I could drive it. Yeah, that was a weird time in my life and yes.....the details are even weirder!

So I was what you might say "depressed" and not really thinking about any adventures going into the summer of '95. My friends were concerned and were watching me closely, I know. Fortunately, I found a source of solace that got me through this tough time. But I didn't know God as well as I was going to in a few months time. There was something brewing that was going to really rattle my cage, but in a really good way.

During all of this turmoil the shop hired a bunch of assemblers to get us through the early season builds. One of the new guys was a rider that had been hanging out a lot. Ryan was his name. A sometimes quiet, but extremely funny guy that could ride a mountain bike better than anybody I knew then. Ryan had the particularly cool ability to track stand no handed and talk to you for as long as you wanted. All the while just gently rocking his bike back and forth to keep balance. Crazy ability!

Ryan and I got to be friendly and we hung out sometimes. Of course, the story about the "Beg, Borrow, and Bastard Tour" was recounted to him by Troy and I. Ryan would often say he thought it sounded like a fun thing to do. Another guy at the shop working as a mechanic, Tim, would be showing some interest as well.

I don't know who came up with the idea to go again, but it came up. In my mind, I just needed to get away from it all. The pain, the bad memories, and stuff that was still going down throughout the early summer. I was just glad some folks wanted to come along. So it was that Troy, Ryan, and myself were committed to make another touring attempt. This was going to be bigger, badder, and better right from the start.

We were going to the Rocky Mountains.
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That's a heavy post, and a lot to digest there. Things went South in my life in a big way when my first wife started disappearing for days, then weeks, at a time. She lost her job, a well paying gig at the time, and then on the day before Christmas Eve 1994 a good friend of hers told me to meet her and she spilled the beans about the whole shady mess.

There were confrontations, counselings and missed appointments, and fear and anxiety. Around about January sometime in '95 she disappeared for good, and in February I started divorce proceedings. Not knowing where she was made getting some details of the divorce really difficult. During this time she absconded with my Dodge pick-up truck and I was left car-less. I ended up driving the shop van for a while and then I got an old Buick Estate wagon at some point during that Spring.

Things got real hairy when my friends got together and helped to "steal" my truck back and I had to hide it in a barn in Northern Tama County and another garage in Steve's back yard for around six months or so until well after the divorce was finalized on July 27th, 1995.

I only ever saw my first wife once more, in May in '95. I've never seen her since. Probably a good thing.....

So there ya go, the stage was set for a big, emotionally draining, oddball adventure. Stay tuned for how it all came together in next Sunday's post......

5 comments:

Steven Butcher said...

You've been through so much from which to heal, Mark. So many blessings about which you are now able to testify! God is good!

baric said...


Wow! Holy Crap! We may not have nine lives like the cat but it's always good when we can eventually pick up the pieces, move on and make something better. Bless You.

phillip Cowan said...

I feel your pain. I've lived through the horrors of addiction (someone else's) and it's hell. Much respect.

Robert Ellis said...

Man you have had to endure some gnarly times. Glad you made it to solid ground! Thanks for all these writings.

Kate Geisen said...

My brother went through something similar with his first wife. Very hard for him, and even more so for their daughter, to deal with. Glad you (and he) had the people around to help get through that time.