Sunday, February 02, 2014

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #34

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....

 Trans Iowa v6 was organizationally one of the easiest I have ever been a part of. However; logistically it was one of the most difficult ones. Not since the days before T.I.v3 had I been so stressed out. The reason why was clear- the Winter wouldn't go away. 

David and I got some minimal recon done late in the Fall, but in the second week of December, a big snow storm came and that was that. Recon would have to wait till early Spring, or so we thought. However; early Spring didn't come until late March!  We were unable to get going again on recon until the last weekend in March, and then it was done in fits and starts by myself, or David on his own. Not until about a week before the event did David and I get the recon completed.

Now that everything had been done, we had a week to get the cues done. I wanted David to send over a draft so I could double check them for accuracy. E-mails were sent and at one point, David sent me an e-mail that sent me into a tizzy. Essentially due to all the last minute stress he was about to throw in the towel and forget all about doing the cues!

There was a phone call, a few more e-mails, and finally the crisis was averted and David got the cues done. The explanation I received at the time was that David didn't feel as much a part of things as he felt he should. We worked through the issues and I stressed I could make him be as big a part of things as he wanted, but in the end, I don't think the issue was ever really resolved completely. It wasn't clearly understood by myself or by David exactly what would make things work for him more smoothly, but I also think that it was so close to the event that all I was worried about was getting T.I.v6 off the ground. At any rate, most folks had no clue that T.I.v6 almost didn't happen!

The first "Pre-Race Meat-Up" was a success
With that crisis averted the rest of the details did come together. We met at Grinnell at Bikes To You, got our motel room, and scoped out the Steakhouse. We met up with Kevin Wilson, who donated the Trans Iowa logo stickers to the cause that year, and he was driving us to go check out a crossing of I-80. On the way over, his GPS was trying to tell us we were supposed to turn underneath I-80 and I remember chuckling to myself and thinking that even GPS stuff isn't 100% spot on.

Anyway, I remember it being wet, and the concerns about rain, soft roads, and impassable B Roads were weighing on our minds as well as the riders. We were holding out hope that the forecast of only 3 tenths for Saturday in the area would hold up.

Williamsburg's pre-race meeting for T.I.v5 produced our "imposter" racer, but this time I made that possibility impossible by making all the racers sign in when they came to eat. Only racers signing in would get their name called up for a bag, so no one could jump in at the last minute anymore and claim another no-show rider's spot. In fact, if you didn't sign in before the meeting, you couldn't ride. It worked. I also remember that we had only a minimal amount of no-shows despite the sketchy weather forecast.Only 2 in fact.

The "Pre-Race Meat-Up", as I dubbed it, was a huge hit with the riders, and apparently with everyone at the Grinnell Steakhouse as well. The wait staff came over as we were clearing out to ask us if we were coming back the following year! David and I were smiling. It obviously was a huge step forward from the year before, and we were pretty excited for the event to kick off the following morning.

Next: T.I.v6 gets off to a soupy start......

No comments: