This week will be focused primarily on the lead up to Trans Iowa. The situation couldn't be more intense, as a last minute snafu in the cue sheets has me scrambling to get things squared away before Friday when they are handed out. That and all the co-ordination between the various parties that are volunteering to lend me a hand on this edition. If you are helping me out and are reading this, thanks to you in advance! The help means alot to me!
I also want to acknowledge all the thanks expressed to me and Jeff for putting this event on. It doesn't go unnoticed here.
Okay, with that said, here are a few observations...........
Weather: The big "if" in the event. Right now it looks to be as about as good as it gets for late April. That is; temps in the 70's, sunny, and probably windy but not gale force as in the first T.I. Don't rejoice just yet! There is plenty of time for all of that to change in the next day or two.
The rain we got and the rain we look to get tomorrow will be a huge benefit to the riders as it will pack down the dusty powder and make for a cleaner ride. Of course, that means the "B" level roads will be a mess! Oh well!
The Route: I get a laugh out of some of you guys prognosticating where we will be taking you on this "Big ass loop". I've skimmed the web looking at some thoughts on the route and while there are some pretty good guesses, there are even more that are waaaay off! There will be surprised people, for sure.
Danger!: One thing I'll stress at the pre-race, and I'll start harping on it now is this: Dangerous Downhills! I'm not joking either. This event will have descents that I'm sure will see riders in the 40 plus mph range. To make matters more difficult, the downhills are not straight. Most have a dog leg and a cork screw effect which puts a premium on handling skills and nerves. One in particular has a nasty off camber left hander that could spell big trouble if you aren't careful.
To compound matters even further, a lot of these come in the first night section, which is a major concern to me. I know most lighting systems out there are not really set up for anything more than 20-25mph, after which you are outrunning the light and anything you see will be seen too late. For that reason I say this: It's a 324 mile event. Don't get taken out because you bombed a descent in the dark and "ate it" at mile 15! (Not that there is a descent at mile 15, but there might be!)
These descents are pretty rad, and I think there is more downhill on the first part of this T.I. than climbing. Really! Yes........there are some tough climbs, but the DH sections out number the tough climbs, at least from the seat of the "Dirty Blue Box". My favorite is the one where the road looks like it just ends on the horizon line because the descent is so steep! Makes me tense up every time I've gone over the edge in the car!
Okay, that's enough on the down hills for now. It'll be a sketchy first part for a lot of guys, and I hate to say it, but I've a feeling someone or two is going to yard sale this thing in the first couple of hours. Don't say I didn't warn you! I'll be on this subject again at the pre race meeting, so you haven't heard the end of it!
Okay, more T.I. stuff and maybe I'll manage to sneak in a 29"er bit or three this week as well!