Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Back To Reality

The front moves in Monday and The Change is coming!
 So this whole 'False Summer' thing we experienced last week is coming to a close today. Rain and cooler, more seasonal temperatures will now reign as they ought to in November. While I thoroughly enjoyed last week's unseasonably warm weather, it was really weird. You know? Like it just didn't feel right. 

I rode to work yesterday in shorts and a t-shirt, which I figured I was done doing a couple weeks ago. Nope! But it felt odd. The light wasn't jiving with 't-shirt weather' vibes and it was sooper-hyooomid Monday, which also felt very odd. The shorter days, the low angle light, and these odd-ball weather patterns shouldn't be happening together in November. 

But be that as it may, I am - as stated yesterday - VERY thankful for the opportunities to knock out big chunks of "The Quest" to the point that maybe- perhaps - by the end of this week I'll be over the hump and done. Which begs the question: 'What's next, Guitar Ted?" Yeah........ That's a really great question! Actually, I've been pondering that for a bit. Here's my thoughts. 

The whole 'quest' thing kind of took over my riding late into Summer, through Fall, and now on the doorstep of Winter. Reality strikes here and says that I am running out of time for any sort of goals for 2020. There is a small, tiny chance I get a run at my Fat Bike Century, which was put on hold due to "The Quest" activities. But if I do not get around to that, I am not going to sweat that too much. Again- weather will play a big role in whether or not I get to try that yet this year. 

What reality will dictate - probably - will be that I'll go to just doing fun rides through the Winter and when next riding season comes along, I might try another quest. Here's where I need to acknowledge the influence of a local cyclist and reader of this blog- (well, at least he comments from time to time!), and we'll just call him "T.S." here. Well, T.S. has already bagged all the gravel roads in Bremer County, and is attempting the same in Butler County, (or do I have that backward?), anyway..... T.S. is doing this and was at it first, so this idea is not my invention, and that is the point I'm making. I am just using this fantastic idea as a way to see a lot of Iowa I'd never see otherwise.

I've ridden a lot of roads in Tama County

Maybe in 2021 I'll do another 'quest' type challenge and if I do, it will have to be nearby, because it is my belief that much of 2021 will be like the majority of 2020 has been. That means I am making zero plans to do any events or races at all. While many events will be, and are, finding ways to happen, well, you guys and gals go ahead. I am finding far more joy and personal discovery by doing these oddball back road rides than I have found in suffering through a race course with, really, almost no personal contact. All my social fun was on either end of the bike riding at races, and since that is all a rather ill-advised idea these days, and probably will be well into 2021, I see no benefit to racing. Now if things miraculously change in that regard, I will revisit these thoughts. But if I were a betting man.......

So, I was thinking.... I've ridden a lot of Tama County gravel roads and driven on many others. I feel I know most of this county well, but what else is there out there? Maybe I need to inventory where I've been and knock out where I haven't been in 2021. Maybe......

Tama County has a plethora of Level B Maintenance roads, most of which I have already been on in a truck or on the saddle of a bicycle, but I know I haven't made them all, and I've seen some roads far off on recons and during rides that I've always wondered about. It could be a lot of fun, and since I've done a lot of Tama County miles already, it is an achievable goal without shutting out other aspects of my life. Unlike say, if I decided to bag all of Buchanan County's gravel, since I've barely ridden in that county. Buchanan County could be a lot of fun to explore, but to achieve that goal, I'd have to shut out a LOT of other stuff in life. 

The whole thing may not even happen anyway. It's all a pipe dream right now and I have to knock off the last miles of the current quest first. The realities of Life may dictate a completely different set of goals and tasks to accomplish. I mean, who wulda thunk we'd be doing what we've done this year back in 2019? No one- that's who. 

Reality. You just never know what it will be......

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