|A Guitar Ted Productions series|
This won't have a lot of bicycle stuff in it at times, but it is all essential to the story of "Guitar Ted". This isn't about where the name came from. That's all here. No, this is about the person.
As with previous historical series on the blog, images will be a rarity. Cell phones, social media, and digital images were not available to take advantage of in those last days of analog living.
In this post we will learn a bit about some of the influences on the person who became Guitar Ted
The last year I worked at Advantage Cyclery was packed mostly with work, but there were a few notable things which occurred that year which bear mentioning on this journey. One of these has to do with racing. Cross country mountain bike racing, to be exact.
Oddly enough, I became the president of the Advantage Cyclery Racing Team. I know.......weird, right? But I was trying to make a stab at "serious" XC MTB and I figured getting involved in this team was a way to do that. I ended up becoming the President since my former touring partner Troy's opening of Bike Tech had kind of sent the normal hierarchy of race folks into a tizzy. There was a bit of a schist concerning support and Bike Tech didn't have a team that first year, so everything got weird and I ended up being there. I think, really, that was all it took at that point. Just being there.
|"Ears", #173- one of the Straight Edge kids that I hung out with, at Petersen Pits race, 1996|
To assist in this, I ended up finding out about a cheap station wagon for sale that Ears and his buddy thought I should look into as a race weekend vehicle we all could ride in. My truck, with it's single cab, wasn't going to cut it, and Ears' 'Scort, a beat to shit Ford Escort, wasn't going to cut the mustard either. So I purchased this enormous green Buick Estate Wagon, took it to Schuerman's Auto Repair (the place figures into my future) to get the brakes fixed, and we had a race weekend "ship" we could set sail in.
That was a choice that, in retrospect, I probably should not have made, since we only really used that sled about three times and the rest of the time that rig was mostly a liability. But, I do recall we had a memorable trip to the XC MTB race in Winona, a tough course, and a long trip to make. We also used the wagon to do an over nighter in Decorah, Iowa, to ride the mountain biking trails there. That was an awesome weekend of fun as well. The three of us also went to Decorah one other time, but I don't think we used the Buick. I had a Honda wagon by that time......anyway.
The Estate Wagon essentially became a boat anchor, and I needed it to be towed, or it was going to be impounded, as it had died in the parking lot behind Advantage Cyclery by the Fall of '96. I had a couple of guys interested in it through my Dad who wanted it for a demo-derby rig, so I gave it to them, and that was the end of the Estate Wagon.
That Summer, I also had a co-worker at Advantage by the name of Missy. She was a perky personality, a culy haired, blue-eyed blonde that had a beaming smile. I liked her, so we became conversant on a friendly basis at work. She heard my story about my recent past, of course, since she was married and wanted to know what happened with my first marriage. Curiously, she took an interest in my well being, and more importantly, my spiritual well being. She asked me if I thought it would help me if I attended a church, and she suggested the one she went to, Heartland Vineyard, as a good one for me.
Ironically, at about this same time Ryan, who was in building bikes at the shop one Summer day, asked me if I would go to church with him sometime. Not the next week, or maybe the next month, just "sometime". I figured it wasn't a real serious ask, so why not just say "yes". Then again, somehow I knew the bill would come due. This becomes more relevant in my story later on.
I also ended my XC MTB career the following Spring. I didn't want to do it anymore, partly because a big life changing occurrence was on the horizon for me. It would affect my life in a huge way. That will be covered in my next post.
Next: A Fire Sale