Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Brown Season: Turkey Burn 2021

Escape Route: Sergeant Road Bike Trail
 This post could also be called "The BH,G,B and B Ride", or the "Four County Tour", and it could also be called "The Horse And Barn Route". But since this is part of the Virtual Turkey Burn thing I proposed, I'm going with the "Turkey Burn" theme on this one. But those other names should give you a clue as to how the route was for visuals.

But before I get to any of that, I have to lay the foundation for this year's Turkey Burn. The idea of this goes back into the 00's when we would gather together and ride at what was then Camp Ingawanis (North side, natch), and we'd ride around the trails and then have some chili at the end of it all. This idea carried onward for several years until at some point in the teens it kind of died out. No one locally was picking the idea up. So, I just decided to start doing my own here a few years ago. 

This year I had options and then......I didn't, and I had to go Saturday or it wouldn't have worked out. The Saturday after Thanksgiving was always the traditional date for this anyway, so that was nice. Then the weather.... At first it looked 'okay', then it was saying we'd have a spot of rain, then at the last minute, the forecast looked spectacular. Well, as good as you can hope for in late November, at any rate. Temperatures were supposedly going over 50°F by noon. Then there was wind. Of course, there always is wind. I had a route planned out, but when I saw the final wind forecast on Friday I quickly amended my route plan, came up with an entirely different plan, and set off to go get a good night's sleep. 

I also had a time limitation on the ride. I had to be back by 2:00pm. So, no full-length century. I could squeeze in a metric though, and with the Sun coming up around 7:00am, I could squeak out that distance with time to spare if nothing went wrong.

I had to dodge this liquefied poop spreader machine on Ranchero Road.

Looking off into Grundy County headed West on Ranchero/170th

It was chilly to start. Low 30's, but the winds were light and out of the Southeast. The flags were barely moving on the houses I passed by on Ranchero Road. My plan was to head over toward Dike, Iowa, head North a bit, more West, then a big push North through Grundy County and into Butler County. The wind was to switch around to the West and then Northwest and get really brutal by around 11:00am. they were talking 22mph with gusts to 35mph. My hope was to cover most of my North and West bits before the wind got up and was tough to ride against. The back half of the route would be tailwind city. 

Horses. I saw LOTS of horses on this route.

That is Dike, Iowa off in the distance as seen from 150th in Grundy County

By the time I had gotten up Vista, over a bit on the black top, and up Vale to 150th, there was some wind happening, but it was light. I kept on the gas riding my Twin Six Standard Rando v2 single speed and pushed Westward to "S" Avenue where I turned North for a bit of a longer run.

The clouds gave way to Sun for a bit as I rode North on S Ave. 

Looking down at the Beaver Creek Valley riding North on S Avenue.

Crossing Beaver Creek on Terrace Avenue

Eventually I turned East on Westbrook Road and the another push North on Terrace Avenue which is in Butler County. By now the Sun had set the temperatures off up through the 40's and as I labored up the steep, long-ish climb after crossing Beaver Creek, I was considering taking a clothing change stop. But not just yet. I had packed my Twin Six vest and a lighter pair of gloves against what I was expecting for temperatures later into the ride. 

I don't ride much in Grundy or Butler Counties, but I think after this ride I may make a change in that. The terrain was flat in places, but nearing the Grundy-Butler line things get a lot more interesting. Hills kick in and in Butler County you have a lot more streams which have deeper valleys, making for more climbing and more interesting landscapes. 

The big climb on Terrace Avenue dead ahead.

And the other side.

My biggest climb was tough, but I didn't have to walk it, which was good! Then onward to 310th, over to Willow, up North a bit more across the West Fork, and then onward to the last of what could be headwind trouble. 

A big truck kicks up a dust trail behind it. I'm riding East on 310th here.

A few farmers were on the other side of this equipment here getting it ready to store for the Winter.

By this time I was running across traffic out on the roads. It was really dusty out there and I had issues with gravel dust inhalation during and after the ride. I should have pulled out one of the buff thingies I was packing but I was too busy trying to get all the North stuff done before the wind got up. 

My goal was to reach Janesville, at about mile 45 on the loop, before noon. I was doing well on that front, but I kept pushing on. By the time I had 30 miles in I still had not stopped at all. My first stop would be to swap out clothing as I was getting hot and I was feeling it as I went up Willow Avenue toward the West Fork crossing.

This is the only bridge in the area that crosses the West Fork via gravel.

