Well, today I knocked out a huge chunk of Trans Iowa recon for the course that will be the most scenic, brutal, and awesome one by far. I have everything but about 5-6 miles verified, and that for reasons you might not expect! Oh so close to being done!
Folks, the first thing I have to say is that you better have some lights on your bike! Not those EL-500's we used to recommend, but some real lights! Why? Well, at 4:30am you might find yourself screaming down a gravel road descent at 35+ mph and because of all the twists and turns in the road, you won't be able to see things fast enough with a piddly commuter light, that's why. Well, I suppose you could crawl and pick your way down, but that'd take time and you'd get in everyones way..........at least for a few seconds!
There are at least two decents that will take place under the cover of darkness that are going to be hairy, sketchy, freefalls. Dangeroso for sure! More of the same will punctuate the first third of the route. Of course, I don't think it's any secret that the flip side will be a prevalent feature, as well. Longest continous climb I encountered today was 1.6 miles. Doesn't sound like much, until you add in the literally hundreds of steeps before it and after it, and factor in that the roads follow the lay of the land, so the gradients are stupid! Yes folks, you will climb hills in Iowa. That's one thing you will figure out in a hurry!
This course is outstanding as far as scenery is concerned. I was feeling bad that alot of it will be under the canopy of nightime, but hopefully a near full moon will illuminate things well enough for ya'all to take some peeks. I was spotting bald eagles all over the place and other wild and domesticated animals will make for interesting things to see.
I'll have a breakdown of where the "halfway" point will be, where you will pick up the second set of cue sheets, and what time you'll need to get there by later.
It's gonna be super cool! I can't wait!
Surly Cross-Check; update
11 hours ago