Monday, August 07, 2017

GTDRI '17 Report: Part 1- Getting Rolling

The sky wasn't red, so we'd be okay.......right?
The Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational for 2017 was to be a homage of sorts to what the Pirate Cycling League in Lincoln Nebraska does with their annual "Tour of Dirt Roads". My goal was to jam in as many Level B Maintenance roads into the route that I could. Once the route was finished, I had approximately 25 miles of 102.7 miles total in Level B Roads. Not too shabby, I'd say.

Of course, the risk in doing that is if the weather gets wet. Then all bets are off and one quarter of your course is unrideable. Therefore; the weather was on my mind, but all for naught. As it turned out, it was perfect. I doubt that any GTDRI in the future will ever have weather this tranquil and nice. Sure, it was chilly to start out with, Martin said his Garmin showed 48° at one point, but once the Sun got up it quickly zoomed into the mid-70's where it stayed the rest of the day. Humidity was unusually low for August. The wind, while making its presence felt at one point as a headwind early in the afternoon, was really a non-factor. Varying cloud cover meant we didn't get cooked. Weird weather for August, but no one was complaining.

The next thing about the GTDRI is that you never know who might show up. Early in the week I had confirmations for four folks. Three of them dropped out. Then I got one more confirmed rider via e-mail and Friday another came in to the shop and committed. So.....there would be at least four of us. But then you have the surprises. Every year people show up unannounced, which is kind of fun, in the case of this ride. I figured we'd see a couple more folks show up.

One of the unforseen GTDRI riders was Dave Roll
I got up at about 4:30am after a week of not really getting enough sleep at all. It didn't help that the night before GTDRI I found out that neither one of the two printers in the Guitar Ted Headquarters had good cartridges. Bah! I had to hurriedly scribble out handwritten cues and laminate them with packing tape before I went to bed. Another late night!

So, I drove down to Reinbeck and saw that New York Roll had decided to show up for the ride. He's a local, so that was cool, Then Rob E. from Lincoln made the drive up alone with his Pugsley. Nick H. from Iowa City was there with a sweet, skinny tired Gunnar Cross Hairs. Martin B. with his'17 Ti Fargo was there along with Robert F. who had ridden over from Cedar Falls. With me that made six. That was a nice sized group and about the average for turnout on these deals.

We were supposed to head out at 6:00am, but we weren't quite ready to go until five minutes after six. Just then, a Toyota Tundra came wheeling up and Rob said, "Well, it looks like Kevin made it after all." I looked in surprise as Kevin F. jumped out and asked if we could wait for him. So, we were seven riders and didn't get started until 6:30am. Kevin had driven starting at 2:30am from Omaha, Nebraska to make it, so it was the least we could do. Once Kevin was ready we rolled out Southward from Reinbeck to get the ride started.

It was pretty chilly to start, but spirits were high.
We held a pretty good line through the first few miles and it soon became apparent that this group was strong enough to go at a pretty good clip. Robert, who had ridden over, was freezing since he had sweated out and stood around too long before we got going again. I figured an elevated pace would aid in his recovery, so I allowed us to push a little harder than I thought we should be for a long day in the saddle.

The first Level B Road section featured three miles of smooth and fast dirt goodness.
We reached the first Level B Road section with no issues and halfway through we decided it was time for a quick nature break, the first stop of many throughout the day. Then it was on to some gravel travel which led us across the entire width of Tama County until we reached the next section of Level B Road.

The morning miles features mostly flatter and maybe some gently rolling, terrain.
The second stretch of Level B Road just before entering Benton County.
Along the way to the second stretch of Level B Road Kevin was suffering from bad back syndrome, tight hamstrings, and from just being unrested from his long drive to get over to Reinbeck. By the time we'd reached Benton County is was apparent that he was going to have to bail out. Just how we were going to get that done was yet to be determined.

Next: Part 2- History And Trouble


Steve Fuller said...

That last Level B photo is lovely. :)

Guitar Ted said...

@ Steve Fuller- Thank you!!