It's crazy that this iron has lasted for decades. How much longer can this bridge survive?

I decided to stop and swap out clothing at the bridge over the West Fork (of the Cedar River). This is one of the three rivers that forms the "Turkey Foot" confluence area of three rivers including the Shell Rock and the Cedar. The indigenous peoples that used to come to this area to hunt in Summer would convene at the Turkey Foot for councils and other gatherings. 

Now most of the Big Wood that covered this area has been cleared for agriculture. It was an odd area for Iowa. Most of the surrounding area was open prairies. As I rode through on Saturday I couldn't help but think about how maybe that old growth hardwood forest should have been preserved. But, too late now.....

Old West Point Cemetery near Waverly Junction

Headed toward Janesville here on 265th.
 From the West Fork it is hilly. East on 290th, North on Butler Road, then back East on 265th. By the time I crossed County Road C55 and went up the big hill North of that, the wind went on big time as if a switch had been flipped. But it was okay as I was juuuusssst about done going North. 

A jog North on Badger and then it was over. I was getting pushed down 265th in Bremer County, the fourth county I'd been in that day, (BH, G, B and B- get it? Tour of Four Counties?), and I was off to go through Janesville and back on much more familiar roads to me.

East Janesville Church as seen from the intersection of Burton and Marquise Road.

The Sun shines through an American flag on this mailbox on Sage Road.

I actually beat my goal to get to Janesville by an hour and as I made my way down Garden Avenue to Marquise Road and back East I was looking at finishing well ahead of my self-appointed cut-off time of 2:00pm. The tail wind on Marquise Road was fantastic as the wind picked up in intensity now. It was downright hot going East and I actually welcomed  somewhat of a side-wind when I turned South on Sage Road as it cooled me back down a touch. 

A tractor discs up a field just off Sage Road


Round bales of corn stalks in a field off Sage Road near Co C57.

I had no real reason to push hard anymore. I was easily going to come in under my time limitation, so I backed it off and planned to take an extended break at The Big Rock. I hadn't stopped for any real length of time just to rest since I swapped out clothing at about the halfway mark into the ride. 

Taking it easy at The Big Rock.

So I ended up swinging back into Waterloo with just over 65 miles in a total time gone of five hours and fourty-five minutes. I was pretty pleased with that result and I felt good for not having put many longer rides in of late. 

I was tickled that I had nailed the route plan and that the winds came up when they did. It all just worked out perfectly. That said, I was ready to be done when I got back to the house. The bike worked great, and everything I used worked well. No complaints. 

I saw a lot of interesting things on the ride. Horses were everywhere on this loop. I don't think I rode more than a few miles at a crack without seeing a horse or two. I saw a bunch of pheasants at one point in Grundy County. I scared up a huge buck and four does in Northern Butler County. I saw another mated pair of Red Tailed Hawks. Of course, there were cows, dogs, and other birds. It was a good time. 

Is that the last 'big' ride of 2021? Probably. I'd be surprised if I get another chance like I had there Saturday with how the time, weather, and everything came together.

Monday, November 29, 2021


 NOTE: Okay folks, if you haven't been around long enough here to know what a "Randomonium" post is, then here is the deal. I ramble, rant, and randomly moan about all things cycling in one, incohesive, bizarre post. "Randomonium", okay?


I ran a question by y'all last Friday about what it was you liked about this blog and should I run a survey to ascertain whether or not I should focus this blog on certain, more popular elements which might be more interesting for those who come here. 

Well, I think it would be fair to say that the result of the feedback is that (a) NO- there will not be a survey if you have anything to say about that, and (b) DON"T GO CHANGIN' THE BLOG! 

Okay, I hear ya, loud and clear! I also want to thank you that commented for such kind and encouraging words. You folks are the best! Thank you! Now, since you've spoken so clearly and in the numbers that you have, I will just keep on 'keepin' on' with things as they have been. Oh, yeah.....there may be a tweak here and there. A new idea for a series, perhaps. But as far as I can tell, y'all don't mind that, so I'll plan on forging ahead for the foreseeable future.

Ahh!! It burns!!

A Note On The "Virtual Turkey Burn": 

I realized pretty early on that this is going to take more space than this coming Saturday can handle. So, (as of this writing), I am aware of two reports which, on their own, are separate blog posts. What to do?

I have a really packed line up for the blog this December. Bike reports, looking back on 2021, and more have all been features here which fill a lot of space in December. I'm already scheduling double posts on "Bikes of 2021" as it is. 

