Wednesday, August 01, 2018

GTDRI '18: Final Thoughts

A lone rider against the Sunrise during the 2018 GTDRI
The 13th running of this goofy event was probably the best one ever. There have been some damn good GTDRI's, so that's saying a lot. But you have to say that 20 plus satisfied riders is amazing. You'd have to admit that the weather was top notch, if not the best ever, close to it. You'd have to say that this course was remarked upon more than any other one I've done.

So, I feel pretty confident in saying this one was a rousing success. I'll admit, I'm not one to say that lightly either. So, with that I feel pretty good. Besides the good times, I got to meet a lot of new folks and saw some old friends. The day was marked by only two flat tires and my balky drive train, (No! I am not a fan of the 1X road stuff.) I didn't hear about, or see any crashes, so no serious biffs or scrapes. Heck, even the passage of I Avenue, with its weeds, didn't seem to trigger any reactions, not that I am aware of, anyway. That in itself is amazing.

I learned some valuable things about my nutrition and hydration. I recovered pretty well. I got in a century this year.......finally! Man! That took way longer this year than I wanted it to.

I used some new shorts, my wool jersey and sunblock arm coverings. The new Shimano shoes were excellent. Definitely keepers. The bike, well I wrote up my thoughts on that for RidingGravel.com here.

Riders on the GTDRI just before reaching Traer on a Tama County Level B
The Future:

Just as with Trans Iowa, (which, if you haven't heard, is dead), I am not going to keep organizing this ride every year forever. After 13 years, I am closer to being done than we are to the beginning of the GTDRI. I'll be reaching my sixth decade of rolling around this planet in a few years, and doing stupid long rides in the worst humidity and heat are not my future.

Sure, I could move the date. Might do that someday, but that won't happen yet. What I do plan on is going somewhere different next year and devising a new route. I have some initial ideas and I am excited to go explore the area by bicycle and start putting together another century loop. So, yeah..... There will be another GTDRI next year.

With that said, I heard some things this year which gave me pause. I know no one meant any harm in how they approached the ride, so don't take anything here personally if you were in this year's event. I just want to squash any future growth into the areas of having this become a training ride. Trust me, if I ever feel like that is what is going on here, as far as main purpose sort of goals for folks, I won't ever organize another one of these. That definitely is not where I want this ride to go. I've said it often, if you want a race or a hard training ride, the GTDRI is not for you. Period.

If that's why folks are coming, well I'd rather just do my own ride and enjoy the flowers, the scenery, and not be looking at any FTP numbers afterward. And someday that's what is going to happen. Because there won't be any rides organized by me again. I'll just ride for the sheer enjoyment of it and that's not probably going to be very fast or long at some point in my future.

Till then, I'll keep doing this silly little ride. See ya next year......

2 comments:

Cory Edd said...

So much respect after reading this article Mark. I know I am a slow old turd. I also have never raced. I can respect those who prefer to compete but for me I just ride when I want to and don't even enjoy reading about the racing scene. It's all about friends and family and not competition. You should try to come down next June and ride with us. We'd love to have you.

MG said...

Thanks again for all your hard work making the GTDRI an awesome ride for all of us, Brother!! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the location for next year’s ride.