|Some of the nicest roads on T.I.V9|
And the new leaders, where were they? I waited and then saw two cyclists nose to tail with a third one dangling off the back. Around the corner and down 100th they came. It was Dennis Grelk with Rich Wince in tow. The straggler was Chris Schotz. I jumped back into the truck and passed Wince and Grelk while thinking I had to make it to an unsigned corner up the road at the end of the course's first B Road. The adrenaline rush of the previous moments was still with me and the dreamy, foggy morning was but a distant memory. Now it was bright, clear, and almost sharp as a fresh cut chunk of metal. I was probably driving a bit too fast, but I reached the B Road's end with plenty of time to mark it.
I staked out the corner and then snapped an image of the road, because it was completely dry and rideable. When does that ever happen at Trans Iowa? It may never happen again, so I had to have the evidence!
|A dry B Road at Trans Iowa? That happened...|
The marking of corners in the angled light of morning was relaxing me again and I was doing nicely until I thought I lost my phone. I was frantically searching for it and then found it. This raised my anxiety levels and then that got taken a notch higher when I heard from Checkpoint #1 that they were certain they were going to be short cue sheet sets to hand out. After I hung up I had a bit of a mini-fit in the cab of the truck, then I calmed down, and then I tried to figure out a plan to get the situation rectified. It was great that Trans Iowa was exceeding expectations, but it was an issue right then I didn't want. I figured I could hit a copying machine in State Center and hot foot it back to Ira to cover my butt. Just when I was settled on this, the cell phone sprang to life. It was super-volunteer Brent Irish again. He found an auto repair place in Ira that had a copy machine. We were all good!
|Cornbread leading Trans Iowa V9|
I bugged out of town and went up the road a ways until I found a nice parking lot at Marietta Sand Prairie. I had decided that stops often and in decent lengths would be okay and beneficial to my planned 30 plus hours of being awake. I got out and stretched a bit. I walked around, and then I got my camera ready for Dennis and Rich to pass by. Only it wasn't Dennis and Rich. There were two new riders out front now.
It was Corey "Cornbread" Godfrey and tagging along behind was Chris Schotz. Either they didn't go to the convenience store, or they got out first. Whatever, this was a big turn of events in the front, as Cornbread is certainly capable of powering out a first place finish, even after getting out front at this early stage. But I figured things might get shuffled up again at Eldora just a wee bit up the road, since skipping two convenience stores would be unthinkable, or so I thought.
|The clearest road of T.I.V9? North of Eldora|
Wally and George texted me and said they were getting grub in Eldora. I was not far behind them. I swung into the convenience store, which was several blocks off course, and got a chicken sandwich. Wally and George didn't text me that they were at the river just north of town until I had passed them. I wasn't wanting to miss the leaders coming out of Eldora, so I parked on the road and waited. It wasn't too long before I saw a lone rider coming. Chris Schotz! My guess was that going off course wasn't in his game plan, and that Corey probably did take the left turn off, so Chris decided to motor on without stopping. Risky move, but who knows what he's packing in his bag or on his person for food and water.
|Climbing out of the Iowa River Valley......again!|
Wally texted me that another sign looked bad and gave me the location. I headed on up the road, which crossed the Iowa River here four times. It was a twisty-turny section that was a bit bewildering. I didn't want anyone to miss a corner! I pulled the truck off to the opposite side of the road, since the corner was blind on the inside, and got out to set up two stakes with streamers attached. One stake in, and then I saw a truck coming, it slowed, then it stopped, and then I saw the back up lights come on.
"Okay, now what?!!", I was thinking, as the window went down and my gaze fell upon two individuals, a man and a woman, that can only be described as "Iowa Hillbillies". The man asked what I was up to. I kindly and politely said I was merely marking a turn to indicate to some following riders where to turn on a route I had devised through there. The man stated that he was curious, since they had trouble recently with mushroom poachers. Then the female piped up and said that they were real angry about that, and that they owned all the land on either side of the road there. I stated we were merely passing through and were not going to be getting off our bicycles and poaching shrooms.
I backed away slowly when it seemed they were accepting my explanations and they quietly, but slowly rolled away. Whew!
Wally and George texted that they all were headed for Checkpoint #2 and so was Jason. Not much later Jeremy texted that he and Robert were rendezvousing there soon as well. On to Checkpoint #2 then under a hot, bright Sun.
Next: Good Friends- Good Times!