Saturday, April 19, 2014

Trans Iowa V10: The Spirit Of Trans Iowa

Only one week to go until Trans Iowa V10! As I think about that, I have several things I would like to express, but there is one thing in particular that I am going to talk about this time. It is a very serious- (to me)- subject, and that subject is cheating.

From the Merriam On-line Dictionary:


verb \ˈchēt\
: to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something
: to take something from (someone) by lying or breaking a rule
: to prevent (someone) from having something that he or she deserves or was expecting to get

I know that all these definitions of cheating have occurred in past Trans Iowa events. I wish that wasn't the case, and it grieves me to think about it, because it takes away from the Spirit of Trans Iowa. This event is devalued by those who choose to cheat. How do I know cheating has happened? Well, I cannot 100% prove it has by terms a court of law might accept, but consider the following.....
  • I have witnessed cars out on course with support people. A definite no-no
  • I have witnessed a rider dressed warmly, riding with no bags or means of storage. Then I saw him later stripped down to a jersey and shorts. Later I saw him with a jacket that wasn't on him previously, but all the while it is supposed to be a self supported event. Later I found said rider's father on course in a pick-up truck. Hmmm......
  • I have seen photographs taken at checkpoints and convenience stores showing individuals connected to riders in the event speaking with and even massaging riders. A clear violation of the intents of Trans Iowa's rules. 
  • I have read the race reports where riders are mentioned meeting "loved ones" on course. A definite support mechanism and clearly not allowed in Trans Iowa.
So, the first definition of "cheat" was evidenced in past Trans Iowa events. But you know what? So was the second. Those individuals took away something of the Spirit of Trans Iowa from those who were playing by the rules. That really makes me sad. 
Finally, even the third definition was evidenced here. Those who chose to cheat prevented themselves and those around them from receiving the "gift" that one gains only by following the Spirit of the rules. Too bad they didn't get it.......

As you get ready next weekend, please consider how you'll run the event.
So, what? What can ya do? Well, I learned a valuable lesson last year at T.I.V9. I have a lot of time on my hands. Time I can now use to roll back through the field and check on things. It didn't used to be that way, but after two successful runnings of Trans Iowa, I now know I can afford to be places riders won't expect to see me. Does that mean I will catch the cheaters? Probably not, never know. If I do, there will be DQ's. 

Think about cheating worth it? 

I encourage everyone riding in Trans Iowa V10 to carefully consider the following:
  • Ride with no support, as the event dictates. (Remember- riders can help one another though)
  • Remember- support also includes seeing and speaking with "loved ones" or support people not in the event. 
  • While I cannot stop riders from calling their support folks just to get encouragement, updates, or what have you, I highly encourage you to not do that as it takes away from the experience for you and others. 
 I know folks invest a lot of time and energy into getting prepared for Trans Iowa. I know it has a special meaning for many. Some of you folks don't get that yet, and maybe you never will, but please don't cheat to gain an advantage over the event, or those you have riding with you. It isn't fair to me, to the other riders, and most of all, it isn't fair to you.

Once a dear friend sent me an e-mail that said "Trans Iowa is a gift that you give to others." I feel that is true, but I also know that if anyone cheats, they don't get that "gift". They just don't. Please don't be that person. You don't even have to finish Trans Iowa to "get it". I know that from the e-mails I have saved over the years from those "winners", those "eagles" that soared and found that special thing, even though they didn't finish. 

The cheaters know who they are, and they didn't get it. Don't be a turkey. Ride right. Do the right thing. Then you will see what I mean. 

See ya next weekend........

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Lawrence Fitz, Became sick two weeks ago, was hoping for a miracle recovery, not happening.
It would be useless to attempt the TI, sorry for the untimely notice but was I was not wanting to give up. Have a Great TI.