Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rear View 2014- Part 1

Well, as I forewarned, and as I have done about every year end now, here is my series on a look back over at 2014 before it is gone.

Hard to believe it, but this old year is about to become history. It seems like a long, long time ago, in 2013 at the end of the year, that I hinted about some changes coming along, and some of those things are happening/will happen very soon, while one other thing almost did happen, but didn't. I'll get to all of that later....

First things first- January was all about getting ready for my third attempt at Triple D, the Winter bike/ski/run event held in the middle of January in Dubuque. I was going to ride the Ti Mukluk and shortly before the event, I went tubeless with the tires and got a Velocity Dually 26"er fat bike wheel set to try out for that event. I was pretty deep into my looking back at all previous Trans Iowas on the blog here, and Winter was kicking it down hard all month.

Triple D went well, as I had gotten very ill earlier in the month and wasn't as trained up as I wanted to be. Still, I finished for a third time in a row and got 33rd out of almost 90 riders. Not too shabby for an old guy! The rest of the month was filled up with more snow, more cold, and ramblings about gravel stuff.

One for Odin
I sent my post card off for my second Odin's Revenge attempt and decided to take the Fargo Gen I again. I also decided to use a wider range gearing than I had before and placed a triple ring set up on it that I figured would work well.

In other bicycle news I got my old Snow Dog back together finally after having had it robbed of parts to get my son's Mukluk going the previous Fall. It was nice having it back, but I also had really frustrating rides on both Mukluks due to the lack of flotation and control in the drier, blown out conditions for snow we endured last Winter. I had decided to get on board with big rims and tires and with that decision came a set of purple ano Salsa Conversion hubs that would see a totally different usage down the road.

Part of a Trans Iowa booth display at Frostbike
In the middle of this terrible Winter and of the month of February I received news of a friend's death and I played at his "Celebration of Life" ceremony. If you ever see me riding with an orange bandana on my head, it is in memory of this person. That hit me harder than I thought it might.

Then it was Frostbike. Whoo boy! Mrs Guitar Ted and I drove up to the Twin Cities in the worst weather I've driven in for years. The interstate was actually closed at one point, but we somehow got on it anyway and eventually we made it. It wasn't fun at all! Frostbike itself was another marathon session of seeing old friends and making new acquaintances.

After that it was more Trans Iowa stories and working on the t-shirts, which a few had gotten finished so I could give Jeff Kerkove one at Frostbike. Then I received the news that Grinnell had awarded Trans Iowa the 2014 Tourism Experience Award. So, in one month I see a trade show booth with a Trans Iowa theme and a city gives the event an award based on tourism. That was pretty surreal and humbling. I never figured I'd ever see the day.

More Rear View 2014 coming soon........

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