Monday, September 25, 2017

Now For The Next Thing

Yeah.......Iowa is flat. Image by Carol Bassett
Last week I ran the series on Interbike and one of the reasons why I did that was because I was gone last week to a retreat my church sent me on. Yes, it was also very convenient that Interbike was happening at the time. So, that worked out rather well. While I was gone, I got to see a huge chunk of the country I've never seen before. I've been to Louisville, Kentucky once about 37 years ago, but that was only a tiny bit of Kentucky. This time I saw a huge part of that state along with Ohio, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

I have seen the Rockies, and they have their own majesty, but the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains are no joke. Go there if you've never been there. I am super glad that I did.

One more thing- I've never seen so much tobacco product on display as I did in the Southeast. One place had a ten foot long by five foot high selection of cigarettes, (not behind any counter), and that same place probably had thirty varieties of chewing tobacco, (which was behind the counter), on display as well. Here in the Mid-West cigarette usage hasn't gone away by any stretch, but it is rarer than ever.

Then there was the selection of craft brewed beers that you could get at any convenience store. Weird. Here I have to go to a specific liquor store to get "the good stuff" as the chain convenience stores here barely touch what I would consider even basic craft beer selections. Man! I saw about a half a dozen beers I would have liked to have tried. Wrong timing though. We were always on the move when I saw the stuff and short on cash.

Anyway, it was an amazing trip and I am really glad and thankful to have gotten the opportunity to do it. I wouldn't change a thing about it. However; I wasn't on the bike for a week. That kind of presents a problem looking ahead.........

You see,I have an event in less than two weeks coming up that is 200 miles in length and includes the hills, (and more like them), that you see imaged here by Carol Bassett. Yes........those exact hills are on the course. They come just before the halfway mark of the event.

The last bike ride I had a week ago was the first long one in a while.
 So....... Well, the thing is, I was sick for two weeks prior with a nasty cold which required lots of rest. No big rides. I felt good enough just over a week ago on Saturday to get out and do about 45 miles on my single speed Pofahl rig, but other than this, I haven't really done any long rides in three weeks time. That's probably not a good training plan coming into the Spotted Horse Ultra.

The good news is that the forced rest I got over the past week has made me get better in terms of the cold symptoms, but they aren't 100% gone yet. I'd say I'm at 90% in that recovery, but obviously, my legs and lungs haven't been tuned up the way that they should have been. This has led me to take stock in my goal for the Spotted Horse and I have had to make a tough decision.

That decision being, I don't care anymore about goals for this event. While that sounds odd, I am sure, it is something that takes the pressure off my mind to expect anything other than a nice long bicycle ride in some beautiful territory on October the 7th. There is no reasonable way to approach this event as anything else for me at this point. I have the cards dealt to me and they are what they are. It is not what I wanted. But it is what I have to work with.

The weather is cooling off soon, and I am happy about that. I always look forward to Fall riding, so this will be a good time of the year to get out there and enjoy some Iowa countryside. Heck, I may even just take the single speed. I'll decide after I get a ride in this coming Wednesday on it. There is something I need to try first on it though.

It's not like the Spotted Horse has the only tough hills in Iowa though. Image by Celeste Mathias
See, I double flatted five miles from the house on my last ride. Had to have Mrs. Guitar Ted bail me out since I was only packing one tube. I didn't have time to investigate the reason for the flats, but I have had a history of flatting with those wheels. I am going to swap over to my other single speed specific Industry Nine wheels and those have Bontrager Duster rims laced to them so I can go tubeless. That should be a better deal. As for the original wheels, I may still be able to get those re-laced with real tubeless rims at some point. I'll have to see if I can get I-9 to do that, or see just how that might be accomplished otherwise.

But at any rate, I have those other single speed specific I-9 wheels and I will try those set up with some WTB Nanoraptor tires I have. I'll have to go re-up on my latex mold builder so I can make my "MG's Special Sauce" tubeless solution though. (Don't ask me about it.) I've run out of the home brew tubeless goop at this point. I need to remedy that in this household which has so many bikes set up tubeless it is ridiculous.

But if that doesn't work, it isn't like I do not have other bicycles to use. (<====HA!) So, short of the Pofahl working out, I'll likely take the good ol' standby Fargo Gen I or my Tamland. Either one I am quite confident will be a good rig for the Spotted Horse.

So, the "next thing" is coming up and I have to try to do what I can to get ready to go. After the Spotted Horse I may do another Geezer Ride, so stay tuned for anything on that coming up soon.


Tim said...

I find riding any event to be more enjoyable if I go into it open. Meaning open to whatever occurs, open to whatever time it takes, open to explore myself + my surroundings. Keep sharing in your blog, I deeply & sincerely appreciate it!

Katharine Ankofski said...

So glad to see you'll still be out there! Looking forward to suffering a bit together.

S.Fuller said...

It's going to be a beautiful fall ride, no matter what distance people are able to go that weekend.

MG said...


Derek said...

Glad that you're still coming! I admire your attitude and chill about all of the illness, training, and life stress. Look forward to seeing you, Kate, Craig, & other TI alums there.