Saturday, November 23, 2013

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #12

 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 complete set of T.I.V3 cards
 Editor's Note: Images in this post are courtesy of Cale Wenthur, a T.I.V3 finisher.

With the whole debacle concerning the cue sheets just put behind me, (see last Trans Iowa Tales post), I had taken Friday off to go up to Decorah to meet with Zach Dundas, an author living in Portland, Oregon who had met Ira Ryan in his shop and was turned on to including a bit about Trans Iowa in his new book he was writing concerning "renegade sports". I found him in T-Bock's Sports Bar after back driving some of the course coming into town. Fortunately, I found no mistakes on the cue sheets!

Zach was a anomaly in Iowa. A skinny, freckled, red headed man of approximately 5'8" in height and maybe going a "buck forty" if that. Not the prototypical Iowa farm man build! To say he "stuck out" would be an understatement. I sat with him and was immediately engrossed in his questions and tales from the road. We ate a meal and then he requested a drive through on part of the opening miles of Trans Iowa V3, which worked for me since I wanted to check that out as well. After some more conversation I found Zach to be a pleasant diversion from my stressed out preamble to the production of another Trans Iowa. It took my mind off my having to "fly solo" and I felt a bit more at ease. But eventually Zach had to take leave of me for awhile and I had to go set up for the meeting.

That's me @ the ramshackle T.I.V3 Pre-Race venue
That entailed my hauling everything upstairs to a long unused Odd Fellows hall where an old bar and some tables and chairs were randomly set up for me to make use of. I made all the trips up the stairs with the race bags, prizing, and whatnot. I arranged everything in order so I could find racer's packs in short order, then it was time to see about a bit of food before the racers arrived.

They eventually started drifting in. A keg of some brown beer was brought up and riders were quaffing the suds out of plastic cups. I started the meeting thinking the crowd looked a bit sparse, but maybe I was off on my impromptu head count. I figured the roster, which was right at about 100 riders or slightly above that after a bit of attrition over the previous months, would all show since the weather was predicted to be nice for the event.

As I started the call up, I quickly realized that a bunch of folks just decided not to show up without any forewarning. I was getting increasingly angry as the call up went on. By the end of it, I had over 30 no-shows, probably  around 35. With all the effort I had made to get those cues done right and pack everything up, haul it upstairs, and show up somewhat organized, well it left me with a really bad taste in my mouth for putting on the event at that moment. But I had to move on. A motel bed beckoned, and 3am was going to come very quickly.

A few kind souls stuck around to lend me a hand with the tear down. I had been given booze for prizing- a whole case plus a few bottles of Stranahan's Whiskey, an 18 pack of Busch Light from the Lincoln, Nebraska contingent along with a Bush Light beer banner, (which still hangs proudly in my basement shop to this day), and some Yazoo beer and socks from Tennessee racers that showed up. I had some other booze and beer as well. It all went into the back of my Civic, as I wasn't going to leave that behind for folks to pick over while I was gone! The T.I.V3 race event car was a rolling liquor store!

Tomorrow: The fun begins!

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