So, I have decided that if I get more detailed reports, which would be fantastic, that they will be scheduled as separate posts in between all the normal end of the year fare here. That means that tomorrow you will get my report, and the others will follow in the order that I receive them, starting Saturday. If some are a mention, a line or two, and an image, those will be compiled into one post. 

I'm not sure what, if anything, will be submitted beyond the two I am aware of now, so this all may be much fuss about not much. Stay tuned......

From a GTDRI

International Influence:

There are some "negative nancy's" out there who say that "It doesn't matter what you do, your individual actions don't matter. The World will keep on turning and 'The Man' will always win.", or some such depressing malediction based on that thought. Well, I'm here to tell you that all is simply rubbish. 

How can I be so bold? Well, at the risk of looking like a braggart, 'look at me', as an example, and I bet YOU reading this are also a part of this. What am I talking about? Well, it's gravel grinding! That's all! It's something that has spread so far and so wide that the bicycle industry is all gaga over it, events on the magnitude of the largest cycling events ever are based upon it, and it has reached world-wide proportions. If you've turned a pedal on gravel here in the USA, go ahead, pat yerself on the back, because you helped push this thing along until even writers in foreign countries are asking me about what the heck is going on here. 

The latest example of just how far this nutty idea has gone was exemplified to me recently when a journalist from Italy contacted me on Instagram asking about Trans Iowa and whether or not some images could be used which this journalist had come across. After a few messages and a bit of time, this article appeared on a site called "Lifegate", which is in the Italian language. 

I encourage you to translate that article (Google Translate works well) and tell me if you don't think that is a beautifully written article about the gravel scene. Maybe it is just me, but anything I have read or heard from an Italian language writer or speaker has a little extra passion and 'something' to it that hits me a lot differently than English writers and speakers do. Anyway, it's well worth the effort to translate it and read. 

The bottom line here though is that Italians have taken to this form of cycling enjoyment with a verve and passion that I find refreshing. It is important to me that the writer saw that it isn't all just a racing scene- far from it! I only wish that our mainstream cycling journalists could see that competitiveness isn't the focus or goal of the gravel scene. 

New Twists In Shipping Saga:

Occasionally I update you all here on what is going on in the supply chain. When I first started referencing these issues, hardly anyone was talking about it, but now you see news on mainstream news outlets talking about the L.A./Long Beach ship 'parking lot' issues and what not. But as I've said all along, this entire deal is so complex that it is not due to just ships piling up at one point in the world.

The latest news is that China has imposed a seven week quarantine for any seamen coming into the country to help quell COVID issues. China is much more aggressive than just about anywhere else when it comes to lock downs involving COVID. Their policies are very strict, and this fairly new edict which involves crew changes and the ability of crew members to disembark in China is going to have a big effect on the supply chain going forward. 

There are some really interesting , (and rather alarming), motivations for this and other things China is doing with regard to worldwide shipping. I keep up with most of it by watching a You Tube channel called "What's Going On With Shipping", by the way. You can check out the latest video where I learned about this new issue with the quarantining of seamen here. If you find these sorts of things fascinating, subscribe to that channel and you'll find out all sorts of things you never knew. (Just seeing how much sea traffic is out there is mind blowing!) Check it out....

Okay, enough random stuff for one day! Thanks for reading G-Ted Productions!

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Trans Iowa Stories: Bridges - Part 1

Dennis and Christina Grelk at CP#1 for T.I.v13.
  "Trans Iowa Stories" is an every Sunday post which helps tell the stories behind the event. You can check out other posts about this subject  by clicking on the "Trans Iowa Stories" link under the blog header. Thanks and enjoy!

The checkpoint was in Baxter, Iowa at the end of the bike trail there where there was a parking lot and an old rail road caboose on display. As Matt and I pulled in I was surprised by the set up that Dennis and Christina Grelk had constructed for their checkpoint duties. Now these were the folks that were on the ball! Myself? Not so much, but by the time we had arrived in Baxter the worst of the hangover had passed. 

The brisk winds and cool air helped to snap me back into the 'real world' and the conversations with the checkpoint volunteers helped take my mind off myself and my condition. Things were found to be well in hand, so all Matt and I really had to do was to see the lead group in and be off on our course checking duties once again. 

