I brought up the cross state idea, which I've been asked about a few times lately, and as I understand, would be the only reason some of the past veterans of Trans Iowa would ever come back to do a Trans Iowa again. First off, I am not going to run a Trans Iowa across the state in the way that I do Trans Iowa these days. The logistical issues are off the charts for a free race and would make life difficult for racers, support crews, and myself and my volunteers. That said, I've cooked up an idea to help celebrate the tenth running of Trans Iowa with inspiration from two other sources.
The first bit of major inspiration came from Operacion Muerto, a self supported gravel ride across Manitoba, with a twist: You could do the challenge in a three month time window, but you had to follow a predetermined route, provide GPS tracking to help verify that you actually rode the route, and then you had to submit a written story to qualify your attempt officially. I like the twist with regard to the write up. I find that the post Trans Iowa stories are great reading, so I slotted that idea away, along with the Operacion Muerto's format, which makes life easier on the race organizer for sure!
The next bit of inspiration came from former Trans Iowa director David Pals' father, Darryl. He was in speaking with me and mentioned Operacion Muerto and likened it to a "master's degree" where you had to perform research and then write a paper based on that research which then would be submitted to a peer review.
So, here's the basic idea: I am going to make a mash up of the first two Trans Iowa routes and provide the cues online. The riders who take on the Trans Iowa Master's Program will have to use a GPS tracker so I can verify the route, and then the individuals will have to submit a story with images to be published on a page on the Trans Iowa site. There will be a time period, (TBA), that this can be attempted in, and afterward the "winner" will be determined by myself and a few selected individuals based upon overall time for completing the route and on the merits of their story.
There will be a lot of fine details and many questions to be answered. Shoot me your ideas on the comments section, or e-mail me.