Friday, March 23, 2007

The Grassroots Revolution?

With Trans Iowa coming up in just a little more than a month, I thought I would share something that has been developing in regards to the event recently. It seems that this oddball gravel grinder has attracted some "outside" attention.

While the popularity of Trans Iowa with the long distance/endurance/adventure cyclists has been an eye opener for me, I never really expected that the event would reach outside of that sphere and gain the attention of a bigger (potentially) audience. However strange that may seem to me, it appears that it likely is happening.

I have been in contact with a gentleman who purports to have a legitimate contract to write a book dealing with the "grassroots, underground sports movement". He says that he became interested in writing such a tome after becoming disenfranchised with the "mega sports complex" that dominates most of the American sporting landscape these days. Apparently, he heard about Trans iowa from it's first and only, (so far) winner, Ira Ryan.

Ira was and is apparently very supportive of the event to the point that this fellow wants to come out and research the event for his future book. He plans on conducting interviews and tagging along for getting a feel for what this event is all about. Obviously, if he wants to know about a "grassroots/ under the radar" kind of event, I suppose Trans Iowa is as good an event to consider as any. Well, least for now it is!

I'm not saying this whole thing with the book and anything else it could generate will ever happen, (I'm not going to count on anything happening in conjunction with this, let's just say that), but if it does, how "under the radar" is Trans Iowa at that point?

I guess what I'm getting at is, when does it cease being a cool, crazy, underground event and become something not so much that, but begins to have a more mainstream event kind of look and feel? Has it already become that? Hmmm........and more importantly, does it even matter? I suppose this years running will be a good way to guage that.

In the end, Jeff and I run the thing and put it on. It's up to us whether or not it is what it is.......for now. I suppose if it gets away from us for whatever reason, we can always shut it down. Are we part of a revolution? Ahh.....well, maybe. I think history, or maybe this upcoming book, will be the judge of that. All I know is, we want to ride our bikes for crazy long distances self supported, and we think you do to. As long as we have that basic understanding, then we have things like Trans Iowa. If that's a "revolution", then so be it.

I think it's just fun!

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