Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Trans Iowa Master's Program

In case you missed it, Trans Iowa V10 was announced last Saturday. While much needs to be done before I can talk about registration, the course, and all of the finer details, I wanted to address something I alluded to in the post Saturday. (If you missed it, see it here.)

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.

Light bulb!

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.

14 comments:

matt said...

Hi GT - would there be a time limit on the cross state trek? Or could someone take a few days to ride across the state provided it fell in the window of time the course was open?

thanks,
matt

Steve Fuller said...

I wasn't aware that I, the hungry, gullible fish, could get hooked twice by the same angler. This sounds fun.

Katherine Roccasecca said...

Fresh bait, Steve.

Adventure Monkey said...

I thought there'd be nothing to get me to ride 320ish miles of gravel but this Master's you speak of seems to be right down the Adventure Monkey's alley. Hmm...

Guitar Ted said...

@matt: I am sure that there will be more than a few folks that just take the cues and do their own gravel tour at a comfortable pace. That said, there will not be a time limitation to the TIMP, but obviously, if you are going to take on the challenge, and go through the submitting of a paper and all, it makes sense that you would do this in as short a time as possible.

Guitar Ted said...

Let me make something clear: There will be a window of time- likely three to four months- where the challenge of TIMP can be done and be counted in on the competition. But once folks start riding, they can take less than a day, a day, or whatever to finish.

Guitar Ted said...

@Adventure Monkey: I'd love to see what you'd do with regard to images and the story, Eric. I bet it would be awesome. Plus- I'm pretty sure you'd like the route!

Steve said...

Excellent!! While the TI V3 Decorah loop event I did was great, the "trans" is what captures imagination and portends adventure. Personally, my teaching and administrative duties at UI have always made the last weekend of April both difficult to be available and prepare for. But, by the second week in May things open and the miles climb. The event as you describe will capture the ITT gravy (the shit that happens). I've made a couple of trans routes across the state and done them. I love rolling through small towns in the middle of the night.
Thanks, Marks!

matt said...

I shouldn't have said a few days. I was more interested in whether there would be time cutoffs ala TI.

Matt

Guitar Ted said...

@matt: Oh...okay. Well- no, it doesn't really make sense to do that when there wouldn't be anyone around to enforce a time cut off. I think it goes without saying that the benchmark everyone will be shooting for, (that wants to be competitive in this), will be a sub-24hr time. So, I expect to see those who will "tour" the route, and then those that will accept this challenge and not stop, (for very long), until they complete the route.

The "enforcement" of rules will largely be left to the GPS verification and the honor system, with regard to any rules for this. I'll be laying out all the details later. stay tuned....

MG said...

Nice... Would love to try this & write about it. Seems I too have been 'hooked twice'.

Ben Bolin said...

Since I grew up in Iowa, the "trans" has always been more intriguing than a loop. I like this Master's idea a lot. Especially if it would avoid doing it in April.

elisabeth said...

Sounds like a nice compliment to the M.A. I'll be completing in May...

Timothy Place said...

@Ben you mean "in addition" to the loop -- not "instead of". They aren't mutually exclusive, right???