|Boingy bits installed for testing. More on that soon!
As many of you know, it's been a strange weather scene in Iowa, with little to call "Winter" happening. December was a gift from the standpoint of riding gravel, however, I was battling a nasty head cold nearly the entire month, so I missed out on the lion's share of it. I'm glad to say that is behind me now though and I have been slowly getting back some form of fitness.
That my new job at Andy's Bike Shop is twice as far away as my old gig has been a help. In fact, on my first day working I ended up getting caught in a snow storm on the way home. Big, wet flakes and I could hardly see! Plus, I hadn't thought to bring my rain pants so my blue jeans, (yes.....you CAN ride in denim jeans), were soaked in the thigh area. Oh well! It made for a harder ride home since I had to keep on the gas to keep my legs from freezing!
The new job has also meant a new route. I took some time late last year to investigate that and to time it all out. I also had been looking into this since my RidingGravel.com stuff, which had been getting shipped to the old shop, was by that time being shipped to Andy's since things were unstable at the old job. I seriously didn't know from August onward whether I may find the place locked up or not. So, I switched the shipping address for that stuff to Andy's at that time, which Andy was okay with. Anyway.... enough about that.
|The snowy ride home from work
I'll mention that the whole scramble to switch up shipping for RidingGravel.com helped lead to the new job, as you might expect, but in reality, this had been a possibility for a longer time. Andy actually reached out to me over a year ago, so he had a head start in securing my services. With all the uncertainty surrounding what happened at the old job, making a tighter bond with Andy only made sense. Moving the family wasn't an option, and back in Fall, there weren't any other opportunities available, so I pursued the Andy's option first and foremost.
More mileage should also help out with my goals in cycling, which include doing a few century length rides, at least. This also works into what I have signed up for this year. I may have mentioned it, but I am signed up for the Solstice 100 in late June and Gravel Worlds in mid-August. Add to that the Renegade Gents Race in early April and the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational in July and my calendar is full. Yes.....I don't have anything scheduled for May. I have opportunities there and well...... Stay tuned. Whatever happens, one event a month is plenty. There are a lot of variables here and I haven't any idea what may be my direction, and that might affect some events here I have already mentioned.
I have also been working in my shop here at home doing various things to make life make sense there. With the influx of stuff brought home from the old job, where I owned all my own tools, to the current situation where Andy is supplying tools for my new job, it means I have tool overload in my Lab! Lots of organizing and planning down there, plus I am trying to make room for a space to start servicing my tube (valve for you Brits) amps too. There may be a culling of stuff I have. I am thinking about maybe donating some stuff to a local non-profit bike repair place. but we'll see. It's going to be a long term process.
Then there are the review bits and bikes to use for that which have been getting tweaked out. I put a new GRX rear derailleur on the pink BMC MCD rig recently and I have installed the RedShift Sports new seat post and that stem I have had back on there again. That will all be getting ridden whenever the weather is decent this Winter. Otherwise it is the good ol' Ti Muk 2 and maybe the Blackborow DS. However; I haven't seen a need for the really wide tires this Winter so far, so maybe not! This sure has been a strange year so far, and unless February kicks in like a mule, then Winter won't be adding up to much around these parts.
And that's about all I have going on here of late. Now we should be back on track for regular postings.