Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Rear View '17: Part 1

The look back on the year for 2017- dubbed "Rear View", is a traditional year ending series on the blog each year here. This is Part 1:

2017 started out with a Winter that was quickly failing its promise started earlier in 2016. By the New Year the snow was dismal for anything Winter related and it only got worse. By early February we were already out on the gravel roads and enjoying March-like weather.

I was fretting over a snag in the route finding for Trans Iowa which saw a complete re-writing of the opening leg that needed looking at. There were a couple of sore spots for me coming into and out of Winterset, which was a looong way away from Waterloo.

I got sick in January with a cold/flu. Again. Like about every year.....

I went to the Iowa Bicycle Expo again and it was a pretty good time. Well, except for that one vendor who shall remain nameless that pretty much did all he could do to ignore me. That was interesting.....

February dawned with a bit of a solo recon mission on the first leg of Trans Iowa v13. It went smoothly and was deemed a great success. I spent a lot of time clearing out the Lab, adding new bits to old bikes, and dreaming of making the Black Mountain Cycles rig an 11 speed one, but that last part never happened.

There was white wall tires for the Big Dummy, the resurrection of the '03 Monkey in a "green theme" and the start of the restoration of my custom Badger. News bits included the catastrophic DK200 registration, the revealing of a "gravel fork" by Fox, and the announcement of the Riding Gravel jersey and more.

Winter took an early leave in 2017
March came with the news that I was going to be back with the crew again for another Renegade Gents Race. Weather was awesome. It was no problem getting in good gravel miles and the Sun was warming things up really great. Would Spring come early? I was hard pressed to think otherwise.

Well,the weather took a turn back toward Winter about the 10th of March and right as I was able to get out and complete the Trans Iowa v13 recon. It was a huge load off my mind and just in time for the last gasp of Winter to come and sling down some wet snow on us.

That snow was on its way out a week later and I was on a mad scramble to get in some sort of fitness for the quickly approaching Gents Race. Between Trans Iowa recon and that snow, the weeks leading up to the Gents Race weren't kind to the training schedule. Of course, I was also busy behind the scenes trying to knock out cue sheets and getting the special T.I.v13 shirt order in so they could get printed up in time for the event. This also included sourcing number plates and getting those in so I could start customizing those for each rider.

March closed out with the shocking news of Mike Hall's death while participating in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race. The news took the ultra-endurance and bikepacking riding scene to a level of distress and mourning which had been unprecedented.

Coming Soon- Part 2

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