Sunday, May 07, 2023

The GTDRI Stories: A Big Year Begins

I finally made a new header for the 2014 ride!
"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!

 So, the following year after that Slender Fungus produced, monster of a ride, I decided that we were going back to Northeast Iowa where I had that route we had done for 2009 and 2010. I knew it was a great route, I didn't have time to mess with making a new route, and with a few modifications, I could make it even better. 

This spared me a lot of effort and concerns where I had plenty of that to go around as it was. Not only were there the usual suspects, but this year I added an event I was putting out there for the celebration of the tenth Trans Iowa. 

That was a deal I was calling the "Trans Iowa Masters Program". It was essentially a combination of the first two Trans Iowa routes from Hawarden, Iowa to Decorah, Iowa and then a new section tacked on he end of that to get riders all the way across to end up in Lansing, Iowa. That and my big plans for Trans Iowa's tenth running which included a hat and a special t-shirt for every rider that was signed up to ride in T.I.v10. 

So, just having that old GTDRI route in my back pocket, as it were, was ideal for me in 2014. But, as I said, I did want to tweak the route a bit. I ended up finding a more accommodating start due to some suggestions I was getting that Echo Valley's primitive setting was not very nice from the standpoint of basics. There was no running water or bathroom facilities there. So, I "clocked" the start along the route to be near Strawberry Point, a small town that on the original route was about 2/3rds of the way in. Riders now had the option of staying at a motel before the start in Strawberry Point or to camp at the campground in Backbone State Park, where the actual start was going to be held. 

This meant that campers had full amenities and a closer town to get stuff in, if need be. Plus, Backbone had copious parking for day-trippers to utilize for the ride. It was a much better starting point, but it would mean a few extra miles needed to be tacked onto the route to get out of and back to the State Park. 

Meanwhile I was also plotting the end of my term with "Twentynine Inches" website which I had been entangled in since 2006. The overall plan for 2014 was thus: Plan the GTDRI with a mostly known course, do the "last" Trans Iowa event, and get out from under my 29"er reviewing duties. But you know what they say about the best laid plans.......

Next: The lead-up to the 9th GTDRI.

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