Let's see: 431 miles and fourteen hours on the road today to get this course dialed. How many downhills did we drive? Lots!
But as you all know, for every downhill there is an accompanying uphill section.
<===One of several uphill slogs.
So, how many uphills did we drive today?
Get ready for Trans Iowa V4 folks. The toughest one yet!
<===Some roads were just barely passable.
Road conditions varied all over the place from absolutely perfecto gravel- faster and smoother than last year- to absolutely horrendous. And everything inbetween.
Let's say about half the course is suffering from the effects of snow yet, and this less than a month away from the start!
<===Tunnel vision on March 29th? Yep, you betcha!
Much of the course is lined with snow taller than my SUV that we drove today. This snow is keeping the roads saturated by melting everyday a bit and re-freezing at night.
Will it all be gone by April 26th? Probably, but the effects may still be lingering. Consider that farm equpment has yet to hit the fields and you can see why some of these roads will have no time to recover from the ravages of this past winter. Some of the roads we traveled looked as if they had been bombed for all the potholes in them. We're talking miles of this sort of thing.
<===We saw Wisconsin, Minnesota, and a whole lot of Iowa today. What will you see on T.I.V4?
I thought I'd be nice and give you all a parting shot of what you will likely miss because it will be dark out when you pass through here.
Such a shame! We saw some beautiful vistas today!
What you will see: About 75% of the course is what I would consider hilly or worse. You won't see a lot of open convenience stores. You will see "B" roads. You will see places cars can not go. You will see evidence of wheeled vehicles not powered by "typical" means. (You might even see these vehicles in action) You will see two track and gravel roads four lanes wide. You will see cool bridges. You will see lots of cemeteries. If you finish, you will have seen the longest T.I. course ever.
I often said to d.p. today that I have never seen the course roads in worse condition previous to a Trans Iowa. I also noted how hard it was to drive a lot of this course. You could put on a seriously cool rally on these roads, they are that challenging to drive.
Anyway, we'll have some details on mileage and course checkpoints, time cut offs and supply notes soon. Stay Tuned!