My wonderful wife, Phyllis asked me the other day, "Are you guys going to do this (Trans Iowa) next year? And you know........it made me think. My first reaction was that I didn't know. Actually, I hadn't even thought about it, and said as much to her when she asked. I mean, we haven't even run Trans Iowa V2 yet, so thinking about doing it again hasn't crossed the radar screen for me........yet! She agreed, yes, it might depend upon how this one goes, so we'll wait and look at that later.
Well, I didn't wait too long to start thinking about it. Trans Iowa is one of those things in life that you don't do for the usual reasons. You know, like money, or fame. It's not one of those things you have to do, like a job or a moral obligation.So, why on earth would I do it? (I asked Paddy H. the same thing in his "Ted-terview") Well, I think I'm doing this one, in2006, for different reasons than I did it last year.
Last year, I did Trans Iowa (as in help put it on- not riding in it!) because Jeff had this hair-brained idea, and I jumped in, just to see what would happen. I'd never done anything like that, so I took it as a challenge and rolled with it. I was blind. I had no idea what to expect, or what to look for exactly. Now, this time, I'm a little wiser.......or maybe a little sicker........depending on your viewpoint!
This time, I challenged myself to do a better job. This meant that I had to take a good look at criticisms of last years event. I sought out advice from some of the experienced and well respected members of the endurance community. I adjusted. I put in more time. (I still am putting in time!) I tweaked everything that Jeff and I agreed to tweak. To that end, I feel like I'm meeting the challenge and am in a good posistion to overcome the challenges. We'll see how it goes at the end of April. Anyway, that's one of the reasons I'm doing this again this year, but it's not "the" reason.
No, what it boils down to is two things, really. First, it's about cycling. I wouldn't even get involved if it wasn't about riding a bike- even if I do not get to ride one in T.I. I love to see others playing out their passion for cycling, too. That's gratifying for me. Secondly, and most importantly, it's about the people.
Paddy H. spoke about this in the piece we did together. It's all about people and what relationships you build. It's about the stories, the lessons, and the inspiration you recieve and give away during the process. I know for a fact that there wouldn't be a Trans Iowa if it wern't for my relationship and respect for Jeff Kerkove. Trans Iowa wouldn't be as good as it is if it wern't for the invaluable assistance and advice we recieved from Mike Curiak in developing our idea. It really would have sucked without all of the help we recieved from the fine folks in Hawarden and Decorah. I got to meet a ton of really interesting and inspiring people through this event. I cherish that. That's why I am involved in Trans Iowa.
Of course, Trans Iowa will end some day, just like it started. Nothing like that lasts forever. Maybe it'll be this year. I don't know. I just know that I'm glad I got to do it from the standpoint of dividends that I reaped from the people involved. That's what makes it worth it. That's what could make it not worth it, as well. It's about the people. If the experience with the people goes south, then the effort won't be worth the trouble.
So, will I be doing this again next year?
....................we'll just have to see about that come about May of this year!