|Riders gather in the gloom of night for the start of T.I.v6 in Grinnell|
It was obvious as the 58 racers made their way to Broad Street that there was a high level of anticipation for this event.More so than I recall for some other Trans Iowas. "Coop" from the bike shop had spent the evening with his buddy Rob V in a trailer parked outside across the street from the shop and when they emerged, Coop fired up some nice, bright lights that made for a nicer start than it might have been
|Ready to roll!|
The race vehicle for this version was David's Honda Element. I had intended to use my new-to-me truck, but David insisted we use his Element and as it turned out, it was a more roomy, more comfortable, and capable vehicle with its all wheel drive. It also would mark the first time I had not driven a Trans Iowa during the event, which felt odd.
So, the riders were set, and we tooted the horn a tad late, but we were off. The roll out was long, we had about 4 miles of pavement to get them out of town, but when we turned right off the pavement on 50th, hit the gas, and went over the first little hill, we were on our own in a little envelope of light. Everything else was foggy, and then pitch black. A flawless start to T.I.v6, and I was now the one giving the cues to David for turns and we were just a couple of oddballs out in the dark on a hilly gravel road, headed Westward. The roads were wet, we were on a long stretch, and the conversation was slim due to our being a bit groggy and the anti-climatic stage of this part of the event for us. But things would not stay very calm for long......
|Light at the end of the tunnel: This sighting saved T.I.v6 from stopping early.|
It was getting really serious now and David and I were entertaining the idea of cutting off the event at the first checkpoint. We finally decided to try and get to the checkpoint first before we made any final decisions, but it was looking really bad. We were totally prepared to pull the plug on the whole thing when suddenly a fresh bit of light that wasn't branching out in bolts of deadly electricity was sighted dead ahead. The clouds were thinning noticeably, the rain, which had been torrential, was suddenly now nothing but a fine, drippy shower. Sunlight appeared high in the sky to the South. We were good to continue!
Next: The Sloppy Ends...