Date And Place: While several of you voiced support of the July idea, some did not. I can see the appeal of a spring or fall date, but there are a few reasons I would push for the July dating as opposed to spring or fall. Besides the whole tie-in to "Le Tour" and that, here are the reasons I would vote for a July date.
- July has fewer gravel based events already happening.
- July has longer daylight hours, which would be conducive to longer stage times for the slower folks without dealing with lights. (Although, a night-time stage would be cool)
- Flowers are at their height in July. I like wildflowers.
- July has the most consistent weather, typically, other than August.
- The Denison area. Good suggestion and a place I haven't explored much.
- Making a four state tour out of it utilizing Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. This would be really rad.
- The Decorah area/Northeast Iowa: While this would be spectacular, the difficulty level would be really high. Still, it is interesting....
- Central Iowa: The Des Moines/Ames area in particular. Using the CIRREM route would be an easy thing here.
- East Central Iowa: Obviously, using the part of the state I am super familiar with.
On one hand, getting closer to the Omaha/Lincoln area would maybe entice a few gravel road aficionados to join in the fun, but the Des Moines area also is a great place to get this kicked off in. Of course, Decorah is a no-brainer for spectacular, tough as nails gravel road loops. Finally, my own back yard, as it were, would make this event really easy to set up for me.
And make no mistake, I don't have to be the one steering this ship either. Anyone and everyone willing to pick up some slack, or that wants to be in charge, is welcome to be a part of this deal. In fact, it might be better to have someone else be in charge. Just throwing that out there.
Finally, the idea of using single track, or paths is awesome, and was also part of the original vision for Trans Iowa. Incorporating elements of that would be really cool, if possible, although, I don't necessarily agree to a full on single track stage.
Well, there is a rough draft. Who has any thoughts on what we have here so far? I'll draw up a tighter vision on this in a few days after I get more feedback.