Sunday, April 16, 2023

The GTDRI Stories: Prelude To The Eighth One

A shot from the Odin's Revenge course.
 "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!

As I stated in the previous article on this series, I was turning toward gravel and gravel riding in a big way throughout the middle part of the twenty-teens. One of those things- riding in events- was responsible for what happened to me at the eighth edition of the GTDRI. 

Late in June of 2013 I attended the second Odin's Revenge in East Central Nebraska. It was really, really hard. I went into the event doing not very smart things, (drinking, staying up waaay too late, eating wrong) and with my health not at its best. I was coming down with something, but at that time, I was feeling fine. 

Compounding matters was my anxiety around traveling which I've struggled with all my life, and the combination of all of that and a tough, very hot event left me coming home feeling not so great. This was two weeks before I was supposed to drive two and half hours to get to the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational being put on by my friends who called themselves the Slender Fungus. In between I was working five days a week, and all the other stuff, so I never allowed myself to rest. 

While everything I did surrounding attending and riding Odin's probably affected my GTDRI negatively, it was worth it.

And given that I was being so blind to what I was doing to myself, it doesn't surprise me that the eighth GTDRI wasn't one of my favorites. I know that for many others who rode in this edition of the event, it was an epic, very memorable day. But I had set myself up for failure a long time ahead of this one and I paid a price. 

Meanwhile, the Slender Fungus had everything under control. There were plans for a starting area, plans for overnight accommodations in a local motel, and all I had to do was drive over there. In that light, this was the easiest GTDRI to put on for me because I pretty much did not put it on at all! 

It's ironic how all was moving along in a seemingly smooth, stress-free manner for me, and I was expecting to ride well. All along I was a walking time bomb, in a manner of speaking, since I wasn't taking care of myself correctly. At least not well enough to do a strenuous ride up and down very steep hills on a hot humid day in mid-July. 

Was I in denial? No. I was just being ignorant. And as I said, it bit me in the end which left me in a bit of a dark place afterword. 

Next: The Eighth One


MG said...

Yeah, we probably had too much fun at Odin’s that year, but dang… that was a good time. The terrain out there is absolutely amazing and the people out there are awesome too.

Jon Bakker said...

I'm learning how much some of those behaviors impact my riding - things I used to think were meaningless/neutral. Sleep is huge for health and recovery. Drinking alcohol is terrible for it (and I love craft beers and single malt!) too. What you eat is another key to feeling better and being healthier. All that is stuff that you can largely control, even if you (like me) deal with the tug-of-war between knowing what I should do vs. doing what I (in the moment) want to do!

There are several things that are out of your control, though, like HEAT! Saturday was the Barry-Roubaix here in MI. I rode the 36 and had a blast! It was an unseasonably warm day, though, and the temps went about 10 degrees higher than forecast and the sunshine appeared about two hours earlier than predicted, both of which really hit us riders hard. There was a lot of dust because of dry weather for a week before the race, so that was unavoidable, but the heat really snuck up on many of us and impacted our rides way more than we expected. In 2022 it was 30 degrees, snowed a bit the night before, and was windy-ish (10-15mph). I used most of 2 bottles that day and felt great. Saturday I was out of my bottles (I used some electrolyte mix that also has carbs in it) by mile 30, and I was thirsty! Thankfully there were enormous hydration stations at the end of the race, but I'm glad I didn't have to go much further at that effort level without water. There were some riders who got nauseous from it, others just had to slow way down, and many reported cramping. Thankfully I don't know of anyone who got seriously hurt, but the heat was an unseen course condition that had a big impact on the day for everyone! Had it happened in August, September, or October, after we were used to riding outside in heat, it would have been different, but in April, with so many of us riding all winter, too, our bodies are used to retaining heat, not shedding heat. Big lesson learned, for me!

Guitar Ted said...

@Jon Bakker - If you understand you are still learning, it is a good thing. Especially if "Learning = Change".

I am glad that your ride went well at Barry-Roubaix. Thanks for the comment!

Jon Bakker said...

Hey, I'm just a 44 year old man - I have a LOT to learn, and it means I'll prepare more thoroughly for things like this. Your blog is a great resource (and don't take this the wrong way - I mean it with great respect and thankfulness) because I get to learn from your experiences without living through them first myself!

Guitar Ted said...

@Jon Bakker - HA! No offense taken. Thanks!!