Sunday, January 01, 2023

GTDRI Stories: For The Love Of Gravel Riding

The course as I saw it at the DK200 2010.
 "The GTDRI Stories" is a series telling the history, untold tales, and showing the sights from the run of Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitationals. This series will run on Sundays. Thanks for reading!

I mentioned in an earlier post in this series that I was trying to get away from the MTB stuff and dig further into the gravel scene. As I researched this time period, I found that I had dove headlong into all sorts of gravel events, and I did exactly ZERO mountain biking events. And my event calendar was stuffed with events. 

How I managed to get to so many gravel 2010, mind pretty crazy when I think about how busy I was and how small the gravel scene was back then. But there were events all throughout the year on gravel as I was busy from Spring until Fall and if you count CIRREM, which was going on by then, you could ride gravel events 10 out of 12 months in the Mid-West easily. 

I thought I'd just show a sampling of the gravel travel I did in 2010 as a way to further cement that I was all in on gravel and why that is the reason that the GTDRI continued along with Trans Iowa. It was really all the MTB stuff and responsibilities associated with that which was hindering me from becoming all-gravel all the time back then. 

Somewhere in Southeastern Minnesota on the Fargo Adventure Ride during June of 2010.

I was busy with the shop and with 29"er stuff, but I was really branching off into the gravel end of things with my attendance to another Fargo Adventure Ride in June and starting in late June, my night rides with then Trans Iowa co-director, David Pals on gravel in Tama and Benton Counties. 

Trans Iowa v7 recon by bicycle in Benton County during the Summer of 2010
August saw my participation in the first Gravel Worlds around Lincoln, Nebraska.

I first rode Petrie Road's Level B section in 2010.

I not only did a lot of gravel events, but I explored the local gravel in the area. Heretofore I had mostly been doing one or two roads only and then only "out and backs", never getting off those main roads to explore. I finally heard about a dirt road section from a fellow local rider and I had to check it out. It turned out to be Petrie Road's Level B Maintenance section. A favorite stretch of road for me these days. 

There also was another Level B section of dirt listed way up in the Northeastern part of Black Hawk County that I had seen on a map. However; when I went to search for that, it had reverted back to the local landowners, so that trip was a bit of a bust at that time. 

The Rawland Fall Tour: Look how many people were on this ride! This is 2010!

The gravel scene was really taking off in 2010. One sign was that Gravel Worlds had seen a big increase in attendance, and so had the Dirty Kanza. A veritable group ride idea, dubbed the Rawland Fall Tour, drew a ton of riders, just to tool around the Southeastern Minnesota gravel on a nice Fall day. 

It wasn't just myself that had been bitten by the gravel bug. A LOT of people were catching on, and this was well before anything was marketed as "gravel specific". This was a fun and exciting time to be involved in gravel riding and I am proud to have dipped my toes into it when I did. 

It all kept my spark high to keep on doing the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational, and Trans Iowa, of course. 

Next: The Three Amigos of The Fifth GTDRI - oh! and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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