Scheduling the year is getting hairy already. Coming up in less than two weeks I have the annual dealer open house at QBP called Frostbike to attend. I look forward to this as on Friday evening I will be spending time in Northfield again at Mike's Bikes. Certain other Mid-Western luminaries will also be in attendance. You'll just have to check back later to see who was there!
Then after Frostbike it will be full court press on Trans Iowa V6 details. This will be mixed in with trying to get some riding in for Twenty Nine Inches testing, which all by itself would keep me plenty busy as it is. Add in that RAGBRAI is coming through our area, and I am sure spring tune-ups will be falling into the shop like rain.
I will try and get some racing in this year early on as well. This will serve to get some much needed testing done, and will help with training. Make no mistake, I am not going out to be competitive. My goal will be to keep the rubber side down, get a good high intensity workout, and get some valuable saddle time on some test bikes. I may only squeak in one, maybe two of these types of rides, but my eyes are open for opportunities. I have seen the IORCA schedule and there is Sylvan Island and maybe the Camp Ingawanis race might work out. We'll see. But before any mtb racing starts around here I'll be going to Texas in March for a chance to ride Franklin Mountain Park again. This might be a one day shot, and if I am lucky, it'll work out to be a two day affair. Basically just getting in some riding here on some test rigs is the goal. (Yes- I drag them on the Thule T-2 all the way down and back!)
Of course, the end of April will be all about Trans Iowa. No Sea Otter this year. Too much going on and I can not afford it!
Then the next big deal on the event calendar is the Chequamegon 100, which will be quite the adventure. I've ridden here before and it is tough, killer, fun single track. If it rains anytime around or during this event, it could be epic. Late May still can bring the cold and wind, or it could be beautiful and kind of hot. Who knows? (I'm betting on the rain to affect this event) I rode up there last year in some rain, and I've been in some pretty moist single track up there, so hopefully I can use that to my advantage. This will happen in late May, and then two weeks later, much further south.........
....I'll be riding the Salsa Fargo in Kansas again. The third attempt at the Dirty Kanza 200 should be a toughie. More folks to keep me company out there this time though, which should be interesting.
After Kansas, I'll be doing another Fargo Adventure Ride in Minnesota. That's three big rides in the space of six weeks! If I am still alive after the Fargo Ride, we immediately head up to Chequamegon again for another dose of single track.
As if THAT wasn't enough, the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational is in the middle of July and we'll be re-tracing the route from last year's GTDRI up in the West Union/Strawberry Point area. Last year someone measured the route on a GPS at just shy of 10.000 feet of climbing with several ascents at plus 10% grade and one at an amazing 18%!
I will be trying to ride all the ascents out this time, but it will be insanely tough! This was by far the hardest GTDRI course ever and also the most scenic. We'll be camping out right afterward and hanging out till Sunday morning. This will be a great time.
Then just over a month later I'll be back in the Lincoln, Nebraska area for the Gravel World Championships/Good Life Gravel Adventure put on by the Pirate Cycling League. The 150-ish mile course is awesome and last year I attempted it on a single speed. This time I am entering in the SS class again, because I know I could do it on a single. If I had went to sleep at a decent hour last year, I would have made it in. So this time, even if MG says it is a bad idea, I'm goin for the single speed attempt again!
Whew! That's going to be an epic year of cycling if it all pans out. Of course, after all of this, at the end of September, I'll likely be headed out to Interbike too. So more riding in Bootleg Canyon. Oh yeah!
So, as you can see, I'll be plenty busy all year long. If I have to decline your offer to do something else, I think you'll be able to figure out why!