Saturday, January 04, 2014

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #25

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....

 In the run up to T.I.v5 there was a lot of stuff that was smooth and going great. The weather was looking great, (but had the event been on its "regular date" in April, it would have been truncated due to a 5 inch rain fall and lightning), the cue sheets were done, and we had sponsor stuff lined up. However; we still didn't have a pre-race meeting spot as late as three weeks before the event. At one point we were going to just have folks meet us at a hotel lobby to pick up their packets. In an eleventh hour deal, David Pals got us lined up with the Williamsburg Rec Center, where we were able to have a room and chairs enough to put on the pre-race meeting. But there would be nothing else- no meal, no beers, nothing.

The day of the meeting I had the chance to mosey on down to Marengo and hang out with David, his Dad, his brother Mark, and Dave Nice, who was in the event. It was a fun, relaxing time. We stuffed race packets in David's home, and that was also where we had planned to sleep for the evening before the event. Kind of like a sleep over for adults! I had a spot all lined up on a couch, if I recall correctly.

The Dirty Blue Box at the start line of T.I.v5
The meeting was spartan by Trans Iowa standards. I hauled up the stuff to the upstairs room with some assistance and got ready. The racers showed up and the meeting started. I remember being stumped by a few questions since David had handled a fair bit of the logistics and he happened to be out of the room at the start of the meeting.  I was a bit embarrassed.

Then it was time for the traditional call up for the race packets, which for T.I.v5 were in paper bags from World of Bikes in Iowa City that year. Previous to the event, I had made a concerted effort to weed out the no-shows and as I read off the names, I was noticing everyone was there, until I reached the one name that represented the only no-show of T.I.v5. I called the name out twice, and was just about to move on, when a female jumped up and said in a hurried voice that the man not present had transferred the entry to her. This was extremely amusing to me.

First of all, I have never allowed transfers of entries for Trans Iowa. Secondly, I knew this fellow was a pretty upstanding gent, and would have said something had this actually went down with the young lady. Thirdly, I had a female pestering me to get into T.I.v5 with about two weeks to go to the event via e-mail. I surmised that this was that very woman standing in front of me.

I admired her cheek, and I figured she was game to challenge me, so I would allow her to show me what she had. I slowly gave her the bag and asked her name, which she tersely pronounced and quickly turned away. Hmm..... "We'll see how that turns out", I thought to myself. And I filed that incident away for later consideration. It affected how I ran the Pre-Race meetings afterward to this day.

The starting line was just outside of town at a cemetery for T.I.v5 (Image by Cornbread)
That was the highlight of the meeting. Folks quickly left. The Lincoln Crew helped roadie out the meeting stuff, and then we ate at a local restaurant and headed back to Marengo where four of us sacked out at David's place after a nightcap of whiskey.

Trans Iowa v5 was starting out real smooth. However; I wasn't banking on anything going "real smooth" for an entire weekend. I had the typical pre-event jitters and I remember that when David woke up early to take a shower, (because he couldn't sleep either), at 2am, I awoke as well and I was up for the duration, for the most part.

The weather started out chilly and as we awaited riders to come down for the start, we saw a string of LED lights form and meander down to our position. Soon the area by the cemetery, (a reference to T.I.v3's finish line), was buzzing with riders and conversations. It was going to be a smooth start, or so David and I were thinking as we strapped into the Dirty Blue Box  for another Trans Iowa.

Tomorrow: A miscue in the dark....

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