Dan Hughes, (foreground) rolling into CP#1 for v13.
The 'usual suspects' arrived soon and looked to be in a serious mode. I suppose that they had the impending weather on their minds, and of course, there was still a long, long way to go yet. One rider stood out of the group though. He was a 'rookie' to Trans Iowa, but calling Dan Hughes a 'rookie' at a gravel race, well......it was pretty much a joke. The man had won the first Dirty Kanza 200 in 2006, and a few more of those afterward. He had been crowned a Gravel Worlds champion, and was well known amongst the early gravel scene riders as being one of 'The Guys' you had to mark if he showed up at the start line. I had him marked. I figured him as one of the main protagonists for v13, and so far, he was proving me right. 

After leaving the checkpoint, Matt and I traversed some familiar roads until we got past Highway 330 and into new roads for Trans Iowa. It was the transfer bit to get to the real business of circumnavigating Des Moines. Due to constraints on mileage, I had to, more or less, find the most direct way to get down to the Northwest edge of the Des Moines metro, not necessarily the most interesting way. I think I did alright with what I had to work with though. 

This sort of 'blah' part of the route would eventually have to cross the Des Moines River, a major waterway in Iowa. Finding a way across would have been pretty difficult but for the existence of the High Trestle Bridge on the converted rail-to-trail bicycle path named after this bridge. The High Trestle Trail runs 25 miles in length, but we would only be using approximately 4 miles of it. One half mile of which was the bridge itself, which is 13 stories above the river. Pretty spectacular, and perhaps this made up for a bit of the boring part of the first part of the v13 course! 

A rider crossing the High Trestle Trail Bridge during T.I.v13 (Image by Keisuke Inoue)

 Just North of the trail we had a bit of a check as we found a corner which needed to be marked. I had intended on the riders taking "Unicorn Avenue" South, but apparently someone decided that this sign was too good to be everyone's and made it their own, since it was missing from its sign post. A quick call in to Tony and Mike to come and mark the corner was made and we rolled onward. This area also was where John and Celeste Mathias sat to observe riders for us and their work really helped that day to keep track of riders movements. 

Along about this time the rain set in as well, and with it, riders started dropping out on a consistent basis. Trans Iowa v13's promise to be 'one of those Trans Iowas' was just kicking into gear now. 

Next: Bridges - Part2

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Turkey Burn '21: Barns For Jason

The Turkey Burn Ride happened Saturday and I ended up doing several miles of roads which I had not ridden before. You know what that means? It means you get a "Barns For Jason" post. 

This ride was a metric century ride which I did through Black Hawk, Grundy, Butler, and Bremer counties. The portion of the route I hadn't really ridden before was some of the Grundy County and  the Butler County bit, so this is where most of the barns in today's post come from.

I'll be posting the ride report proper on Tuesday, so look for that coming soon. A Reminder: Also, anyone submitting Virtual Turkey Burn ride reports need to get those to me by Tuesday. 

Okay, so with that here we go with some barn images I got on my Turkey Burn Ride today.

That's a wrap on the barns! See ya on Tuesday for the actual report. Thanks!

Another Word On The Classics

A recent image of my American Classic Wentworth tire.
At the beginning of October I gave my impressions of the American Classic 700 X 40mm Wentworth tires which I had purchased to check out and review. (Yes, I paid for these tires) I should say that American Classic is not sponsoring this post, nor are they aware of what I am writing here. to my knowledge.

Okay, I have come to some conclusions and also, I have been made aware of some information regarding these tires since I am also reviewing this model in its larger size for RidingGravel.com. (Note- I did not pay for those tires and the Standard Disclaimer does apply there. Since I will be referencing those tires here, I thought I'd mention that.) 

Alright then, with all that out of the way, let's look at some things I have learned along the way about American Classic tires in general. First of all, my measurements after mounting both the Wentworth models, which came up significantly short of what American Classic was claiming, caught the attention of the marketing guy at the agency which was dealing with me on the 700 X 50 Wentworth review. Apparently, from what I was told, there was a batch of 700c X 40mm tires from American Classic from across their range of models which were, for some reason, undersized. I was informed that American Classic was aware of the issue and that they had taken actions to rectify those issues. This did not, however, cover the 700 X 50mm Wentworths and I was told that there would be an inquiry into that, but as of now, I have no word on this back from my contact. 

