Sunday, December 29, 2013

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #24

 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....

Remember that image from T.I.v4? That not only was T.I.v5's header, but a t-shirt too!
 Trans Iowa v5 would not only be the first with the "short" run to Checkpoint #1, but David and I decided on doing three checkpoints! The idea here was to be able to better track rider progress and be better able to make sure there was no cheating on the route. Checkpoints were to be located at Washington, Le Grand, and Traer Iowa.

It seemed that every year some elements of folk would want us to do things, which in my opinion, were suggested to make things easier on them, or easier to track people they knew in the event. The changes to the event were evoking some of this response. I can't remember if it was a Trans Iowa Vet that suggested the following, or if it was from David and I, but the following first appeared on my blog in 2009 and was added to the Trans Iowa site where it has been ever since on the top of the page......

..We are informing you all that are in the event that if you don't agree that you are on your own, that you are responsible for yourself, and that this is being undertaken of your own volition, then don't take the start. 

 The ethos of Trans Iowa was being solidified and both David and I were very adamant about "holding the line" as it had been set out since T.I.v3.

Looking out the back of the Dirty Blue Box at a county maintainer
One of the major influences on T.I.v5 was the economic "crash" of 2008, which precipitated the outcome of two things- the sponsorship and the course itself.

On the one hand, sponsors that had eagerly asked to be part of T.I.v5 had to bail out or scale down their sponsorship of the event due to cutbacks. I could totally understand, so it wasn't a surprise or unexpected. That made Trans Iowa vet, Rusty Kay's submission of t-shirts for the event participants on his dime all the more noteworthy.

On the other hand, the "bail out money" earmarked to stimulate the economy by the Fed was resulting in a lot of county road maintenance activity. Almost every road was overlaid with fresh gravel on our course, with Tama County being the worst offender. (And notably, Tama County has done this every year since!) This made the course that much tougher and dustier than it would have been.

Finally, due to my extra-curricular activities with websites and travel, I moved the date of Trans Iowa to May. May 2nd and 3rd, as a matter of fact. This would mark the only time Trans Iowa would ever be run in May. That way I could do Sea Otter and come back with a week plus to get settled in for another Trans Iowa. It worked out great too, since the cues got proofed and a couple loose ends taken care of right before the event.

Next Week: Trans Iowa v5 starts off with an imposter!

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