"Oh oh!" , I thought as I rolled out of Brooklyn, Iowa, and was hoping Rich Wince didn't get sucked in by the Siren call of a nice, warm place to stay while visiting that bar. Oh well, I couldn't help it, and where was Chris Schotz in all of this? Well, it didn't take long to find out. The cell phone sprang to life only a few miles outside of town. It was Chris. He had done "laps around town", but could not find that open convenience store I talked about. I said, "There isn't an open store there, it is about 10 more miles up the road, like I told you." Chris then said he might quit anyway. He was tired and cold. I said that once he had decided what to do, he should call me. He agreed and I left off with him and continued onward toward the convenience store mentioned.
|Rich Wince at the finish line|
I stopped and did something there, but honestly, I have no memory what it was right now! (Probably got a bite to eat of something.) Anyway, the following miles were my toughest of the event. I was pretty whooped by this point. I did get phone calls. Oddly enough, folks were dropping at weird places along the course. I was getting texts and calls from places I never would have dreamed folks would stop at. Then there was the cue sheet question, which was totally a bizarre moment for me.
I can not recall which rider it was, but they had just finished a cue sheet, were at the crossing of Highway 63 in southern Tama/Northern Poweshiek County, and were sure they had been shorted a cue sheet. In fact, he claimed, another rider with him didn't have the cue sheet either. (It might be good to recall that at the Pre-Race Meat-Up I let the riders know that they had three cue sheets to Checkpoint #1, six cue sheets to Checkpoint #2, and seven cue sheets to the finish line. If these riders had stopped to remember and count, they, perhaps, would have been assured they were on track.) Well, I scrambled to find my master sheet, and do you think I could find it right then? Oh no! It took me five minutes, but when I did, I was able to show them that they just had a ten mile stretch with no turns, and it happened to fall right at the end of a sheet to the beginning of another, was all. Then Josh Lederman, who sounded totally amped, jumped on the line to ask if I would post to T.I. Radio that he was still moving on. I said I would, hung up the line, and shook my head! I was tired and just a bit freaked out by that!
|Sunday morning dawning at the finish line to T.I.V9|
Then I headed to the Barn, via a circuitous route since I was so out of it I got lost for a bit! But I pulled it together long enough to find my way back on course and when I got to the Barn, it was well after 3am in the morning. I pulled up past the finish line, parked, and tried to catch a few winks. Things were going well until Heather, who was Rich Wince's support person, came in her Subaru and set back my sleep time a bit more. Then I got a text, and well.....if I slept it was 30 winks and no more!
Eventually I got out of the truck and soon Heather crawled out of the Suby. A couple other hearty souls were about, including Wally, George, and the finish line crew consisting of Rob V, Kyle S, Jared M, and others. Soon we saw a wobbling light. It was Rich! Just past 5:00am, so no sub-24, but a darn fast Trans Iowa ride and for a Rookie, it was really amazing! There was a bit of chatter, congratulations, but it was freezing, so Rich and Heather headed up to the barn where there was a fire started to keep folks warm.
|Warming up: Image by Wally Kilburg|
It wasn't until 6:32am that another rider showed up. It was Mark Johnson on a single speed! Just like last year, a single speed scored second place at Trans Iowa. Mark wasn't even on the radar during the event up front, so we were all surprised to see him come home second place overall and first in the Single Speed/Fixed category. A little less than ten minutes later Paul LaCava finally showed up with our second ever Women Open class finisher, Monika Sattler, in tow. Monika took the Women Open class and we had all our first place finishers in the first four riders to arrive!
Things were just getting started at the finish line, and there would be more joy and more sorrow to come.
Next: Of Joy And Sorrow Part II