Monday, November 10, 2014

In About 30 Minutes

Folks were lined up outside the door starting at about 7:30am.
I fully expected a crazy morning, and I got it, albeit compacted into about an hour and a half of time. Trans Iowa registration for the Rookies reached a fevered pitch, and the fall out afterward, (which may not be over yet, by the way), has been very much a bummer for many reasons.

The line up of folks that streamed into the door at a bit before 9:00am, (we had some mercy on those that had been waiting a long time), was amazing. Before I could get my feet underneath me we had gone through a half of the available spots for the Rookies.

I had a couple of questions from folks, then a walk in, and then FedEx showed up with 17 over nighted packages. Many with multiple entries included inside. I assumed at that point it was over. I was right. It was about 9:30am, and Trans Iowa's Rookie class was settled. Those standing around at the time were astounded. It was just unreal.

I went back to check out the cards, and by the way, some of those earlier walk-ins were plant and flower deliveries, so we had to pluck the cards out of those as well. Once all was in hand, put in order I received them, and double checked I went through them all again with a finer toothed comb. All entries were readable, but one had Rule #8 written down when it was supposed to be Rule #18. Tossed.

Flowers lined the counter alongside several plants. Thank you!
I double checked my accounting, then wrote down the names on the site, and then did a final check on the total numbers. 119! I grabbed one more off the Pile of Broken Dreams and that was it. Trans Iowa was full for V11.

The UPS came later. All of those entries were too late. The USPS never did show up by the time I left, but it did not matter. I'll likely see a pile of cards on my bench come morning. There were a few more cards walked in as well. A fellow walked in about four and a half hours too late and was shocked we had filled up, even though I had mentioned we filled up in 4 hours last year, and even at that he wouldn't have made it in. No matter, there was much pleading and arm twisting which I had to endure. It was uncomfortable, to say the least, but what can I do? There is a limit, and that's that.

Of course, there was more trouble with entries claimed to have been delivered which we couldn't find, a few grumbles on Facebook, and folks were pointing fingers at UPS and making plans to camp out in front of the shop if there were to be a T.I.V12. Wow.......just wow. 

I left to go grab some lunch just to get away from all the madness and think. Trans Iowa has grown. It has become more well known, marked on "bucket lists" as a must do someday event, and my saying "I am closer to not ever doing it again" every year just amps up the anxiety levels amongst folks. I had a guy drive from an hour South of St. Louis to hand deliver a card, a guy that didn't get his in on time claimed he'd been on the road for 30+ hours. Plants came in after the roster filled up. It was a big mess in my mind. Something will get changed if Trans Iowa ever happens again, and I know that one of those things will be how Rookies register. I'm not putting any ideas out now. We'll see how T.I.V11 goes. However; don't ever expect this to happen again. It's gone waaaaay too far. Too far for my tastes.

I know that, as my friend Jeremy says, "Trans Iowa will get into your head." Of course, he is referring to those who want to participate in it. I also know he's right when he says that  I care a lot about the riders and the event. It's a hard thing to balance all this out. Hopefully you folks who did get on the roster realize what that means to get on. In the meantime, I need to go ride my bicycle for a bit........

13 comments:

Edward Sandor said...

Do you know what's just as cool as a TI finish? A TI Master's Program finish. The best part, there's no entry caps. After the initial disappointment in not getting into the race you wanted to get into wears off, it'd be a good reminder to everyone that applied and did not get in, as a consolation prize, should you have a 2015 TI Masters Program, that they've received a free, guaranteed entry. Just a thought.

thejacobsons said...

GT, why not let them all in? Very likely a 1/4 of them won't show anyway. :) Good luck and thank you for all of your work. Knowing you, I am sure your head is spinning as I know how much you care about the riders, but also are firm on the rules. Again, good luck my friend.

Guitar Ted said...

@thejacobsons: Simply because the way the event is structured it cannot support more than 120 riders. (Think about the convenience stores, as a for instance)

The event would fundamentally have to be changed to "grow" to accommodate more riders. I would submit to you that we already have one Dirty Kanza 200, and we don't need another. Also- see the growing pains that Gravel Worlds have suffered through.

If this event is to keep the "thing" it has had going, it CANNOT grow larger. How do you deal with that fairly and effectively with such high demand- that's the question I grapple with. I am not ever going to do a Trans Iowa differently than I do now. Heck- I am still figuring it all out now the way it is. Why change and make things even more difficult for me at this stage?

So, no more growth.

Bruce Brown said...

Sounds like it is time for two Trans Iowa events per year. ;-)

Guitar Ted said...

@BruceBrown: Thought about it already. And......I've kind of already done that with TIMP.

Guitar Ted said...

@Edward Sandor: I did not mean to ignore your comment- sorry about that. I just took a while to understand exactly what you were saying there. (Addled brains today)

That's not a bad idea. In fact, something along those lines was being kicked around today as well.

Jon Livengood said...

If a TI V12 were to happen, any chance that those applied this year, and didn't get in, would get an improved (i.e. their own application period) chance of getting in V12? They way it looks now, unless I drive 15hrs and wait at your door on that monday morning, theres no way I can every do the event...Mail, FedEx and UPS appear to be running all too late. Assuming you didn't dispose of the postcards already, I would just consist of recording the names of those that missed out. We'd really like to come out there and do the race with everybody. Thanks for putting it on.

Guitar Ted said...

@Jon Livengood- A LOT of people would "really like to ride" Trans Iowa, Jon. I get that, but as it sits, there is no really good way to make it EVERYBODY that wants to gets to.

That said, IF there is a V12, it will not require anyone to drive here, wait at the door, etc. I would eliminate those situations from being valid ways to get a chance at Trans Iowa.

Shane Buscher said...

I don't know the background of why online registration hasn't been considered. However, seems to be a fair solution to those that can't arrive at your doorstep the morning of registration. You could even throw in a twist by only disclosing the day of registration, but not the time it actually opens.

Guitar Ted said...

@Shane Buscher: At the risk of repeating myself.....

As has been stated multiple times here, IF Trans Iowa happens again, I already have a plan that will eliminate the waiting at the door, delivery people, etc..... IF I do a T.I. again, which I cannot commit to until much later if ever. Let's get through V11 first, eh?

Online registration costs money and more time. I cannot afford either.

Andy Zeiner said...

Hopefully, this doesn't come across as snotty or whatever, but to those that logistically can't get registered... if you have more like-minded bikers in your area, why not start a Trans-whatever-state-you-live-in?

That's the only way TI and other similar rides such as Almanzo get started.

Guitar Ted said...

@Andy Zeiner: Great suggestion. One that many have taken and acted on in the past.

However; it is a lot easier said than done, and finding that "someone" to put it on..... Well, that's probably the biggest hurdle of all, in my opinion.

But I am not the expert on this by any means. It's just one man's opinion....

Andy Zeiner said...

I definitely wasn't trivializing how difficult it is to put on an event like TI, especially one as successful and well-run as TI.

However, I would think someone starting up a similar event locally wouldn't have to completely reinvent the wheel. People like yourself and Chris Skogan would, I bet, be willing to give a lot of tips and advice you've learned over the years.