Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rear View 2015- Part 3

I PR'd my coldest commute ever in 2015
As detailed in my Rear View Part 1, the year started out bad in terms of health. I was so sick most of the time I hardly turned a pedal in January and February.

There were a few bright spots. One was when I felt good enough to ride and the air temperature was -17°F and I was not going to miss riding my bike just because it was so cold! Careful layering and riding the Blackborow DS kept me warm and safe. It wasn't so bad, really.

It may have, in the end, actually made me more susceptible to becoming sick again, as I ended up battling some malady or another after this as well. It had to rank as one of the worst starts to a year, in terms of cycling, that I have ever endured. Not since the mid-90's had I endured such dismal cycling opportunities due to ill health, weather, and other circumstances.

Of course, I eventually got all of that kicked and started riding more in earnest once the weather broke in March and after a final bout with some possible food poisoning when I was in El Paso, Texas visiting family. When I returned, gravel riding started and I pretty much stuck to that until much later into 2015.

There was a gravel ride to and from Ingawanis to attend a fund raiser/clinic on endurance riding which was fun. 
Dodging large agricultural implements on a 3GR ride in June.
I held a few 3GR rides in 2015, but they were few and far between due to my traveling schedule and for other reasons. It just never seemed to be something I could do on a regular basis in 2015. The rides I did get in were fun and well attended.

I was blessed by a visit from T.I.Vet, Warren Wiebe in July
I ended up doing a lot of solo gravel rides whenever I could find the time to fit them in. I also rode a lot more in different parts of Black Hawk and surrounding counties. Earlier in the year I did a couple longer rides up into Bremer County on unfamiliar roads. I spent a lot of time riding South on Aker Road and then over to the East at times off that road.

On a couple of occasions I rode West over to Grundy County which proved to yield a few good adventures. On one I found a Nalgene bottle knock off which I picked up and now I use that as my water container at work. On another ride later on into the Fall I went North through parts of Butler County and then into Bremer County and on back home through Cedar Falls. The new roads invigorated me and I had a lot of fun doing some different routes at my own pace.

There were a very few outings on the fat bike and those were almost all exclusively into the Green Belt with a couple of rides into George Wyth to bag a couple of new trails that I had heard of so I could keep up my string of having ridden every dirt trail in the park since 1992 that has ever been put in. Many are gone now, but I remember them and now I have the new ones to ride as well.

I got to ride with my co-worker at Europa Cycle and Ski, Andy, on our fat bikes and we dove into much of Geo Wyth that day along with some of the trails on the South side of the Cedar River as well. Oddly enough, I didn't ride any of my mountain bikes at all for most of the year. If it was dirt, I used the Blackborow DS almost exclusively with the Bluto suspension fork. Although Ingawanis is a lot of fun, and the trails were good most of the year, I just never seemed to get a day when I could get up there, or I chose to ride gravel instead.

I managed a couple of "Dirt Home From Work" rides on the ol' Inbred
I spent several weeks following my son's football team in the Fall.
This bike bedeviled me and caused me to start Project 1X1
I got to ride with another co-worker, Joel, for the first time this past Fall.
Yes- this was just about a month ago!
Now it is just dreary, wet, and cold!
The mountain bike thing got done at Ingawanis later in November, but even then I rode my Blackborow! Mountain bikes have been gathering dust, for the most part, in 2015. Maybe '16 will play out differently and those bikes will gather dirt, mud, and trail dust!

The Project 1X1 happened, I did a few Periscope broadcasts, and Trans Iowa registration came and went. Meanwhile, I kept rather busy riding gravel and doing reviews. test riding parts, and swapping out bits and pieces all the while.

I got some much needed house work stuff done after my last event for the year, which was Gravel Worlds in August. The Fall went on forever, and early Winter was unusually warm, and I kept riding all along. It's been a great year for that, barring the first three months or so, but the end is making up for the beginning for sure.

So, that about wraps up my Rear View for 2015 here. I hope you enjoyed stopping by and reading about my adventures, my opinions, and I also hope that some of this craziness was helpful to someone in some small way. I thank you all for stopping by.

Next up, I will ponder what 2016 may have in store, put out my thoughts on bikes, technology, and maybe a few plans on events for the coming season. Maybe more, we'll see what comes out of this addled brain! Stay tuned.......

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