Saturday, October 19, 2013

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #7

In mid-November, the idea of Trans Iowa was hatched. The year was 2004. In the ten years since then there have been many stories and memories. These posts will tell of the most prominent ones to my mind. Maybe I'll even spill the beans on some things you never knew....

A portent of things to come? (From the course of T.I.V2)
 As things approached the Spring of 2006, I was working hard on getting Trans Iowa together, and as I said last week, I took on a bigger role in the event that year. In T.I.V1, I was little more than a "helper" to Jeff, who really did the lion's share of the work getting the thing off the ground. However; I had a taste now of what this thing was going to take to get it "right" and I had sought out a lot of experienced people's input as well. With Jeff being so wrapped up into his responsibilities as a sponsored athlete, I became more of a decision maker, but always with Jeff's input and approval. Following is an excerpt from a March '06 blog entry concerning this:

"Last year, I did Trans Iowa (as in help put it on- not riding in it!) because Jeff had this hair-brained idea, and I jumped in, just to see what would happen. I'd never done anything like that, so I took it as a challenge and rolled with it. I was blind. I had no idea what to expect, or what to look for exactly. Now, this time, I'm a little wiser.......or maybe a little sicker........depending on your viewpoint!

This time, I challenged myself to do a better job. This meant that I had to take a good look at criticisms of last years event. I sought out advice from some of the experienced and well respected members of the endurance community. I adjusted. I put in more time. (I still am putting in time!) I tweaked everything that Jeff and I agreed to tweak. To that end, I feel like I'm meeting the challenge and am in a good position to overcome the challenges. We'll see how it goes at the end of April. Anyway, that's one of the reasons I'm doing this again this year, but it's not "the" reason.

No, what it boils down to is two things, really. First, it's about cycling. I wouldn't even get involved if it wasn't about riding a bike- even if I do not get to ride one in T.I. I love to see others playing out their passion for cycling, too. That's gratifying for me. Secondly, and most importantly, it's about the people."

That last thing is still the main reason I do Trans Iowa, but looking back, I was profoundly affected by the people that I had met at the first Trans Iowa. From the things I saw them do to the short amount of time I spent talking with them, they all had a major impact on my life and Trans Iowa in particular. 

One of the many B Roads on T.I.V2's course- from a Feb recon
 By December of '05 Jeff had set up an online registration with that would go live at a specified time and take our entry fee, (I believe it was $40.00, just covered our two day insurance costs), and would fill in our roster for us, which was set at 70 people for the second edition of Trans Iowa. We awaited the day with anticipation, but apparently, so were the potential riders, as some of them caught a glitch and got registered early! 

I believe it was a Friday evening, as I was at home that Saturday, and registration wasn't to go live until later in the afternoon that day. Well, one of us realized something was wrong when we started getting e-mails and phone calls about how there were seven guys on the roster already! Jeff was at work, and he could not immediately fix the issue, and I wasn't privy to how he had set it all up, so I was helpless to fix anything. It was a harried morning, but eventually we got it under control, and the "Rogue Seven", as the early birds became known as , were allowed to stay on the roster.  There were actually more than seven guys, but no matter, "Rogue Seven" stuck, and those guys enjoyed a bit of notoriety for a little while due to their jumping the gun on registration. 

By February Jeff accompanied me on the final recon of the T.I.V2 course. We found some things that needed changing and we were pretty pumped about the route.The recon took a full weekend and we stayed at Jeff's parent's home on Saturday night just as we did the previous year. Sunday afternoon we met with two folks from Decorah, Ward Budweg and Rich Gosen, to get some input on our ideas and to learn a thing or two. That we did, and we certainly were encouraged by those visits. All we had to do now was to finish up cue sheets and get our stuff together to go put on the second Trans Iowa event.  

Next week: How the weather became a major factor in T.I.V2 and more..... 

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