Saturday, January 07, 2017

Minus Ten Review- 1

Oh yeah..... Another year of looking back. This time it will be all about what I was up to here in 2007. So, just a few words about the year in general before I kick things off. 2007 was a pivotal year for me and the blog. In '06, things went from local only to national in scale. 2007 brought even more scope and really was the year that kicked me off in the general direction I have been in ever since then. It also was the year that I was kind of "kicked out of the nest", as it were, since Jeff Kerkove left for Ergon, Buchannondale was gone by this time a decade ago, and I had no foils, no riding partners, and certainly, no real encouragement here locally. Most of the folks I would be riding with in '06 and '07 would move on to support the other local shop here and since I worked for the competitor, I was kind of left outside of the loop.

I rode the XXIX+G on a gravel group ride with Jeff Kerkove for the last time ever in January of '07.
That persisted to be the case for a lot of the past decade, which I never really went out of my way to try to change, because it was/is what it is. Besides, I was dedicated to raising my family and I was very busy at times when others had time to do group rides, etc. In fact, it still is that way for me. I'm not complaining, I am just relating that at this time in '07, things changed in that way. One of the things I had going on, which none of the local cyclists here had, was an event of such magnitude that it consumed a lot of my off time. That being Trans Iowa, of course. Then there was the second Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational, and a plan to do a "festival" type 29"er based event in Decorah, Iowa. So, it wasn't like I didn't have other things going on and was sitting around waiting for an invitation to ride somewhere.

Trans Iowa was in a pivotal year, although I had no idea going in just how big of a deal T.I.v3 would be. All I knew was that the responsibility for the course recon and planning of the event was now all mine to bear. Jeff was off doing things to solidify his intentions to move to Colorado and work for Ergon, who were courting him throughout the Winter of '06.'07. So, this meant that for the first time I was in charge of the meeting venue, the details regarding lodging, the City relations, and prizing/sponsorship. All things Jeff had expertly done for Trans Iowa the first two years in.

The first year I used this bridge over the Volga River in a route was for T.I.v3
In fact, ten years ago Trans Iowa recon was what the blog was all about for the most part. I headed out on my own to see a major portion of the route which came out and back to Decorah for the first time ever.

I was pretty pleased with the route to the North, but bringing it around closer to the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area was a bit of an issue since the terrain was not as demanding as it was up there around Decorah. The route had a couple of iron gabled bridges on it which I was pretty happy to have found. I always throw those in if I see them and they make sense for the course. Sometimes they haven't made sense to use, but I've been lucky to find many of these throughout the years that did work out. Like barns, these bridges are slowly decaying. They are being shut down or replaced with modern, boring cement bridges at a rapid pace. I figure we should use them while we can.

Of course, there was the last gravel group ride I was on with Jeff. He had been doing these for a while in '05 and '06, and this was one of the only ones I had been available for to go along on. I rode the new to me Raleigh XXIX+G with a few modifications. It was........not the greatest bike. I think I touched on this before, but the geometry for forks and the geometry for frames were not yet refined for 29"ers, so that was a bit of a nit I had with that old bike, and I never really was able to resolve it. I tried all sorts of oddball set ups on it with the hope that something would click. But as with the Salsa Dos Niner I had, nothing really settled with me, although there were various tries at getting those bikes "right".

1 comment:

Dave said...

Weve lost a few steel bridges up in the northeast since I was a boy. I'm glad I got to roll them when they were still up.