Saturday, December 18, 2010

Trans Iowa V7 Update #7: Questions Answered

David and I get asked a few questions about the event from time to time, but recently we got an e-mail from a Rookie looking to come to T.I.V7 that had several questions we felt were worth answering publicly. Many of these topics have been covered in detail before. In these cases I will provide links and direction as to where to find the answers. That will be easier than re-creating every thought already expressed in minute detail somewhere else. It's pretty simple really, you just have to actually read this stuff I'm putting out here. One thing you really should have read by now- (if you read nothing else, READ THIS!), are the Race Rules found here.



With that said, let's dive right in......

-What are the dimensions of the cue sheets?  How many sheets?  I would like to find a good way to hold/access them.
 
 Answer: Cue sheets are approximately 5" X 4" and fit neatly into sandwich bags. (hint) Also, Zip-Locs, (another hint), and most handle bar map holders. We have no idea how many cue sheets there will be. It depends upon the amount of turns and overall instructions we detail out on each sector of the course.

-Will we be getting the cues/route before the pre-race meeting?  The whole route or only partial? 
 
Answer: Only the cues to the first Checkpoint will be handed out at the Pre Race For more on why, see this. (See paragraph #7 for the reasoning) You will receive the cues to Checkpoint #2 @ Checkpoint #1. Then if you make it to Checkpoint #2 on time, (or at all), you can opt to take the cues to the finish line. You must earn your cues sheets! All this is dependent upon you making the time cut offs. Oh and by the way- if you don't make the Checkpoints, we do not reveal the unknown parts of the route to you. Ever.

-Will there be turn markers on any roads?  Both sides of the road or only on the right? 
 
Answer: Short answer is "No!" However; we will put up markers in case of an emergency re-route. Otherwise you will have to use the cue sheets to navigate by. In the case of a re-route, we put the markers, (Dirty Kanza style) on the right side only. Remember: Every cue has the name of the road on it, and should match the "street sign" at the corner you are at. In extreme cases, we also reserve the right to mark the road in ways we deem necessary which may include the creative use of duct tape. (For an example, see here. Note: Scroll down page to view example!)

-Based on the last TIV7 update, the total mileage should be 310-ish, correct?
 
Answer: Hold on there, Podner! All mileages given in that post were "abouts". In other words- ESTIMATED. Best plan on going around 330-340, which is what we are thinking an across the state trek on gravel from east to west in Iowa would be. ("trans-Iowa", get it?) We will announce exact mileages and cut off times in a future announcement.

-It's probably close to a 3 hour drive from Grinnell to Checkpoint 2.  Is it kosher to have our rescue vehicle "near" checkpoint 2 just in case?  By near I mean in the nearest town (I see the check point is not in a town). 
 
Answer: No. See here for reasoning as to why.  I could cite other examples, but basically, the answer is a strict "no". If for any reason you think that is a problem, please- don't come to T.I.V7. Thanks!

-Will 24 hour stores be identified in the cues after Checkpoint 2? 
 
Answer: As I stated here there will be only two convenience store ops in the last sector and "we're pretty sure" they are 24hr a day joints. Use your eyes and you won't miss them. Honestly, they will be obvious. So the answer is "no".

-Will there be any rider provisions at the checkpoints?  Restroom or food/water?  I see in previous editions the checkpoints have had things like cliff bars and other sponsored products.
 
Answer: I'm going to make this a two part answer since this is two questions. Part #1: We are sponsored by Cliff Bar and GU Energy. They will provide some nutritional items which you might find at the checkpoints if they are not already taken before you get there.  In other words, yes- but do not count on making the event work by relying upon these sponsors products. Think of them as "emergency bail out supplies", just in case. And you may get there to find that everything is gone. Just sayin'.

Part#2: We do not supply restrooms, food, water, or anything else but cue sheets and the opportunity to test yourself against the course as it is laid out in the time we specify. That said, most towns will have places to use a restroom, and the rest is up to you to figure out. You are grown ups. You can figure it out. If you don't think so, or disagree, don't show up for T.I.V7. Thanks!

-Can you suggest a good compact map of Iowa to help with the cues or if we become lost?
 
Answer: Ya mean like this? Next I would say, read Rule #3 here. Honestly though, if you become lost, your cue sheets won't make sense at some point, right? Stop right there! Then.... #1: Go back to the last known cue turn you are sure you got right. Figure out what you did wrong. Don't do it again! From there it should be good. #2: If that isn't possible, knock on a farm house door. Iowans are usually pretty friendly and helpful. #3: If that isn't possible, you are likely out of the event. DNF by calling the provided number. Keep in mind: It isn't our responsibility if you become lost! You are on your own, and on your own journey. We Will Not Come And Get You. You Are Responsible For You! That said, (and I hate to be harsh, but), you'd have to pretty much be an idiot to get lost in Iowa with no recourse. Really.

Finally, you won't find a map to help with the cues. Trust me on this. Most T.I. riders have no idea what county they are in while they are out riding. Most roads we use are only marked on county plat maps. Is that an issue? No. I have ridden countless miles with no clear idea of exactly where I was. I just followed the cues, and guess what? I am alive!
 
Sorry if that seems a little callous, but I think some of the folks coming to each year's Trans Iowa are a bit fearful of things they need not worry themselves about. If you fear that you will become lost, or just don't like the thought of not knowing where you are at all times, (you guessed it), don't come to Trans Iowa. 

Conclusions: Here's a reminder of what Trans Iowa is.........We are informing you all that are in the event that if you don't agree that you are on your own, that you are responsible for yourself, and that this is being undertaken of your own volition, then don't take the start.
 
Read that and consider it carefully.

3 comments:

galaxysearchlights said...

In the 70s/80s when we were kids most of us left home for 30+ hours on our bmx bikes with only a pair of shorts, a scissors altered t-shirt, and a pair of vans shoes with a sweaty a dollar bill stuck in them.
There were no
cell phones
checkpoints
water bottles
spare tubes
headlights

... not a single luxury other than the lack of all the above items.
we also could get lost on our bike.
a luxury adult life seldom affords me

trans iowa ... where a kid can be a kid....again
P.S. GIDDYUP!

Paul said...

Putting too much mental energy worrying about TI is a recipe for disaster on race day. Train and then just ride to the next turn on race day and you will be a success. Also, there is not a darn thing you can do about the weather so no need worrying about it!

Brent "Butch" Johnson said...

I'm working on a weather machine. I'll see what we can do about it. Any requests?