Thursday, March 22, 2012

T.I.V8: Updates And News

Today I am going to focus the blog on several developments concerning Trans Iowa V8, a mere 36 days away now.

Volunteers: I have a small batch of volunteers that have already asked to help, but I could use a few more. Specifically, I am thinking about the finish line, and also at the beginning of the event. I also could use a few more hands at the first checkpoint.

If anything sounds interesting, let me know. Remember, being a volunteer at T.I.V8 gets you one free entry to any future Trans Iowas. Just hit me with an e-mail if this sounds like fun to you.

Details: Today I will be going to meet with my liaison at the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Sheryl Parmely, concerning the details of the Pre-Race Meat-Up and film project showing. Hopefully some finalization of these details can be achieved so that I can disseminate the information to all you T.I.V8 freaks out there. 

T.I.V7 (Image by W. Kilburg)
Cue Sheet Reckoning: Looking back at last year, one of the major snafus was the cue sheets. County signage, being what it is, can be terribly confusing. This led to less than stellar results since our cues last year were not double checked against reality.

This year, besides having all the cues drafted far in advance, the cues will actually be double checked by a third party. This will happen this weekend when I will play tag along with the Checking Crew. My role will be to see if any clarifications are necessary and to take notes of any criticisms. By doing this extra step, it is my hope that the cues will reflect with accuracy where and when to turn out there. Of course, road closures and natural disasters are beyond my control, and may indeed affect the outcome of the route, or of the entire event. (I am not overstating the case, as it has happened before.)

Once everything is verified, I will get the cues printed and collated into nice little bundles for the racers. Then, baring the aforementioned natural disasters, the only reason a rider will get off track is due to rider error. And yes- exactly that will happen out there on several occasions. Even with perfectly executed cues, there will still be people getting lost . I can't help that. Remember: You Are Responsible For Yourself. 

T.I.V7 Peanut Butter Roads (Image by Steve Fuller)
 Course Report: Of course, this will all provide the perfect opportunity for a full course report. I will have images and words to go with those next week.

We had a super mild winter, little snow to speak of, and an early spring. Rain has only recently hit us with any significance. I can not say what the weather will be like in 36 days, but we've been consistently warmer and drier for the last six months than normal. For instance, it is already in the 70's and humid here in March. April may reverse this trend, but we'll have to wait and see.

Drop Outs: We haven't had many drops for T.I.V8, and if the trend continues, we'll have a record field this year. However; I understand that things can and do happen to good intentioned folks. Cool. Just let me know by contacting me by e-mail and letting me know you can't line up at T.I.V8.

It makes a big difference to me both in terms of work and money spent. I'd appreciate it a bunch.

Okay, look for any updates here or on the Trans Iowa site soon. For more information on Trans Iowa history and the story behind this event, see the Trans Iowa History site.


Exhausted_Auk said...

Counties have been regrading the gravel since the thaw, and it is currently very loose. Apart from the obvious - fat tires, low pressure - can you make any tire recommendations for best dealing with these rather treacherous conditions? What type of tread is best?

Guitar Ted said...

@Exhausted_Auk: Typical racers weigh less than I, so take that into advisement. Most riders I have witnessed on Trans Iowa events have done well on 35mm-45mm tires.

Bike clearances, weight of tires, and weight of the rider and gear all will figure into your final choice here.

I would likely run a 1.8" to 2.1" 29"er tire in those conditions, but again, I weigh a fair bit more than your average T.I. bear.

Guitar Ted said...

Also on tread: Smooth is fine. Lugs aren't necessary and will only slow you down. A wider, more voluminous tire is preferable to anything with a pronounced tread pattern and especially anything lugged, which I would stray away from. My favorite wide gravel tire is a WTB Vulpine, as an example, which is a semi-slick tire.

Irishtsunami said...

I would like to assist. Let me know details.


Guitar Ted said...

Brent: shoot me an e-mail so we can get connected "off-blog"

MG said...

I'm still planning to volunteer, so definitely do plan on me for whatever you need. I'll be in the Subaru too, so I will have all wheel drive. :-) I know that might come in handy.

Guitar Ted said...

@MG: Hey man! Thanks for the reminder. I'll be talkin' to ya soon. I've got a couple of ideas to run by you.