|The race's main protagonists are all represented here|
T.I.V8 Race Report by Guitar Ted: Part III- To A New Horizon-
April 28th, 7:00 am @ the corner of 200th and 430th, Powesheik County: I make a "Trans Iowa Radio" post in which I state, "...the wind is really just gonna knock a lot of people out of this."
I was pretty bummed about the conditions at this point. I was totally convinced that T.I.V8's field was going to be cut in half by the combination of wet roads, winds, and cold. I suppose I was still thinking about that "Curse" and of course, I'd seen riders get nipped by the conditions and the time cut off before. By the time I reached Checkpoint Alpha, I assumed that my volunteers would be not very busy. It was nearing 8:00am already, and no one had been through the checkpoint which I had manned by 6:00am just in case. The speeds this particular morning that the racers could carry just did not warrant that, but you never know what the weather will do.
I was thankful for all my folks there though: Brent, Tony, Gumby, T.J., Alex, and Mike and Gail, who were all super friendly, helpful, and efficient with the racers. They actually did get busy there, but I figured, "how many racers can get there in an hour and a half or less?" The leaders- six of them including the Braun Brothers, Gorilla, T. Krause, E. Brunt, and C. Tri, had just barely pulled in after 8 bells. Surely the other stragglers were much farther behind. So I thought.
|The leaders coming into Checkpoint Alpha|
The rest seemed to be content to take their time until Charly Tri joined the evasive Braun and the rest seemed to be getting a bit nervous now. I stuck around a bit after they left to go get gas and some energy drink, then I left town on the route. Only two others had come through in this time, both alone. My bad feelings about the numbers of folks likely to make it weren't abating.
But that would have to go to the back burner. I had a re-route that I had mentioned "might" happen at the Pre-Race to the riders. I decided at Checkpoint Alpha to enforce the re-route. It was for a particularly steep, muddy B road with a low water crossing. It certainly would have more than the 10 inches of water it had across it after all this rain. Friday it was a benign yet interesting feature. On a day like today, it would be "unnecessary roughness". Wet legs and feet on a cold, windy day? No. So, I re-routed the area, which was easy-peasy.
Along about this time Checkpoint Alpha had closed down and my awesome volunteers had everything dialed as far as who was in and who made it through. When Brent called me I was floored. "How many?, I asked incredulously. He repeated the number. 55 riders had passed out of 71. I was absolutely stoked. "The Curse" was broken! This was a record number of riders to pass through a checkpoint in Trans Iowa's history. Heck, it was more than a lot of Trans Iowa fields at the start!
|The lead group south of Checkpoint Alpha|
And the roads were firming up noticeably. The wind tamed down to be a gentle breeze with gusts into the teens at best. Even the clouds were thinning more. This was a Trans Iowa now!
My Checkpoint Bravo guys, Wally and George were following along, jumping down the course to catch glimpses of the riders and to take images. We were in constant texting communications all morning. I kept them abreast of developments. Wally texted me that he and George were going to wait for me just outside of a small town up the road. I met them and we stood in the middle of the road and had a few laughs as the morning wore on.
We all remarked on the number of riders out yet on course and we were happy to hear that some of our friends and favorites were still in the running. The event had reached a new milestone despite the dark, stormy night leading into the event and the tough weather and roads the riders faced from the get-go.
As much as it was fun to hang with Wally and George, there was work that needed to be done. An unmarked corner south of town needed attending to, and I had to bid Wally and George farewell for the time being. I got the corner marked, and then took a look at the B Road that followed. Knowing I shouldn't drive down it, I drove south a mile to go around and get back on course. The day was glorious, and Trans Iowa V8 was gaining momentum.
Next: Unwanted Excitement