Saturday, February 22, 2014

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #43

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....

Recon for V8 started in the fall of 2011
 The Summer of 2011 was spent mostly doing other stuff, and I left Trans Iowa thoughts by the wayside. Unfortunately, I missed doing the Dirty Kanza 200 that year, an event I had been trying to get ready for, but I did go to Texas and ride in the El Paso area where I busted up my knee pretty badly!

Well, my determination to elevate Trans Iowa from the perspective of logistics and execution was still there, and by late July I was already mapping out a course and by the second week of August I was ready to announce the event. By this time I was pretty excited to get the ball rolling. I actually had some discussions with some trusted Trans Iowa friends about moving the course start and end from Grinnell. Things like going further Westward in Iowa were punted around, and even a course that might encircle Des Moines was considered strongly.

In the end, I decided that from a gravel road perspective doing Trans Iowa out of Des Moines would not work since the counties of that area had paved darn near every road leaving little to choose from. I ended up landing back on Grinnell, but it wasn't for want of trying something different! So with that decided upon, I had asked Jeff Kerkove to design another header, which he did. It was up for about two weeks when I received an e-mailed letter from some lawyers to "cease and desist". Whoops! I ended up having Jeff cook up another header pronto!

The trade show season interrupted recon starting until October, but I got out there and did a huge chunk of it on my own. Going along much of the proposed "Des Moines" based route I had worked on from the Summer, I was driving in territory far from Waterloo, and in an area I'd never been in before. It was a lot of fun from that standpoint for me.

The second run of recon found me driving alone again in late November. I sussed out the run in to Checkpoint #1 and got lost which added a really cool section towards the end of the event. Registration happened shortly after this and all spots were filled up with about 15-20 folks over the limit which were placed on The Waiting List. I still had a big ol' chunk of the course to recon, and I didn't know when I'd get to it. Winter held off for the most part and the days rolled by. December passed, and we were in January with this big chunk of the course not finished up yet. I was getting pretty anxious.

Finally, on January 7th, 2012, I did an over 300 mile day and finished off a major goal. That was to get the recon bagged to the point I could format cue sheets. It was a super long day, but Trans Iowa was on the right track. I had detailed notes on turns, intersections, and possible trouble spots. Nothing had ever been done like this for a Trans Iowa before. Once the cue sheets were formatted they were sent off to be proofread and in late March the course was driven by my "Checkmates", Wally and George. We found a road closed! I had to reroute, but in the end, we had a lot of fun and almost got Wally's rig stuck in a B Road just Northwest of Grinnell.

Oakley came on board with prizing, we had Grinnell's awesome support again, and all was lined up for another spectacular running of Trans Iowa. Would the weather hold out? That was the only question mark going in for me. The cue sheets were spot on and done, the roads double checked. I was confident there would be no mistakes from my end on T.I.v8.

Next: The event takes off....

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