Thursday, May 01, 2008

Trans Iowa V4 : It Blew Me Away! Part V

Note: This is the final post in my Trans Iowa recap series. There will be one more post to take a look at some odds and ends and look to the future. Then it is back to regular ol' postings!

After we had decided to end the race at Edgewood, we called the checkpoint volunteers in Earlville and asked if all the riders had gone through yet. All but Corey Godfrey had passed. We told them to let him know it was done in Edgewood, and we tried to reach the others on the road, but almost all of the guys had their cell phones shut down to conserve battery life. As we waited for the riders, a pair of law enforcement officials pulled up and asked what we were doing. We explained our situation. The befuddled look on the officers face told me that he hadn't quite expected such an answer. He then looked at me and said, "Well, I hope they aren't out there all night. There are plenty of drunks on the road around here." Then they drove away.

Which got me to thinking: If there were plenty of drunks driving, why weren't they busy catching them? Hmm.............. well, anyway!

We were wondering how we might get some sort of word to the guys to allow for them to make a race winning move, if they wanted to. About that time, John Gorilla's support crew pulled up and we had them station themselves four blocks or so away to yell at the guys as they rounded what was to be the last corner. They weren't there long when we heard them yelling and screaming at three riders rounding the corner. Mind you, this was just past midnight in a small Iowa town. I'm sure they are still talking about it!

So, here they came to the line. I could see the three shadowy figures start to reel up the cadence. Then a rider shot to the right curb and was coming on strong. I said, "That guy is flying! That's the winner!" It was John Gorilla, with Joe Kucharski second, on a single speed, and Charlie Farrow third wheel.

<===Charles Parsons makes the final run in to finish fourth at Trans Iowa V4.

We shook hands and had to explain the situation to the three finishers who were a bit surprised and maybe a bit angry that we cut the event short. After our explanation though, I think we had them convinced it was for the best.

Then we tried to arrange some transportation for the riders, as they were beginning to get chilled in the rapidly falling temperatures. Joe Kucharski sat in our chase vehicle and had the heat just blasting! I wonder if he figured out it had heated seats! Soon we had both Joe and Charlie off to Decorah. Charlie got his prizing right then and there because he was heading back to Rochester, Minnesota as soon as he got back!

<===Trans Iowa doesn't do no stinkin' champagne! Nope! We gots yer "gutter beer" though!

John Gorrilla and his support crew stayed behind since they were with Charles Parsons and were waiting for his arrival. In the meantime, John's wife Adele found an unopened Busch Light in the gutter uptown and presented him with it. Not too proud to drink it, John cracked open the can and took a long, well deserved draw. He even let me take this funny shot of him with it.

Waiting for Charles to roll in gave me some time to chat with John about the event and how his ride went for him. I learned that he had gone down twice. Once in a soft spot of gravel going uphill and the other was a blow down in the strong winds. He fell in a way that usually results in a broken collar bone, but John's fate wasn't such that day. John also related that he thought Joe Kucharski had gone down once too, or maybe it was Charlie. Hmm....can't blame him for not remembering the exact details after such a hard day in the saddle.

We started talking about his bike, a Ridley X-Nite cross rig, which John proudly proclaimed as "the only other bike to win Trans Iowa". (His phrasing, not mine!) As a matter of fact, John is the only other winner of Trans Iowa. Some pretty rare company there with Ira Ryan being the winner of V1 and V3.

<===Cornbread gets his props from Skip Cronin after rolling in about 3:30am.

Charles Parsons rolled in about an hour after the first three and then their crew quickly loaded up and sped away. It was about 1:30am, and d.p. and I were standing there alone.....for a minute or two!

Then the Lincoln Super Fan Van rolled up and staked out a claim waiting for their man Corey to make his final run in and finish Trans Iowa. We took our leisure and chatted, whooped it up, (mostly Matt Gersib!) and laughed heartily. However; even the most valiant super fan gets fatigued and one by one they trailed off to the van for some "z's". Time crawled by, the bars closed, drunks meandered up the street. Where was Corey?

Through talking with Skip I learned that Corey can be ahem!.........directionally challenged. I became somewhat concerned about 3am and d.p, finally said. "Let's go!". No more needed to be said, we were going out to search for Cornbread and bring him on in if we had to.

Of course, your mind starts to play with you at such an hour and with 24 hours on the clock already, we were really struggling to stay sane as it was. We reasoned that he should be near Edgewood, so we started the search close to town. We headed East, and then just over a rise in the road d.p, spotted the lights. It was Corey all right. We pulled up and chatted with him. I was making an assessment as to his ability to ride it on in. He seemed lucent and was reasoning well. He told us he had missed several turns and was wandering around in the hollows for awhile. Wondering if he just shouldn't lie down and sleep, he decided against it when he heard coyotes yipping near by.

Then we continued always just within his eyesight- we didn't want him to make any false turns. Actually, it seemed to me that he picked up the pace mightily at the end there. maybe it was just me and sleep deprivation, but it seemed that way.

I told d.p., "Hey, I've got an idea." I let Corey get pretty close to the rear of our vehicle, I turned on the 4-ways, and led him on in, beeping the horn Tour de France style. Ah, what the heck, I thought. We gotta have some fun since it was the end of Trans Iowa V4. So what if it was 3:30am in the morning!

<===John Gorilla hoisting the limestone block d.p. fashioned for the T.I.V4 winner.

I drove on back to Decorah in the dead of night with d.p. We couldn't say much, we were so wasted! By the time we got to our rooms, the soft glow of the coming day could be seen in the Eastern sky.

We slept for about two and a half hours and then I sprung up and met John and Joe at the Kwik Star to download their prizing to them. We took a few shots, and said goodbye. T.I.V4 was behind me. I went and filled the gas tank, washed off over 500 miles of grit and grime, and headed home.

<===Lots of gravel to be traveled......

That's it. Trans Iowa V4.

I just want to take this chance to extend my thanks to all those who made this event what it was this year. The volunteers, the riders, the support people, and anyone who has had a hand in helping make T.I.V4 a great event.

I enjoyed it. I hope you did too.

See ya'all down the trail.....................

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