So, in the meantime some commenters here and on Riding Gravel's various social and web presences have informed me that their American Classic tires are true to measure out of the gate. So, I am left to assume that (a) American Classic did rectify the situation and that going forward you can expect consistently 'right-sized' tires, or that (b) American Classic tires are inconsistent in terms of sizing due to manufacturing/materials issues in light of cost or some other decisions made on the maker's end. Which it is will be found out over time. I hope it is "a" and not "b". But I do not know. All I know is that out of the six tires I have handled from American Classic across three models and two different sizes that all were undersized upon initial mounting.

Finally, I also wanted to share that I have found that these tires stretch quite a bit. In fact, now the 700c X (claimed) 40mm Wentworths are actually 39.5mm and 39.7mm now. Still, not quite 40's, but far more acceptable than when I first mounted these and almost 1.2mm wider than they were at the beginning of October. By the way, both measurements were at 40psi. 

Just as an aside, the 700 X (supposedly) 50mm Wentworths are still measuring sub-47mm in width, which is really disappointing. 

Okay, so how do these ride? Well, refer to my earlier post above. The width and lack of volume on these is a detriment on loose gravel. Smoother, grittier, dirt and limestone surfaces suit this tire much better. At least in this width. The larger Wentworth is actually great on deep, loose gravel. However, both suffer from the same issues and because of these issues, the American Classics would not be amongst my favorite gravel tires. 

First up, they weigh more than their counterparts do in the marketplace when you compare apples to apples. In that regard, you maybe could overlook this due to the cheaper price of the American Classic tires. But they also suffer from higher rolling resistance than other tires I have in their class. I found in my back-to-back roll-down tests that the American Classic Wentworths weren't as good at the test as a 700 X 40mm (really a 38mm) WTB Byway tire, and on harder surfaces it was worse than the WTB Vulpine which is a 700 X 36mm (really a 37mm) tire. It wasn't terribly off the mark, but given its weight disadvantage and slightly stiffer ride feel, I would put it behind many tires out there which would perform better and roll freer than these tires do.

But those tires cost more money. So, again- you get what you pay for. The American Classic 700 X 40mm Wentworth tires are what I would call 'pretty good'. A decent tire at $35.00. But if you are thinking it will perform as well, as, or better than tires costing more? Sorry, I hate to disappoint you, but that simply is not the case. 

See my full Riding Gravel review on these tires and other stuff at RidingGravel.com 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Friday News And Views

Apidura's Racing Hydration Vest.
 Welcome to this "Not Black Friday" edition of the FN&V. Hope that you all are having a great T-Day aftermath and are going to have a great weekend. (For those who observe the tradition)

Apidura Debuts New Hydration Vest:

There seems to be a new trend in hydration packs. The 'racing vest' type hydration pack typically integrates some storage capabilities via the front straps and a small-ish hydration bladder in the back. It's kind of a 'roadie's version' of a MTB'ers hydration pack. The traditional MTB type hydration pack being a bit bulkier and more roomy than these slimmed down versions are. 

Well, anyway, here's a new one from Apidura. It's similar to some others I've seen and does the same thing- provides easy to access hydration with some functionality for storage on the body. 

Comments: Remembering the very first Camelbacks, they weren't a whole lot dissimilar to these 'racing vests'. They only lacked the pockets and meshy side panels of their modern counterparts. Many of these new ones seem to want to allow you to access the jersey pockets. Well, this brings up one of the major complaints people had early on with hydration packs. The fact that those early ones, and these new ones, sit high on the back, which seems to not be the best place to put weight on a rider for some folks. 

This is where the hydration 'fanny packs' seem to have their fans. Weight is distributed across the hips where it is less fatiguing to carry. So the story goes. I have no dog in the fight, but I find the two schools of thought fascinating. 

My thought is that- at least when it is hot, I don't want anything on me that makes me hotter. Hydration packs anywhere on me do make it less than ideal for staying cooler. Run the motor too hot, well, you know what happens next..... Overheating can be tricky to avoid. So, either option for hydration, the vest, or the fanny pack, is out for me. Plus, I really despise having to clean out those hoses. Gah! Water bottle nipples can be bad enough. But that's just me. Where do you fall? Team Water Bottle or Team Hydration Pack?

State Bicycles 4130 Flat Bar.

State Bicycles Announces The 4130 Flat Bar:

Flat bar gravel bikes. I guess it is a 'thing' now with a few companies calling these rigs out in their lines for 2022. State Bicycle has one now which is a take-off on their popular drop bar bike for gravel. The Flat Bar 4130 will sell for $899.99 with one wheel set or you can get 650B and 700c wheel sets for an additional $399.99.

