Well, it was "that" year, was it not? The proverbial year Trans Iowa would enjoy the decent weather that would allow for a finish, as the legend goes about this event.
Eighteen: A decent amount of finishers, and good stuff happening from the get-go within the field. There was drama, and the event wasn't decided until very near the end of 330 or so miles. Everyone was accounted for, and by many accounts I have read, the event was well received.
That isn't to say that there weren't dissenting opinions. There were, (are), but you know, most folks just have no idea how it almost all came unraveled. I won't go into that here. Just know that this Trans Iowa was as stressful as T.I.V3 was, and from my perspective, the event is considered one of the most difficult things I have gone through in a long time.
To have it go as well as it did is great, but I am not celebrating. I'm just glad it is over.
Ultimately this event for me is about the people. On one hand it is great to get to see everyone gathered together to ride bicycles. On the other hand it seems as though the time is way too short. I don't get to chat with everyone, and some not at all.
Putting on this event is a huge under taking. It saps a lot of time, energy, and funds from things that maybe I ought to be giving those things to instead. I can not speak for David, but as for myself, that becomes the point of contention within me at this time of the year. Trans Iowa isn't a free event, and the few people that are paying for it are paying dearly. Maybe in a few months the assessment will look better. I am purposefully avoiding the "accountant" at this point, because I am tired and emotionally drained.
Thank You: First, to my co-director, David Pals, who had to fit whatever he could for Trans Iowa into a very tiny space at great sacrifice to him and his family. The "prayer flags" were awesome. Thanks!
To Grinnell Iowa: The Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Sheryl Parmely of the Chamber, Bikes To You, Craig Cooper, The Grinnell Steakhouse and staff, and anyone in Grinnell that put some effort out on Trans Iowa's behalf. No community has ever rolled out the red carpet for T.I. like you have!
To Trans Iowa V7's Volunteers: Once again, people came together to spend a day or more of their hard earned free time to facilitate an event they would get no recompense for. Amazing. Humbling. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Media: Special shout out to Steve Fuller, the Official Event Photographer, and to Jeff Fring, for coming and filming the event. I thank you for seeing something worthwhile in Trans Iowa that made your creative juices flow. Things you thought were worthwhile to share with the world.
And Of Couse, To The Riders Of Trans Iowa V7: It wouldn't be anything without every one of you coming to ride on these gravel and dirt roads in Iowa. Even if you only made it a few miles, you have my deepest respect. If you got part way, got lost, had an adventure, or for whatever reason, you didn't get to Grinnell again, I hope you found something out there worth holding on to. I am humbled by your efforts. If you were one of the 18 that finished, my hats off to you. What an accomplishment. Amazing!
And that's that. Trans Iowa V7 is over and done with for me.
For now I need to recover, rejuvenate, and ride. Much like the rider in this image from Saturday morning of T.I.V7, I need to ride over that hill to an unknown horizon in the sun. Will I come back to be involved in another Trans Iowa?
Happy trails ya'all. Have a great rest of 2011, and thanks for coming to Trans Iowa V7.