|CIRREM: Ice Beard. Fun.|
CIRREM 2011: For those that are not familiar, CIRREM, (or "Central Iowa Rock Road Endurance Metric"), is a gravel road race/ social gathering on bikes in late February. It's as likely to be muddy and wet as it is cold and snowy. You just never know. Sometimes it is all of those wrapped up in one big, wet, nasty mess.
Well, coming off a disappointing 2010 where I failed to finish most every ride I attempted, the finishing of CIRREM on a cold, snowy, frozen course was imminently satisfying. (Even though I about froze my feet off that day!) I even rode the old Badger I have, squealing brakes and all, and it was fun. Lots of fun.
The event, (which is probably at its field limit for 2012 by the time you are reading this), is based out of Cumming Tap, a prototypical Iowa bar in a small town. The event has that fun, loose feel that doesn't take itself too seriously. I like that. Besides, it takes in some crazy hilly, beautiful Iowa countryside. This kind of event is right up my alley, as far as "races" go, and the people are fun and friendly. I may not get to go again in 2012, but if I do, I will enjoy the ride.
This was a fun set up, but more than that, I only had ever met one of my "team mates" before toeing the line! That's right- I got to know three new folks by riding in a race with them. For 60 plus miles.
Well, it could have been a complete disaster, but it turned out to become one of the best rides I'd been on in a long time. I made some new acquaintances and our team finished the event together well, albeit not as high up the rankings as we would have liked. Still, I think it was an undeniable fact that we all had a great day out on the bikes with some fantastic people. What more is there than that? (Well, other than drinking a Bud, some Four Loko, and eating a killer chicken Caesar wrap with Sam at the checkpoint).
This event may happen again for me in 2012. Keeping that option open, and growing my beard in anticipation of this event!
|David Pals speaking with Eric Brunt at T.I.V7|
We had the biggest roll out of Rookies ever, we had a nice turn out, with 76 riders total, (the biggest field to take the start in T.I. history),and we finally had a Women's Open finisher in Janna Vavre.
We had the event filmed, which should come out in early 2012, as "300 Miles of Gravel", by Jeff Frings, and Steve Fuller took some awesome images for the event which have been published in "Dirt Rag" and "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News". Grinnell was an awesome host city again, and overall, the event was seen to be a success.
It wasn't without stress and some turmoil, but that seems to be par for the course most years I have been involved with Trans Iowa. In the end, it was a bit of a bittersweet event, looking back, as it was the last with my co-director, David Pals on board.
Okay, there are more events to talk about, so hang on for more reminiscing tomorrow as I continue the "Rear View of 2011" .