Saturday, December 31, 2022

Looking Forward: 2023

Now that all the "Rear View" stuff has been posted and now that 2022 is over, it is time to look forward to a new year. 2023 is coming and what will this time bring to me? As ever, one cannot really say for certain.

But before I delve into my thoughts for the coming year, I want to make sure that you understand that I am very thankful for each and every one of you that stop by to read this blog. Many of you tell me it is your first read of the day, and that is truly humbling to know. Many of you tell me that you read the blog and appreciate the work and information I provide. This means the world to me. So- Thank You! Without your reading here, and without your encouraging comments, I have to wonder if I'd have stopped doing this long ago now. I think the answer to that is "yes"- I would have stopped. So I appreciate all of you, even if you've never commented before. 

Okay, now what about this coming year? Well, I am not going to push for much new stuff on my plate because I didn't get around to doing a lot of what I wanted to in 2022. For instance, I didn't get a metric century, or a century ride in at all. That's really disappointing to me. However; I had family duties to take care of, a new job that is immensely rewarding, but one that really imposed on my times to ride, and overall, circumstances prevailed against my getting those long rides in. 

So, for 2023, as far as riding goes, my main goals are to make that long ride happen. At least once! And taking a step toward that first, perhaps I can then build upon that. I can tell you that one major event has occurred that will free up some time and that is that my son can drive now. So, there is hope for 2023. 

One of those rides I want to do is a two-day tour which I would do from my home, stay overnight in another location, and then ride back the following day. It's about a 150 mile round trip, as I have it mapped out. Stay tuned on that one...

I missed doing a Death Ride altogether in 2022. That hasn't happened in many a year! So, I'd like to pick back up on that again in 2023. But as far as events go, I am afraid that monetarily and time-wise those sorts of things are off my plate. I just cannot afford to be gone on Saturdays too much and travel expenses are not in my budget anymore, and probably won't be for the foreseeable future. So, I'll be riding pretty much "hyper-local" for the near term. 

The Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame is having the inaugural class of inductees be part of the selection process for the next class of inductees. I guess that means me! I have already been told about how the process will work and that this should be all over with soon, at least as far as my part in that goes. I think how this process looks as far as how inductees are chosen is moving forward is interesting and should help keep the future of the GCHoF relevant for years to come. There could be a trip to Emporia connected to this. We'll see.....

Looking ahead with optimism on starting my 18th year of blogging.

As for the blog, well, this year I finished the "Trans Iowa Series" and I still have not yet begun to know, or have any concept for what to do with that material. So far I have had no real inspiration for where to go with all of that stuff. Any suggestions would be appreciated, because as of now, I cannot see a resolution to my quandary there. 

Obviously the "GTDRI Stories", the tales of the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational, have taken the place of those Trans Iowa stories, and so far I am up to the fifth one out of the 14 total GTDRI's. So, it may be that this series lasts all throughout 2023. I may make it to the end before the end of the year, but I bet I won't. 

In terms of posts this was another "top-five" year in terms of numbers of posts written. Look at the side bar of this blog and you can see for yourself. Again- I cannot promise you daily scribes, but I probably will do that, as long as I can. Another 'top-five' effort? Ah.....well, you never know!

In other blog news, back in November of this year, a certain email I received kind of made me think. The person who sent the email was "amazed you haven't monetized this blog after 18 years". Ha ha! Well, for starters, they cannot count, because it has not been 18 years- yet! But this raises an important point for me to bring up concerning this blog and your enjoyment of it. 

This blog will never be monetized. You will never see sponsored posts, advertisements, or spam here. 

I promise you that, and for anyone wondering why I wouldn't grab whatever cash I could for all this work, well, you see, that was never my intention when I started this blog. So, 'nuff said. I just wanted to get that off my mind. 

Paul Jacobson standing on a road from the T.I.v5 course.
So, what exactly does keep you going all these years? That's easy- I have a need to write and share things. That's number one, most likely.

But when I receive messages, like the one from this past February from Paul Jacobson, letting me know that Trans Iowa v5 was one of his biggest lifetime achievements, and that being a thing he felt so strongly about that he actually stopped on a trip to take an image on the old course back on a cold February day? Well, that's the kind of thing I get motivated by. 

When I receive unasked for and completely unexpected monetary gifts, I get motivated to keep on keepin' on. And that sort of thing has happened in a very significant way. 

Now, I want to add that I don't expect this to make anyone feel that they have to do anything on my behalf. That's not the point here. The point is that I wanted to illustrate why I keep writing this blog for no worldly reward that one might expect me to pursue, at least some people like that e-mailer from November. But that person doesn't understand me. 

No, I don't write all this stuff for reasons of making money. I do it because I want to do it, it is fun for me, and I get encouragement to keep doing it that has deeper meaning than receiving a small amount of money because someone clicked through an ad on my blog. Not that this ever happened, or ever will, it's simply a statement for illustration. 

All that to say that you can pretty much expect 2023 on here to look a whole lot like years previous. So, no big changes are in store that I can foresee. (Note: The "State of the Gravel Scene" will be posted tomorrow and the next day as well.)

Happy New Year! 

Peace and Love!

Guitar Ted


Skidmark said...

Cheers to the the new year, GT.

Ben said...

Happy New Year and good luck with your long rides!
My favorite, on your blog, if Friday News and Views. I'm in the industry and feel I'm fairly good at knowing what's going on etc but every once in awhile I miss something and you bring it to light. Plus I enjoy your opinions.

Thanks and ave a great 2023

MuddyMatt said...

Happy New Year Mark and thank you for your contribution and thoughts over the past year - like others your blog is my morning read. I am glad about the monetization issue which needs to be hyper aggressive to bring in any money at all, destroying the whole point of reading in the first place.

Guitar Ted said...

@Ben - Thank you!! Happy New Year!

Guitar Ted said...

@MuddyMatt - Thank you for the support of my non-monetization of this platform. I appreciate that! Happy New Year!!

thejacobsons said...

Wow! Great post GT. If it were about the money, Trans Iowa would have become something completely different, which wasn't your goal and everyone knew it. I remember you getting criticism for not allowing more people to enter TI.

Thank you for the shout out. I have said it many times, putting in the training for four years with the burning desire to complete Trans Iowa and then eventually doing it was a very big deal for me. Getting through the adversity has helped give me the confidence to accomplish a lot of other things in life. Plus, TI gave me many great friendships that I still treasure to this day (even if we don't stay in touch as much as we should).

Thanks again.

Guitar Ted said...

@ thejacobsons (Paul) - Thanks Paul! I am glad you saw this post. That text really means a lot to me. Thank you so much for taking the time out to send it.