Saturday, December 17, 2022

Rear View 2022: Summer

 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!

July: Well, Summer was in full swing and I had begun to try to reckon with my newfound schedule for work and life. It was a balance that left little time for riding big rides, and so it was that I was popping off many 3-ish hour rides or shorter than that on gravel around Black Hawk County. 

Despite having gotten reimbursed for travel expenses to Emporia, Kansas for the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame trip, the organization did not cover all my expenses, and I had spent my budget for travel for 2022 already, plus I was tapped out on being able to request days off for some time. That meant that I hung around this area the rest of 2022. But I did get out of town on a couple of occasions anyway.

On the work side I was able to visit Des Moines and their Street Collective where we gathered about 60 bicycles to bring back to refurbish and sell at the Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective. That was fun and I finally got to meet Bobby Kennedy who puts on gravel events in Utah, where he used to live. Bobby is now the director of the Street Collective. 

I received a group set from Shimano, the GRX Limited, which is silver anodized. This happened as a result of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame thing. Not directly, but through a chance meeting and conversation with a certain individual who shall remain nameless. The gift was generous and I have enjoyed having the parts on my Standard Rando v2. 

I also was struggling with the Hammerhead Karoo 2 and trying to work through that deal, which was very frustrating. I also was starting to get more things to review for Riding Gravel, which made the Summer fly by as I was busier doing review stuff again.

A visit to the German/Pioneer Cemetery in July

August: This was a busy month with reviewing, riding, and I got to get out of town again near the end of the month with N.Y. Roll. Things started out with the first test rides with the new GRX Limited group installed on the Standard Rando v2. then I was tinkering around with this idea for a tour at the end of the month using the pink MCD bike and the Old Man Mountain Elkhorn Rack I was testing at that time. 

That prompted me to dig out my old penny stove, cooking kit, and camping gear. I did a test firing of the stove and it was going to work out with a few tweaks. I even got out all the old tent stuff and remembered how to put it up. I was actually a bit impressed with myself after that! 

I had a bottom bracket go bad in the Ti Muk 2 so that kicked off a maintenance thread on the blog detailing what I did to get that up and running again. Unfortunately, a head light on the dynamo system went down and prolonged getting that done until later in the Fall. 

The other time I got out of town this past Summer? That was a ride with Dave Pryor, a guest I've had on the Riding Gravel Radio Ranch several times. N.Y. Roll accompanied me and we rode on some fine Linn and Johnson County gravel. 

It was nice to explore some Linn and Johnson County gravel in August

September: The schedule was even worse from the standpoint of work and life balance for September and any and all thoughts of long, multi-hour rides in the country were quickly fading along with the shorter days. Harvest started during this month and it just seemed like the whole year was closing down very quickly in terms of riding plans. 

I did get several rides in, but I missed a lot of great days of riding due to my schedule and it was the driest September on record for years and years. I was a bit bitter about it, but I kept plugging along. 

Reviews wound up and new things came in to take the place of the old stuff. Tires and tools, and more stuff than that rolled into the G-Ted Headquarters where I got busy and tried to get time to ride the stuff. The highlights here were the Shimano GRX Carbon wheels and the WTB Vulpine tires. 

The first header for the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational page designed by Jeff Kerkove.

Blog Stuff: I ended the "Trans Iowa Stories" series in July and kicked off the next series on Sundays called the "GTDRI Stories". I also wrote my final review on that wretched Hammerhead GPS device and I gave a good review on Embark's "Good Energy" gel. I also did a few repair and maintenance posts for tubeless tires and gave some history on a few old gravel events I had done back in the past in my "Gravel History With Guitar Ted" posts. 

Not directly related to this blog, but I also made a major change in how the Riding Gravel Radio Ranch podcast was produced and distributed in early September. there was a possibility hinted at which might include separate podcasts under the Guitar Ted Productions banner.

Next I will get into the final quarter of the year with "Fall And Winter's Beginning".

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