Comments: State Bicycle poses the question. "Are flat-bar gravel bikes really just 90’s mountain bikes?" Well, as a guy who actually was working in a bike shop and riding mountain bikes in the 90's, the answer to that is really easy: NO. These are much more like the 1990's version of a hybrid bike, which was a failed attempt at making a 700c version of a mountain bike. So, if these are 90's MTB bikes, they are failures out of the box. Well, for real mountain biking, which anyone with any sense at all already knows without question. So, that's a silly notion. I wish marketing wonks would just drop that line from their repertoire already.  

Otherwise this bike seems like a pretty good deal. I'm not sure I'd pay 400 bucks to get the second wheel set though. That's almost half the price of the Flat Bar 4130 in the first place, plus, that isn't going to be a wheel set to write home about. 

Question: Would You Take A Survey?

The other day a reader commented on the blog and stated that they followed my ride reports on Google Earth to see where I'd been on my rides. This prompted a thought for me. 

What do you readers like about this blog?

I have never really asked that question before, but I do know that at times some of you out there have offered your opinions. For instance, I recall one comment about not being all that into my industry and technical related pieces but that my personal posts and ride reports/adventures were what made that person come to the blog. Another person out there was more interested in my fleet of bikes and liked those posts. Another person recently let me know that he enjoyed my "large doses of "my opinion"...".

So, I wondered, should I post a survey? Or is THIS as good as a survey?

I guess to make it easy I would do more of a "Yes"/"No" question format and maybe leave a space at the end for comments. This wouldn't be a emailed thing or whatever. Just a post here that you would use the comments section to respond to it with. 

This wouldn't mean that I am going to quit doing things the way I am, but that maybe an emphasis should be weighted more toward certain aspects of the blog and maybe less weighted on others. 

What do you think? Hit me up in the comments on whether or no if you would take such a survey here.  (And maybe that's all we need. Just a response to the questions here on today's post?)

That's a wrap for this week. Look for the 'end of year' posts to start cropping up here next week and throughout December. Thanks for reading G-Ted Productions and have a safe, happy, fun weekend

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Taken straight off the porch on Monday, November 22nd, 2021.
 Happy Thanksgiving!

 from Guitar Ted Productions.

I'm taking the day off to rest and have some time with my family. 

I hope today finds you in a state of gratitude, with those that you love, and doing things you love to do with those people.

However; if you are not able to enjoy one or all of those things, I hope that you find peace today and a reason to believe that you matter. I'm willing to bet that if these words are reaching your eyes, you matter to someone, probably even to me. 

Thank you for reading Guitar Ted Productions.


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Another New Beginning On The Horizon

Well, it was fun while it lasted, but yesterday I got the news that Andy's Bike Shop is going out of business. I'll post the following which Andy used to announce this on social media:

"It is with a deep sadness that we inform you today that Andy’s Bike Shop is CLOSING. Our last day open will be Thursday, December 23, 2021. Everything in-store is 25% OFF (no special orders, and all sales are final).

Due to COVID-19, we have had an extreme supply shortage since May 2020 and this issue is projected to continue until 2024. We hate that this is how things ended up, but the last several months have been out of our control product-wise. We realize that this has caused serious frustration for our customers, as well as for us. We tried everything we could to adapt to these difficult times, but at the end of the day, we were unable to make it work.

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the support and love you have shown us."

Comments: As Andy states in his announcement, it is very hard for a shop which opened up only six months ahead of the pandemic to gain a foothold and survive when you cannot get inventory. He made it work for awhile, but in the end, it was not a tenable situation for Andy to sustain the shop through another Winter with basically nothing going on business-wise. On our supplier's end and on his end. 

I have no ill will or bitterness towards Andy for what has happened. It is not his fault and he did what he could to keep it going this long. More than anything, it is just bad timing and a bad situation in terms of what the pandemic has done to the cycling industry. Andy is going to be fine after this is over. He's got options and is taking advantage of those currently. But as far as my part in our relationship, it's all good. It isn't a situation where he did things wrongly in terms of our relationship. We're on good terms and I hope to count him as a friend going forward. 

As for me? I have a new beginning on the horizon. I just don't know what that is specifically yet. I'm sure we'll get by here for a bit until things get sorted. But I felt as though it would be prudent to put this news out there and tell my end of things. So there- it's out there.