As last weekend's Trans Iowa V6 event fades from memory and we move on, I would like to voice my thoughts coming out of this version of Trans Iowa. Some of this will be in response to reactions I have seen to the event. Some of this will be my reaction to things that happened during the event, and I will address the future a bit as well...........
Statistics: I've seen all kinds of reports varying from errant mileage for the event to various misquotes and reasons as to why we ended the event when we did. Here are the hard facts folks...........
Riders taking the start: 57. It was reported by myself and widely spread that we had 58. My fault. There were only 57 official starters for T.I.V6. Included in this were three women, one of which was part of our very first Tandem Team.
Mileage: To Checkpoint#1- 44.18. From Checkpoint#1 to Checkpoint#2- 87.68. From Checkpoint#2 to North English- 24.26. Total mileage covered by the final eight riders- 156.12miles. Original planned mileage for T.I.V6 was 314. Total time for those running at the end was approximately 15.5 hours
Riders In Each Section: 27 made it through Checkpoint#1. Eight made it through Checkpoint #2
"Official" Statement for ending the event: The event was called due to dangerous weather and road conditions in combination which would have put riders and the event directors at an unnecessary risk.
Concerns On T.I.V6: I had a couple of concerns, one that was not at all related to anyone in the event. Here they are...........
Last year I voiced concerns over spectating/support and I mentioned that I had a plan in mind to deal with that. Well, I implemented my plan, much to the chagrin of one individual who not only gave me plenty of"gas" about it twice during the event, but was bothering racers and also was phoning my residence and pestering my close friend who was watching my children for the weekend. Look- Trans Iowa is not a spectator sport! Never was intended as such. I make no bones about that every year I run it and to everyone who asks me about this.
I was extremely disappointed in this certain individuals actions and I have a personal challenge to this individual. I happen to know that you are quite capable as a cyclist. If you want to "cheer on" and support your rider, how about you sign up for T.I.V7 and ride with him? Otherwise, I hope not to see you again at a Trans Iowa. Nuff said.......
Next concern was the weather. Of course, we can not control that, but I want to address the lightning situation that some riders expressed concerns over. First, the situation is covered on Trans Iowa's website. Basically it says that you should take care of your own personal safety first. Of course, we would immediately shut down the event in case of severe weather, which is enforced at the checkpoints, but you are responsible for yourself! This can not be expressed enough. If you were out on a training ride, and lightning was a concern, you should do at Trans Iowa what you would do on your training ride. Whatever that is I leave up to you. We can not be your personal guardian, and we are exactly the opposite of that. You have to make the call for your own personal safety. You are there at "ground zero". We are not. Trans Iowa isn't worth your possible death. Do the smart thing.
Now as far as this year is concerned we were able to stop the event at a town which made sense to stop at. We had another bail out chance at another town up the road. As event directors we have to be careful too. But in the end, riders must control their own destinies when it comes to personal safety issues.
I also heard concerns over the truncated course and how we could call the riders at the end "finishers" of Trans Iowa V6. Well, that is a twofold answer, and I'll try to make this brief.
Trans Iowa is unique year to year. We have a different course every year, we run it somewhat differently every year, and because of this fact, Trans Iowa isn't like other races. The race for 2006 can't be compared to the race from 2009, as an example. They are completely different sets of situations, and this was intentional from the get go with Trans Iowa. The distances vary, the times vary. Sometimes we have truncated events, as in 2006 and 2008. "Winners" were declared in each case, (although it isn't widely known that Lindsey Gauld was declared the winner at 2006's T.I.) So we have a precedent set in Trans Iowa for this sort of thing.
Secondly, it is common practice at European stage races to truncate stages and delete stages all together, yet they have winners and placings regardless. We feel that we have the right to recognize great riding performances at any particlar Trans Iowa event. So we do what we do. Every year is different. Every year has its own story.
We may have a situation someday where Trans Iowa will be so truncated, or postponed/cancelled, that we will have to do something differently, but for now, this works for us and the riders we have gotten feedback from on this.
Thank You! The City of Grinnell, Iowa, The Grinnell Chamber of Commerce/Sheryl Parmley, Rob Versteegh/Oakley, Bikes To You/ Craig Cooper, The Volunteers of Trans Iowa V6, The Grinnell Steakhouse and staff, The Comfort Inn and Suites and staff, and all the wonderful riders that came out this year to race a muddy, rainy, and windy event.
Thanks To The Sponsors!: Oakley, Wilson Bicycle Consulting/Kevin Wilson, Salsa Cycles, Ergon, Twin Six/Ryan Carlson, Garmin/Gerald Hart, Hiawatha Cyclery, Epic Designs, Banjo Brothers, Gary Fisher Bikes, Trek Bikes, Guitar Ted Productions/Simple Strap/ByeKyle, Velocity U.S.A., and Europa Cycle and Ski.
Special Thanks To: The EV Malt Shop in North English and the owner/staff. You people were outstanding!
Most Valuable Person: David Pals. Couldn't do this without ya! Thank you!
That's a wrap folks. Time to move on towards other events and things for 2010. I'll just leave you with this: There will be a Trans Iowa V7 and it will be in Grinnell, Iowa................