I saw a post today on the Endurance forum of mtbr.com that was talking about the AZT 300. It's a bike/ hike through the deserts and high country of Arizona. Very tough, to be sure. The poster that got me to thinking was one that stated something to the effect that the choice between doing the AZT 300 or Trans Iowa was, perhaps, too obvious. (Based, apparently, on the scenery)
Well, if you don't already know, I help put on Trans Iowa. Promoter? Hmm......I prefer Resident Mad Scientist in charge of Course Design. Yeeeeaaaaah! Anyway............I'm not going to slag on the AZT 300, nor am I going to selfishly glorify T.I.V2. I'm just going to say these are two entirely different events! Pick yer poison. Either one is a tough challenge.
Scenery? Sonoran desert? Maybe this stuff trips your trigger. Hiking with your bike on your back in extreme dry heat. Taking a nap on a high mesa with scorpions for bunk buddies. Spending three to five days in the desert southwest. Alone. Hey, this is pretty crazy stuff. Kinda like Idita-bike in reverse!
Trans Iowa? Ride the entire course........in less than 34 hours. No sleep- no hike-a-bike. (Well........maybe no hike-a-bike!) Could be really hot and humid, could be really cold and snowy, or it could be perfect. Farm roads, gravel, and mud. Cows staring at you. Kinda like an uncouth Paris-Roubaix.
So, you see, two entirely different types of challenges. I'm not sure you choose based on scenery. When I'm in the hurt locker, all I can see are pink elephants anyway.
On an entirely different note: Guess the date of birth for Tim Grahl's baby son and Blue Collar MTB will send you a $5.00 gift certificate to JensonUSA. It's all just for fun and you could get something you may be wanting just a little bit cheaper.