Monday, January 06, 2020

Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational 2020 Announcement

A pretty image from last year's GTDRI to whet your appetite.
Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational 2020 will be held July 25th, 2020:

In 2010, David Pals and I were discussing gravelly events and he suggested that I move the date of the GTDRI to the weekend which RAGBRAI ended on. Up to that point the GTDRI date had floated around from late August to early August, and then into late July, avoiding conflicts with Gravel Worlds, and then also with too little daylight to get in the big miles comfortably. I ran the GTDRI a couple of times on the Saturday which RAGBRAI started and got a lot of feedback on that. People didn't want to give up their RAGBY, but they wanted in on the GTDRI too. David's suggestion that many folks would bail on the last day of RAGBY anyway made the final weekend in July the date for the GTDRI for a decade.

Well, if you've kept your ears to the ground concerning our cross-state ride debacle, you know things have gone topsy-turvy and now we have TWO complete weeks of recreational cycling madness planned for July here. Various plans are afoot in regards to shops doing the maintenance gig, riders trying to decide which side of the "Cycling Civil War" they want to support, and all that madness has forced me to take stock here.

Since I have decided to start the ride out of Waterloo, Iowa, and the next weekend is Iowa Irish Fest in town, I decided to slot my ride into the last day of RAGBY again for 2020. So, set your date for the GTDRI as Saturday, July 25th, 2020. Start time should be the traditional 6:00am time I have used in years past as well. The venue will be Prairie Grove Park located on Shaulis Road on the Southern edge of Waterloo, Iowa. There is a good sized gravel lot there which cars can park in. That said, I encourage as many of you to ride to the start as possible to cut down on clutter. It is a public park, and I don't want my ride to monopolize the space there.

The "Old Creamery Trail" was part of T.I.v7 and will be on the 2020 GTDRI
Okay, so now about this course I have come up with. It will be a complete divergence from the "Tour of Dirt Roads" inspired courses of the last three years. This one will focus on towns and villages in the Cedar Valley. The route, as planned now, is a 114 mile affair with towns at about 20 mile intervals. Towns and villages tentatively scheduled to be visited are as follows- Dysart, Garrison, Vinton, Center Point, Brandon, and LaPorte City, Iowa. This course will basically run down the Cedar Valley on either side of I-380 for much of its length.

I am also using elements of former Trans Iowa v4 and v7's courses, along with tiny bits of v12. There may be a bit of v5's course in there too, but I haven't checked on that yet. That said, much of this route I've never been on before. It will have several breaks in the gravel, since every village and town will have pavement leading into and out of them. There will still be a few Level B Roads of course, starting out with Petrie Road's section used in the '17 and '18 GTDRI's.

Expect rolling hills, some flat stuff, but I cannot really comment intelligently on much of the route, as I haven't seen it yet. I suspect, judging from my years of laying out these things, that a couple of the roads are "ridge type", with scenic views, and there are a LOT of off the grid roads on this course. We will also be using the Cedar Valley Nature Trail from Brandon to LaPorte City, which is the same section of that bicycle trail used for T.I.v4. This was done mainly to get us back over the Cedar River without using a busy highway or county road.

Since this route starts so near to me, I will likely recon it via bicycle. Look for reports on that to come in Spring as things get rideable here. I will also be posting the route as it gets confirmed ahead of time for anyone wanting to check it out. There ultimately will be a confirmed GPS file and cues for this route before the ride happens.

Got questions? Hit me up.

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