Thursday, December 23, 2021

Rear View 2021: Fall

A header from early into Fall.
 Hello! it's time again to review the year on Guitar Ted Productions. The "Rear View" has been a staple of the blog since almost the very beginning. This year there will be five Rear View posts looking back on Winter's End, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter's Beginning. I'll also have a post looking ahead at 2022 near the end of the month. Enjoy the look back and thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions!

I've always held that Fall starts when Gravel Worlds is over. I guess I'll have to change that in 2022.... Anyway! So, Fall came and after I was recovered from that century ride in Nebraska I wanted to get back out as soon as I could to do the Tour of Black Hawk County. This ride had been another plan going on most of the Summer months and I was bound and determined to get that done. Once I completed that ride I kind of got hooked on early morning rides which provided a lot of spectacular imagery for the blog.

As far as the blog went I had wrapped up the Project Wide Gravel Wheels and then I introduced the Tubolito review here. That brought out the old Raleigh Tamland Two for some riding which was nice. I wrote up an article about torque wrenches which went over well. I started looking at some of my bicycles which I hadn't been riding much and posted about those, which drew a lot of interest. I also did a Tubeless 101 maintenance article which was in response to a reader's question. I featured a rebuild of my old Topeak floor pump, which got a lot of attention, oddly enough. 

I got a lot of reader responses to my GPS computer questions, (Thank you!), I ended up getting a Hammerhead Karoo 2, by the way, just recently. (There is a review series started on that already this December) I got some American Classic tires in, (final review should be here), and I bought a new Twin Six wind vest which I shared about here. But the biggest thing for me this Fall was the death of my mother late in October. 

The ToBHC got me hooked on doing early morning rides for a while because of scenes like this.

So, that crazy idea to circumnavigate Black Hawk County via as many gravel roads as possible was also my "Guitar Ted Death Ride" for the year. It worked out really well on all fronts. It was a crazy weather day with temperatures dipping into the upper 30's at the start and topping out at over 90 degrees by mid-afternoon. I was taxed pretty hard by that and the gravel which was a mix of 100% deep, fresh gravel or normal conditions with a slight headwind. 

Being surrounded by thousands of birds was just another reason the T0BHC ride was so memorable.

It was perfect on so many levels. The sights, the experiences, and the complete exhaustion factor, (requisite for "Death Ride" status) were all there. I was really pretty much 100% satisfied with how it all went down. 

And that made for my thirst to get out and ride early mornings almost unquenchable. I ended up planning future rides around when I could get out in the early mornings before Sunrise so I could experience the wonder and the sights of that time of day. I can't say I am sorry I posted so many Sunrise shots! I love them and that time of year is really a great one to grab such imagery. 

I did do rides in full Sun as well!

Fall was spectacular and rather long lasting this year. Typically the leaves are all down by the end of the month of October but we had plenty of Fall color yet this year at the end of the month. I took advantage and rode as often out in the country that I could, but with my son in college and needing me to drive him to campus, I had to stick close to home. 

That low angle of the Sun in late Fall makes every image look more dramatic than it should.

But Fall ended on a sour note for me, obviously, with the news that my mother had died. Mixed emotions there for sure with her suffering from Alzheimer's, so I've been sorting through that since then. Riding helps, but I have to admit that the wind was sucked out of my sails since that happened.

Next I'll cover the end of the year up to the present with my "Winter's Beginning" segment of the Rear View of 2021. I'll also post that day about my outlook and plans for 2022.

No comments: