Thursday, December 20, 2018

Rear View 2018: The Kansas Trip

L-R -Myself, MG, and Joe Reed, who put MG and I up for the weekend of DK.
The next big deal of 2018 was my trip to the Dirty Kanza 200/DKXL event where I was the support guy for my brother MG. Of course, before that was the support for the Almanzo 100 events which I did with my son and Ben Welnak of That was a good weekend, but the DKXL thing was a big weekend for both MG and myself. I didn't expect I was going to have any real part in much of anything going on down there, but once again- I was wrong. 

Earlier in the year I received a cryptic e-mail from Jim Cummins asking me if I was going to be around the weekend of the DKXL/Dirty Kanza. I never knew why that was asked of me, and it was something I thought was weird, but eventually I forgot about it all. I had even run into Jim during the weekend's events leading up to the races and he never really let on that anything was up involving me.

In the meantime, my brother MG had gotten food poisoning and it appeared then that his attempt at the invitation only event was in jeopardy. The event was set up earlier in 2017, they announced it back then, but the participants were chosen under wraps by the DKXL organizers and only 34 were invited. To get that invitation then was a big, big deal, and MG was super impressed, humbled, and thrilled to be a part of this "prototype" of what is going to be the "official" DKXL this coming year.

Anyway, MG was on the floor writhing in pain the morning of the DKXL and he was slated to be at the start line by 4:00pm. Joe Reed, our host, and I were sure we were going to take MG to the hospital, but somehow MG rallied and even got a bit of food down. Then it was hoped that he would take the start, but, ya know.......We figured it was only going to be a short lived, save his honor type deal. Anyway.... In the meantime Joe, some friends of his, and I went downtown to witness the first DKXL start.

Just moments before I was called out by Jim Cummins, (shown here in the blue shirt)
Wow! There were far more people at this historic beginning than anyone figured on. Some estimates put the crowd at 800 people, and these folks were squeezed in anywhere they could find a spot to stand. Somehow or another, I managed to get a front row spot to send off MG and perhaps get a few good images of this history making start. Jim started his soliloquy, and pretty soon I understood he was veering into Trans Iowa territory with his remarks.

"Okay, here he goes!", I thought, and sure enough, my name came up. But then he asked if I was there, and I waved my hand. "Okay. Now let's get on with the show....", I thought, hoping that was all there was to it. But no..... Jim called me to his side! I was floored. I never thought I'd get any recognition for Trans Iowa, or for being an influence on the DKXL. I figured nothing would, or should be said, but he mentioned TI, and myself, and that would have been enough. But with this action of Jim's, by his making time to have me spotlighted, well I was supremely humbled. I'm sure folks thought, "Who the heck is this guy?", because, well, let's face it- Trans Iowa is a tiny spec on the scene. And it was over and out by this point as well.

Anyway, what an honor! I was, and still am, floored by Jim's remarks and by his effort to make time to publicly call me out at that moment. He certainly didn't have to do anything of the sort. So, Thank You Jim! 

He made it! MG gets a finish line hug from Jim Cummins after he completed the DKXL
 Then later on MG just kept amazing me at every turn. He eventually pulled out a finish on a day where many of his fellow competitors failed. It was amazing, and I was so happy for him. That really topped off the weekend and we both had something big happen to us where we never expected it to.

My only regret is that I was able to record a killer podcast episode with MG in two parts that, for whatever reason, never saw the light of day. Oh well! I wish that would have worked out, but as it was, we had a stellar weekend. Oh, and by the way, thank you one more time to our host, Joe Reed. You are awesome, man!

Anyway, that was a huge weekend and a big trip for me. Had Trans Iowa not ended this year that trip would be at the top of the heap for cool stuff that happened here on the blog and in my life in 2018. But I am not finished yet! Oh no! There are at least a few more big events to talk about in the looking back on 2018. Stay tuned......



DT said...

Can you post the MG conversation on the Riding Gravel Radio Ranch podcast?

Guitar Ted said...

@DT- That was the intention. For whatever reason, it didn't work out, or the audio was bad, or....... Not sure. I sent the files in and that was the last I heard of it.