Note: All images by Wally Kilburg and Guitar Ted. Click to make bigger.
I rode a nice, sedate gravel grinder Friday evening that included T.I.V7 and V8 finisher Mike Johnson and T.I.V5 and V7 finisher and volunteer on this years T.I.- Jeremy Fry. The chatter was heavily Trans Iowa, and it is quite obvious that this adventure stirs up memories and emotions for more than just myself. However; there is a lot more to life, and riding bicycles than just Trans Iowa. It is time for all of us to move on and do some other things in life and cycling for awhile.
I will only indulge myself with this last word or three about this year's version of Trans Iowa. In no particular order, here are some final thoughts then.....
- Volunteers: This year the volunteers for the event just hit a huge home run with the racers. I have never seen the out pouring of thanks specifically aimed at the volunteers as I have for this year's event. Thank You! I could never reward you enough, or at all. What you did was beyond measure, and if you are a volunteer from T.I.V8, you should be super-proud. This also extends to others who stepped up at a moments notice to assist wherever they saw a need to be met. Racers that had previously dropped out, bystanders, and support folks all pitched in at different intervals during the event. I owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.
- Grinnell Chamber of Commerce/Sheryl Parmley: Once again, I was floored by the efficiency, ease, and class shown by Sheryl. This just keeps getting better, and I so appreciate your help.
- The Race: This year, for Trans Iowa V8, I had some very specific goals. I set a very high bar for myself in certain areas. According to feedback I received from the racers, I think I can safely say I met all those goals.
- Trans Iowa Radio: I think this is the first year that I have ever done this and not received some negative feedback for not being more informative according to someone elses needs. Thanks for not commenting in that manner. It shows that the folks this year "got it". As far as the posts not going up, they all did but one. Tragically it was the one announcing Eric Brunt as the winner at about 7:30am Sunday morning. Bummer!
- "300 Miles of Gravel": Jeff Frings- that was freaking amazing! Nuff said.
- Pre-Race Meat-Up: Moving the time up an hour and the tweaks the Grinnell Steakhouse put in place really made for a smoother running pre-race this year.
Flying Solo: I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive about running the entire T.I.V8 course out there alone, but it worked out well anyway. Some folks were expressing concern over this, but I will tell ya- there wasn't any room for another person in my cab!
The Future?- I won't publicly commit to another Trans Iowa just yet, but if I did....... There would be room to improve upon some major gains seen in this years event. I would still have those "high bars" that I set for T.I.V8, and there are some tweaks or things needing attention that could be touched upon for a next Trans Iowa. Oh yeah......and it would start and finish in Grinnell again, most likely.
Thanks and Credits: (In no particular order), Grinnell, Iowa, The Grinnell Steakhouse and its employees, Jeff Frings, Steve Fuller (photography), Rob Versteegh, Craig Cooper, Wally Kilburg, George Keslin, Matt Gersib, Jeremy Fry, Matt Mishler, Oakley, Velocity, Wheel Werks/Jay Barre, Gu Energy/Adam Boone, Clif Bar, Ergon/Jeff Kerkove, the 13 year old girl in Attica, Europa Cycle and Ski (logistics, support), Tim Ek (post event), The Slender Fungus Cycling Association (support, volunteering, being super-fans), The DBD (for being you guys), "The Lincoln Crew" (long time supporters/fans/gravel aficionados), Iowa Momentum Magazine/Dave Mable (media coverage, being cool), all the Racers, their support, and everyone that was a fan over the weekend. Anyone that feels I missed thanking them- Thank You!!
- (By the way, if you want to know how you might obtain a copy of 300 Miles of Gravel for yourself, see "The Latest News" on the Trans Iowa site. Also- I received no compensation for being in, or will receive any compensation from the selling of 300 Miles of Gravel, nor have I been bribed or paid to offer this opportunity. )