Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Rear View 2014: Part 2

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. Rear View Part 1 can be seen HERE.

In the last post, I left off with the end of February and the brutal grip Winter had over the area here was vice like. That extended into March. The month was marked by a lot of Trans Iowa and gravel road talk. In personal news, I was sick to the point of being incapacitated for the second time in a month and a half. To say that between the cold and the illnesses that I wasn't riding is an understatement. Somehow or another I squeezed in a few rides, and in very raw, windy conditions, for the most part. It was mostly a forgettable month with the exception of one thing.

I was informed that my close friend MG was coming up to the area to visit relatives and he wanted to know if I could meet him. I agreed and we had a great ride that day, talking, exploring, getting lost, and just goofing around. Then it was back to the deep freeze and not feeling so great for a couple more weeks. In the meantime, I got another new bicycle! This was a bit more special to me since it was a Raleigh Tamland that I had some influence on in terms of geometry and certain frame details. It showed up in late March and I was able to get enough rides in on it to dial in a fit and use it during the 4th Annual Renegade Gent's Race.

This perfectly sums up the Gents Race for me (Image by S. Auen)
Four years and eight months ago I was invited to be on a "team" for the first "Renegade Gent's Race" to be held near Ankeny, Iowa. Our "Team Captain" was the organizer of the team and invited me to be a part of the five man squad. The thing was, I didn't know anyone on the team but Steve, the Captain.

It's one of those things that could have gone very wrong, but every April since then this event has become a highlight of my year, and apparently, that of the other four as well, since the "Careless Whispers", as we've named our team, is the only intact from the beginning team to have been at every Renegade Gent's race.

I used the Tamland on this 4th running of the Gent's race and had a great time doing it. This event has grown to the point that several folks come from miles around now to get in on the action. I remember the first one where I was the odd man out coming from as far away as I did. Now that is routine. I'm already looking forward to going again next Spring and I hope the Careless Whispers can make it five straight years in a row.

That's generally the last "fun" thing I get to do until Trans Iowa is over at the end of April. The rest of the month after the Gent's Race is almost all preparation for the big event and I had a recon with Wally and George, (well......that's more fun, actually, so.....), I met Chris Skogen of the Almanzo 100, (again- more fun), and then making cue sheets and getting all the "I's" dotted and "T's" crossed before I head down to Grinnell once again. The tenth Trans Iowa would prove to be an awesome event, but an exhausting one both physically and mentally. I could go on and on about that, but I won't.......

One of the things I expected to do was quit Trans Iowa after that event was done. I didn't, and obviously, a Trans Iowa V11 will occur next Spring. I guess I'll never learn! Anyway, June was coming fast and Odin's Revenge was in my sights.

Next Up- Summertime!

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