Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Trans Iowa Master's Program: Update

The "Trans Iowa Master's Program" is an opportunity for riders to do a self-supported trek across Iowa in Summer 2014 and be recognized for doing it by providing evidence of the feat including images and a written story.  For more details see the site.

This post will delve into a bit of the latest details and some thoughts about the route.....

First of all, the route has been planned. I have added the bits from T.I.v1 that were interesting in with the B Road madness and unseen parts of T.I.V2 with a new ending in Eastern Iowa. A bit of history needs to be explained here which should explain why the end of the route is the way it is.

Trans Iowa in its very earliest planning stages in 2004 was going to cross the entire state of Iowa from border to border.  The Western end of the route was, in fact, a border town, and originally we had another plan for the Eastern terminus before we were attracted to Decorah and possibly using the mountain bike trails there as part of the route. The Decorah Time Trials folks got wind of this plan and helped bring T.I. to the city and influenced us by making Decorah the ending point instead.

Well, we do not have any such ties holding the Trans Iowa Master's route from terminating at the Eastern border of Iowa, so you can look forward to ending the quest, if you attempt it, on the Mississippi River.  That said, you will go through Decorah.

A Word On The Route: 

Due to the original nature of Trans Iowa, participants in the Trans Iowa Master's Program will be experiencing some really boring,  long stretches of Iowa's Northern tier of counties.  I don't want anyone to be mislead, but it isn't all that scenic in many places. Longer, 15-20+ mile stretches of road at a crack will be mentally and physically taxing. We had to route folks in a most direct route to keep the mileage down back then.

In order to keep with the tradition of the earliest Trans Iowas, this is going to be retained. I could make a very scenic, difficult cross state trek, and it would start in Southwestern Iowa. It would be more scenic, and take more time to complete the route. However; it wouldn't have anything to do with the whole idea folks have had about doing something like one of the original, cross state Trans Iowas.

That isn't to say that there will not be some interesting things to see and look at. You will be along the Little Sioux River for a while, which I always thought was a nice view. There will be some prairie lakes and rolling prairie hills along the way. Pilot Knob State Park will be a nice, scenic break to the monotony of endless corn and soybean fields. And speaking of fields, you will be doing this route, (if you dare), in high Summer, which I feel is always the best time to see Iowa anyway.

Obviously the last 1/4 of the route will be in very hilly, beautiful terrain. It will also be the most difficult part, and it will be at the end of the ride. Pain and pleasure, you know.

So, look for more details to come, but for now, check out that link above and think about it. Heck....it sounds good enough that I want to do it!

3 comments:

crosstrail said...

Mark,

You'll get your wingman, when you get there. If you don't, give me a call. I'll ride with you.

Craig

Steve Fuller said...

Looking forward to this, even the boring parts. I definitely recognize where that photo was taken, and I'm fairly sure I know when it was taken too. :)

Guitar Ted said...

@Steve Fuller: Yes, you probably do recognize that place! ;>) That was a brutal ride!