Thursday, December 05, 2019

Rear View '19 - Winter

Hello Readers! Once again I am doing the annual retrospective on what went down over the year of 2019. This post will focus on Winter. Subsequent posts will cover the other seasons for a total of four, one each week of December. 

The Winter going into 2019 was odd in that we experienced many days with above average temperatures. This allowed for me to get out during the first two weeks of the month and continue to ride gravel roads. I also added to the "State Of The Gravel Scene" pages with a few posts to kick off 2019.

Then Winter came in and deepened as the month went on. I swapped gravel wheels for fat tire ones and started riding in the woods. Most of the riding was accomplished on the old Ti Muk which was an awesome rig. As the season wore on, I was asked to speak at the Iowa Bicycle Conference in Des Moines. That was a first for me.

I also posted two posts in January which have become requested posts by readers since. The "How I Clean My Bicycles" post led to the "How I Keep My Drivetrain Clean" post the following day. Later on in March I answered questions prompted by those two posts.

February was the record breaking, most snow fallen in Waterloo EVER month, so you can imagine that not a lot of riding got done. That was okay because we were busy trying to get the final touches done for the inaugural C.O.G. 100 event which was to take place the following month at the end of that month.

The C.O.G. 100 special run jerseys.
We also released details on how folks could get their own C.O.G. 100 jersey. The jersey differed from the championship jerseys in that we used a different color and the "SS Champ" designation was not on this version of the jersey. If the "kernel" in the jersey looks familiar it is because we took the iconic Iowa State Patrol's insignia and modded it for our use.

N.Y. Roll and I also collaborated on and ran the second "Iowa Gravel Expo/Bike Party" at a local joint. We featured several Iowa based gravel event promoters who came to tell the gathered folk about opportunities to get into events in Iowa over the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2019. I think it went over really well and we were encouraged to do it again in 2020. Details will be posted here soon.

Between work and shoveling copious amounts of snow, I managed to get in a couple of fat bike rides. But mostly I ended up just doing some work on the events calendar for Riding Gravel and waiting for March, which I was hoping would be a lot better for riding. Plus, N.Y. Roll and I were nervous about snow for the C.O.G. 100, or more likely, soft, muddy roads.

March kicked off with a snowy, messy recon of the C.O.G. 100 course. It was a successful recon, and all we had to do after that point was to get cues printed up and get the riders to Grinnell so we could put the event on. The snow started melting then, and within two weeks, it was almost all gone. This quickly melting snow saturated the ground and roads with water making for some epic "slop season" riding.

Just before the "official" end of Winter, N.Y. Roll got me out on a mixed surface ride that featured riding on top of frozen snow drifts and across icy patches with my pink MCD shod with 650B X 47 Venture tires. The tires did great, more than I expected, but it was still a sketchy ride! It was great to get back on the bike after being shut in for about three weeks or so by all the snow and constant icy run-off in the first two weeks of March.

Next week: Spring


Rydn9ers said...

Not really all that related but... whatever happened to the Riding Gravel Podcasts?

Guitar Ted said...

@Rydn9ers- To be blunt, my partner in Riding Gravel, Ben Welnak, is too busy to help. He did the recording and post-production/posting of that show. So, between getting time with him and all the behind the scenes work on it he did, which he doesn't have the time for anymore, it went by the wayside. I know that was not his intentions for the Riding Gravel Podcast, but that is the reality of it.

So, in 2020 there will be Guitar Ted content on podcasts to consume. What exactly that will look like is not completely known, nor can it be communicated just yet. If things work out the way I'd like, there will be at least two audio sources for my meanderings. As if this one digital format isn't enough........ Stay tuned.

DT said...

Man I wish I knew how to help out with that, I loved those Radio Ranch podcasts! I know Matt from JRA does a lot of his own stuff with their show; I'm not sure how much he has to rely on Ben. But it's been obvious that he has been the constraint since the beginning. I am not sure why he went through the effort to start The Outdoor Route; seems like a lot of work to re-do something that was already up and running?

Guitar Ted said...

@DT- Yeah, you hit the nail on the head, and I am at a point now where I am just going to have to, as they say- "git 'er done". So, I would look for something coming from me sooner than later.

DT said...

Can't wait!