Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday News And Views

Mud boggin'
The "Tweener Season" continues. Today we are slated for a "wintery" event, yesterday was spring-like, and the day before? Wintry.

The battle between Winter and Spring has been engaged but it is going the way of Spring soon. The thing is that now the frost is starting to draw out of the ground and it is making everything really wet and boggy.

I have found a few places on the way to work that I can ride my fat bikes through and have a bit of fun in the mud. I guess I never really grew out of that desire to play in the mud.

That reminds me of the time, I think I was just starting out in school, where I ran away from home, (or more correctly- never came home from school), and played under a house that was on jacks being prepared to be moved.

The underside was a total mud playing heaven and I think about ten of us were under this house throwing mudballs at each other. When my Mom found me, it didn't go too well for me! I suppose it was pretty dangerous for us younginz to be in that precarious situation.

Anywho.....The pedals in the image are some of those new Fyxation Mesa items I put on the Snow Dog. Lighter by 200 grams than the Atom Labs they replaced, and fair grippy enough, it seems. If it does snow today, maybe I can verify that snow won't pack up in these like they do metal pedals. But, either way, they will be getting wet and dirty, and stressed. We'll see how they hold up. I also have some black Mesa MP's, (MP = metal pin),  on By-Tor which are getting similar treatment.

T.I.V7 image by Steve Fuller
More media coverage for Trans Iowa has appeared in the form of a feature story in "Iowa Momentum Magazine" here. T.I.V8 "in race reporter", Dave Mable, himself a previous T.I. vet, wrote up the piece based upon his previous experience and that of past winners John Gorilla and Joe Meiser with a bit of a nice quote from three time finisher Tim Ek to end it all with. in the article, Joe Meiser mentions the "sub-24 hour" subject. It seems that is a "golden carrot" for some of the faster guys. One thing about that subject that needs to be 'splained  a bit. Seems a bit of a controversy about the subject has arisen.

Back in Trans Iowa V1, we were working on a shoestring not only budget-wise, but in terms of manpower. Other than Jeff Kerkove's folks in Algona, I was the only other guy on the course running the event. This means that several things weren't done as well as we'd have liked, including the finish line.

The finish was going to be facilitated by the Decorah Time Trial folks, and no one from Trans Iowa, (namely me), was there. I was in Cresco, Iowa, 30 plus miles out as the course ran, waiting to catch the leaders going by to alert the Decorah folks in case of ultra-early arrivals. Looking at the scribbled records, such as they are, I noted the first rider I saw, (which wasn't the first two, but that's another tale for another time), went through Cresco at 5:00am. We know that the next rider after that definitely wasn't in under 24 hours, and he came through a half an hour past the first rider I saw.

No times were recorded by the Decorah folks that I have ever been made aware of, so we had no times for finishers. We could only guesstimate the times. Is it possible that the top three riders at T.I.V1 finished in under 24 hours? Sure it is. Do we know for certain? No. We did promote that riders did break the 24 hour barrier though,  since it seemed to be good for all concerned. The only hard times I had for riders was the passage of Cresco, and that being incomplete due to the aforementioned "story" concerning the first and second place guys. (That I ain't tellin, so don't ask.)

The "golden carrot" that is a "sub-24 hour Trans Iowa" is still in effect, as far as I am concerned. T.I.V1 was not only understaffed and under-recorded, but it was only about 305 miles long too. No T.I. since has been planned to be so short. And again, the whole idea of the sub-24 thing is goofy anyway, since we don't run the same course every year. Just ask Ira Ryan. I'm sure he'd agree that his second victory was a bit tougher than the first. (Who, by the way, doesn't claim a sub-24hr T.I. Kind of interesting to note that.)

Pedacab art in Nepal. (Image by Jeff Kerkove)
 Speaking of "Mr. 24", as he used to be known as, Jeff Kerkove is with his Topeak-Ergon team mate, Sonya Looney in Nepal, of all places, about to take on the "Yak Attack" event.

Yak Attack? Yep. If you want to find out more about this crazy, awesome event, see Jeff's very informative post about it all here.

I feel really happy for Jeff and Sonya. I used to work with Jeff back at the shop when I first started there. I've met Sonya a few times as well, and she is an awesome person. This opportunity they have is beyond cool. I wish them all the best.

I always tell people that Jeff is the most disciplined person I've ever met, so when I read his post about being really intense about this event, I know it is "off the charts" intensity that most of us will never understand. So far, it looks as though everything is going their way, and as long as the body holds up for those two, I expect them to do quite well at this event. I'll be following along as much as I am able.

Finally, one more bit of exotic stoke: If you don't know Mike Curiak, you should get to know him a bit through his blog. Mike is a big time adventurer, and lately he has been detailing his adventure from last summer on fat bikes and pack rafts in Alaska with four other guys. Incredible photography and story telling like only Mike can do. See it here. Note that he's posted seven entries so far as of this posting. Make sure you scroll down to read through them all. Simply mind blowing stuff there.

Okay, if you are not into reading, get out and start riding! have a great weekend and keep the rubber side down, ya'all!

1 comment:

Ben Welnak said...

Have a good weekend yourself!
Pumped to see how Jeff and Sonya get after it!