Saturday, December 10, 2022

Rear View 2022: Spring

 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 2023 near the end of the month. Enjoy the look back and thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions!

April: The month kicked off with what we all thought was going to be the last Renegade Gents Race, or "Gents Race", as it became to be known as, and this happened during a cold, wet period. The weather was foul to start out with as we had high Northwesterly winds, snow in the ditches yet, and it had rained the night and day before the event. This made the sandy gravel mushy and there were standing pools of water here and there to negotiate. 

I went down to Des Moines the evening before and stayed with Kathy and Steve Fuller at their home. I enjoyed an evening meal out with them and night cap of whisky before hitting the sack. The next day it was cold and brisk in Slater, but back home in Waterloo, it was actually snowing! That turned out to be the last snow of the year for us. 

Once again, one of our Gent's team member fell off due to circumstances of fatigue, and we did not do the entire course. I was fine with that as the nutritional supplement I used made my guts hurt severely. Anyway, we ended on a somber note and I drove part way home in severe pain from that supplement. (LMNT, by the way, not good for me!) And then upon returning home, we find out that wasn't the last Gent's Race after all! 

The Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame: Then right after the Gent's Race I received confirmation on my induction into the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame. This subject pretty much consumed my first six months of 2022 in some form or another. 

Planning my year out was immediately thrown off-kilter by the news of the organization in January, and my being put on notice that I would "likely be inducted into the first class", which meant that making any plans for the first six months of the year were going to hinge upon a big "if" and I didn't get that settled until April. Then it was making plans to be in Emporia by the end of May, first part of June, whenever the induction ceremonies were to happen. 

And all of that was because I had just been hired at a new job where I worked on Saturday's and I wasn't able to just do whatever I wanted on a weekend anymore. So, this whole GCHoF thing was the keystone to my whole cycling life for 2022. 

As it turned out, the Gent's Race, which was non-negotiable as far as my attendance was concerned, was my first Saturday off, and as it fell, the induction ceremonies were on a Thursday evening, so I did not miss work on Saturday! But the trip, being partially subsidized by the GCHoF, still cost me money and that came out of my budget for the year's travel, and well, that was that for that budget! 

Anyway, obviously being a part of the GCHoF is an immense honor and privilege that I do not take lightly. Obviously it was not only a highlight for 2022, but for my life. That's big! But I also wanted to point out that this event also pretty much informed what I was able to do for the entire year in cycling, so that was also a major big deal. I knew that could be the case in January, and I am still feeling the effects of that this December. 

Another direct result of my inclusion into the hall was the announcement of a "Hall of Fame Ride" to be held in my honor in mid-June. So, there was that as well. 

Super-rare for 2022- I actually rode with someone! N.Y. Roll joined me in April for a grinder.

Back to April... Meanwhile the weather was inclement and unsuited for cycling for a couple of weeks. Then it slowly got better, but Spring was tough, and getting out for rides didn't really happen until May approached. The blog was all about the previously mention GCHoF thing, my ongoing Trans Iowa series, and sundry bits like the Guitar Ted Lube-Off, which was happening as Spring moved forward. 

May: More country rides happened. It was beautiful outdoors, but I see that I reported on many of my rides that it was really windy this time of 2022, and so that made riding difficult. I also did not have a ton of reviewing duties coming out of Winter, so I was able to sneak in some rides on non-test mules like my Pofahl Signature Custom single speed and my Ti Muk 2. On the blog I wrote up a massive flared drop bar review of all the old flared drop bars I have here. I also posted a reveal of my purchase of a Singular Cycles Gryphon frame set. The month closed out with news of Shimano's Limited Edition Silver GRX component group.

I was able to ride bikes I normally don't get out on much in the Spring. This one featured my Orange Crush BMC.

June: Well, the whole trip to Emporia to get inducted into the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame was the focus of this time period. That was a solo drive to the city where I have spent many a day riding the Flint Hills over the years. I did not take a bicycle with me on this particular trip, and it was solely focused on the ceremonies. I gotta say, solo driving is still not a lot of fun. 

(L-R) Myself, Instagram cycling influencer Marley Blonski, and fellow inductee Kristi Mohn at the after-party.

The highlight of my time in Emporia was an unplanned adventure with professional photographer, Erik Mathy which happened the day after I was inducted into the GCHoF. I had a blast as we photographed the area South of Emporia on a bright, Sunny late Spring day. But then it was getting back home so I could go to work on Saturday! 

The next big deal of 2022 occurred on June 19th when N.Y. Roll hosted a "Hall of Fame Ride" for me. Several old friends showed up and I met someone new as well. It was a great surprise to see a couple folks and ride with them again. I really was happy with the day and honored to have had this ride put on for this occasion. 

I was honored by these gentlemen;s attendance to the ride N.Y. Roll put on for my induction to the GCHoF.

I was also surprised in June to get a call from THE Gary Fisher. He was wanting to pick my brain about gravel cycling, its origins, where it is going, etc. He was headed to Eurobike and he wanted to be up to date on the gravel cycling trend. I was honored to be a resource for him in that way. 

On the blog I was wrapping up the Lube-Off, the Trans Iowa series, and the final review on that dreaded Hammerhead Karoo 2 cycling GPS computer. That was - by far - the most frustrating thing I've ever reviewed or used in decades for cycling. Maybe ever in my lifetime. Bad doesn't describe my take on that thing. On the good side I introduced my newest guitar, a Stardust model from Sully Guitars Conspiracy Series.

And with that, I moved into July, August, and September. That'll be the next stop on the Rear View for 2022. Stay tuned for that next Saturday.

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