Friday, December 31, 2021

A Look Forward To The New Year

 Well, that was a year with many ups and downs! But now it is time to look ahead at 2022. This post will focus on my bicycling goals, writing goals, and specifically how all that relates to the blog here.

Before I move on, I would be quite wrong and remiss to not recognize you- my dear readers! Without many of you this would not be as rewarding of an experience, nor would I have my life enriched by your visits at times or by your kindness in commenting. I hope that 2022 brings you much joy and blessing. 

Okay, as for me, I again do not plan on doing a full boat of events, but some? Yes. There may be some events. Looking at that, here are my thoughts on what I'd like to do in 2022. 

Back in the day, years ago, you had to travel all over the place to get to ride in a gravel event. Iowa- for whatever reason- was not developed much in terms of events. And when events came, they went again, and there was really not a lot of stability. So, now we have Relentless Events, the slew of fun, grassroots events by Ben Petty/Wolf Creek Cycling Company, Redfield Rock & Roll, SWIGG, the Iowa Gravel Series, Snaggy Ridge 105, the Prairie Burn in Grinnell,Turds of Misery, and long standing events like the Buffalo 105, CIRREM, and more that I am forgetting. Iowa- finally- has become a hotbed of grassroots type gravel events. So, why go travel when I can stay close to home? 

 I've made the mistake of listing a schedule of events here before and then years later I note that I did not do many of them. So, instead I may just make a goal and see if events fit my goals, enter those events, if I want to, and go ride. Or- I may just do things like my ToBHC. I have scores to 'settle' with a few courses that I just so happen to have the cues for. Maybe I do that instead? Or- Maybe I go do specific trips for certain rides I come up with and to see people who live in those areas. 

I haven't made up my mind. And I may have my mind made up for me. I am looking for employment now that I am out of a job due to Andy's going out of business. What the future there is, I don't know. That may ultimately determine what, if anything, I get to do on a bike in 2022.

The Shady Grove Store from my Tour of Black Hawk County ride.

 I did two legit centuries and a couple metrics this past year. This is a goal that does not rely on coming up with entry fees, travel money, or time chunks. I can just do century rides and I'd like to do more than I did last year. So- at least three. But perhaps more? I have to get an earlier start than I did this past year! 

In the realm of writing, I have a big decision/project looming with regard to the "Trans Iowa Stories" series which is going to draw to a close here early this coming year. I only have to finish up writhing about T.I.v13, the time between v13 and v14, the final Trans Iowa event, and then the posts I will write up to kind of tie everything up and end that series. 

I don't know how long into 2022 that will take me, but I'd wager right through the Spring would be a reasonable guess. Then comes the monumental task of turning all that material from a weekly series into a cohesive book. As far as I can tell, that's going to take a rewriting of it all. There will have to be a ton of editing. Oddly enough, some of what I've written most recently belongs at the beginning and some of the beginning won't see the book at all.

And then there are the images! Gah! 

An image of Trans Iowa v9 by Wally Kilburg

Once the Trans Iowa series is completed I plan on doing a Sunday series on the "Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational" event which I put on from 2006-2019. I will explore the roots of that ride's ideas and I will detail each year's event. I will show how the GTDRI was widely misunderstood, how it evolved, how that it wasn't always my idea every year, and also how the GTDRI routes often were recons for parts of future Trans Iowa routes. 

Otherwise I don't foresee a lot of changes on the blog front here. I keep thinking I'll cut back on the amount of posts I do every year, but somehow, even despite not having Trans Iowa going on anymore, I keep writing in the 265+ posts a year range. Last year I wrote the most posts I have ever written in a single year at 389. So, yeah..... I cannot sustain that every year, I don't think, so we will see.

An image from the 2018 GTDRI that ran on for a story.

 There still will be a "FN&V" every week, at least that's the plan. But yeah.... Ride reports, industry news, cycling related hoo-hah, and some personal things here and there. That's what I think will happen here for 2022.

But if there was one lesson learned in the last year it is this- Nothing is guaranteed in Life. I may or may not be sitting here pounding away at these keys in a year's time. I've been very, very fortunate to have had zero breaks in posting for 16 years now. SIXTEEN YEARS! That's insane! I mean, through sicknesses, deaths, calamities, and more, this blog has not failed to be posted- nearly daily- for all those years. Can we expect that streak to continue? Who would blame me if something happened which would break that string of consistency? Could happen- hope that it doesn't!

I was pretty famous (infamous?) all those years during Trans Iowa for warning folks that at some point Trans Iowa would end. Similarly I also know that at some point THIS blog will end. When? Don't know..... But as the years wear on I see that possibility more clearly now than ever. Someday, I'll make my final post here. I just hope that it is on my own terms, but- you never know. 

Okay, so that was pretty dark! But I'm trying to be a realist here. Especially in these somewhat still uncertain times as we move along with COVID and all of that. Plus, as I have said, a lot of bad stuff has happened and I imagine that has somewhat colored my outlook for 2022. Again- this isn't my favorite time of the year, although I know many profess a love of the holidays, I always breath a sigh of relief when they are over. And that is my 'ray of light' now- all the holiday season is behind us after tomorrow.....

And on that note, I wish you all a very Happy New Year full of taking in every moment and savoring it intentionally. I wish you all a year of doing things with a fullness of gratitude for being able to do them. I wish you all a year of Peace and Happiness as much as you can effect those things. Most of all, I thank you for reading the blog and I wish you all the very best. 

Peace and Love,

Guitar Ted


Jeff said...

Thanks for the randomoniums, the big dollops of opinion, the rear views and all you do. Always start the day with your blog. Good luck to you in however which way the chips fall.

Ben said...

Happy new year! More days than not, I’m reading the blog with my first cup of coffee, so you’ll need to keep it up for quite a few more years since I don’t adjust well to changing routines 😁

john said...

Love the Kilburg photo of the Iowa race. Things change - if we let them - good luck with those changes. Keep it local and focus on the human aspect of our wonderful sport.

MG said...

Happy New Year, Brother. I sure hope we get a chance to actually ride together in 2022. It’s been way too long…

Love ya!!

Guitar Ted said...

@MG - Yes! It has been far too long since we've ridden together. Love ya!