Thursday, December 28, 2017

Rear View '17: Part 4

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 the final installment- Part 4. I'll have a forward looking post to end the year on. Stay tuned.....

September started off with me contracting a really bad cold/flu thing and my riding went in the tank right along with the fitness I built up over the Summer. I was hopeful it was only a 10-12 day thing, but it stretched out to two weeks. Then I was gone on a vacation for a week, which did not include cycling at all. Then I returned and so did the cold.

I called it the "Bummer Stretch". It basically killed any thoughts of doing the Spotted Horse gravel event, so I sent a note to the race director, Sarah Cooper, and asked that I be taken off the roster. That was a big downer for me.

Trans Iowa registration went off without a hitch in October, but I still hadn't worked up a solid idea on where those people were going to be riding. Meanwhile, my route finding partner of the last several years, Jeremy Fry, decided to enter the event again. That meant I was either doing the route alone, or that I needed to find a new route finding partner.

Another downer stemming from the illness was that I was planning a century ride on my single speed but with my health, it was getting postponed. Every time an open date came up I was either too weak to go or I had other things going on. Then the weather turned and that plan got shelved until 2018. I did get out for a half century on my single speed though. I did that ride with Martin who was also on a single speed.

The "Bummer Stretch" of events took another turn when in early October I learned of Christopher Van Ooyen's passing. Better known in Lincoln cycling circles as "CVO", his death was another blow to that community that had far too much bad news already in 2017. I only knew CVO a little, but he was definitely an influence on some of my experiences on gravel in the Lincoln area.

Trans Iowa recon eventually did happen
December 1st brought more bummer news when I dropped my TG-3 camera while commuting and it smashed into the pavement at about 20mph. Dead camera resulted and I had to start thinking about purchasing a new one. Well, that's when the bummer stretch started to ease up when a good friend offered a brand new TG-5 at a great price. So, camera issue solved!

Then Trans Iowa recon actually happened. I got inspiration for the route in November, my friend Tony agreed to do recon driving with me, and an open date with perfect weather all came together. The recon was not without its reroute issues, but they are minor and I think it should all go off without a hitch now.

Of course, the usual recapping of things started happening in late November. That stretch of great weather during that month saw a ton of review test riding going on which was great. I almost squeezed in everything for 2017, but I have a few things which will carry over to early 2018 when, hopefully, the weather breaks and I can get out on gravel roads again.

So, there is a quick recapping of the year here on "Guitar Ted Productions". I want to thank all of you for reading here. It means a lot to me to hear and read the comments about how this site is a favorite, or that it is a regular stop in many morning routines. I am humbled to have gained your trust and I hope that next year I can continue to do you all right.


graveldoc said...

All the best to you and yours in the coming year, Mark! I look forward to continuing my early morning routine with Guitar Ted Productions. Here's to good health and great riding in 2018!

Tim said...

Who needs "fake news" when I can get inspired by reading your blog? Thanks for the laughter, motivation, honesty, and pictures in 2017! I'm looking forward to my daily read in 2018.

Ari said...

Coffee, GT’s blog is how I start the day. Thanks for all your efforts. Happy New Years! Ari and the Slender Fungus.

FarleyBob said...

My computer also opens to my morning dose of GT! Thanks for all you do Mark!

Phillip Cowan said...

If a lot of my posts seem to come early in the morning it's because like Ari and Robert above I'm reading your blog while having my first cup o joe before I start work at 6:00AM. Really yours is one of the best on the web. I hope you don't ever get tired of posting daily. Thanks again!