"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!
The 2015 running of the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational was a bit of a "revenge ride" for me. I was bound and determined to complete this one as the previous year ended with that bizarre crash. That's why this course was used yet again, for the fourth time! I think it was the most I ever used one route!
So, if you've been following along on this series you know I always talk about surprises when it comes to who shows up for this ride. I never really knew how many would show, and who might show up. The 2015 ride was no different, and in fact, it had many surprises for me.
Other than Tony McGrane and Jeremy Fry, who had ridden the previous year, everyone else that showed up could be considered a "surprise" to me. But especially the Frey Brothers, who I had never met before, or had even heard of before. Sadly they both only did the beginning portion of the ride and I never did get to know them. And they disappeared from my life never to be heard from again.
I arose at 3:30am to get to the start. Dumb. I should have left the night before and camped out, but I was too lazy, disorganized, and guilty that I'd be leaving my family. Anyway, looking back that lack of sleep the night before was not playing into my favor. For whatever reason, I ran my life like I was 19 years old and could do anything. Again.....not very smart. But hopefully I've finally learned my lesson after 60+ years on this planet!
|Jeremy Fry getting ready to go in the parking lot of Backbone State Park.
|The day started out ultra-humid, and it got worse from there!
Going out of the State Park required a climb up a steep grade and by the time we had reached the pavement section just beyond there we all were completely soaked in sweat. Yes, it was going to be one of those days. A day where we were going to get cooked, and we all knew it. Fortunately, the worst of it held off until later in the morning.
There were a couple of firsts on the ride and an appearance of two females. Lance Andre brought his wife, Traci, and his daughter, Josie along, and Lance and Josie were on a tandem. So, we had two females, and a first time for a tandem. Also, it was the first time an entire family had joined in on the GTDRI.
That was pretty cool! And we had several first-timers to the ride, which was also fun. Even though hardly anyone knew each other, I was amazed as I sat off the back for a bit listening. The chatter amongst the riders was non-stop early on as everyone wanted to get to know each other. This was maybe my favorite thing about the series of GTDRI events. That I had invited people from all over the Mid-West to come and ride, and they did, but not only that, they got to know each other a little bit too.
|There was a thin haze, then some puffy clouds that kept the heat down for a bit.
|But before we reached Wadena, the Sun was out in full force.
I really enjoyed the opening bits of this particular GTDRI. I was having fun, I was riding okay, and the group that had gathered was pretty fantastic. With the exception of the Frey Brothers, I think everyone was having a pretty good time. One of the Fry Brothers had an issue of some sort. I cannot really remember what it was but it had something to do with heat regulation and it caused both of the brothers to call it early. That's my recollection of things, but I could be wrong there.
But the main point was that things were pointing toward a good outcome for the ride overall, and I was confident that we would do well at that point. However, something would happen at Wadena, our first rest stop, that would confound things and cause me to stress out for a large part of the day.
Next: The Riddle Of GT's Lost Stash