Sunday, November 09, 2014

Trans Iowa V11: A Look At The Rules Part 9

Stay the course! Onward through the fog!
Last year I did a historical overview of each Trans Iowa up to T.I.V9. This year I am going to revisit something that I feel many folks have overlooked for a long time; The "Race Rules".

Mid-week I picked up this series to help explain a rule that affected the current Trans Iowa registration, but in this post, I will be lumping together two consecutive rules that preceded Rule #9, which I skipped up to. Both these rules are closely related. Here they are:

 7: Competitors may, in the case of emergency, mechanical or other unforeseeable problems, be assisted by motorized transport. By accepting motorized transport you will automatically relinquish your standing in the race.

8: The primary race route must be followed at all times. No short cuts or alternate routes are permitted. If you do this, you are a retard and will be forced to help local farmers scoop poop!

 Since Iowa is crisscrossed with a grid network of gravel roads, it might seem to be enticing to cut the course, or to leave the course for resupply in a nearby town and re-enter the course further down the route to save some time. It also must be noted that Trans Iowa volunteers are not scouring the course for folks short-cutting either, so a reminder in the rules to stay the course was deemed necessary. It also prompted Jeff to add his humorous admonishment to those who may fear scooping pig poop!

CP#2 T.I.V9: (L-R) Robert Fry, Jeremy Fry, Corey "Cornbread" Godfrey, Jason Boucher.
The rule dealing with motorized transport was put in to help the riders realize that they could, (and were encouraged to), get a ride from a support person they brought along, or from a local, in case of a mechanical, emergency, or if they were going to drop out. The second part was there to help riders realize that accepting any rides put them out of the running for a finish in Trans Iowa.

During the last ten Trans Iowa events, we've only had two known issues with the course being cut. One wasn't found out about right away, and resulted in a win for one of the two that were found out to have cut the course. (You can read about that here) That was mostly the fault of us as organizers, and in fact, so was the second instance of this, in T.IV7. That was the year we found a bridge out only 7 or so miles from the start and in the flurry of activity that followed to try to mark a re-route, something went haywire and riders went up a Level B road that they shouldn't have. Instead of backtracking that, several of the riders went down a paved road to access the course again.

In both instances there was forgiveness and a realization that we as organizers had things to learn. I, (and the past co-directors and volunteers), do not claim to have been perfect, and so we strove to learn from our mistakes and will continue to do so going forward. Sometimes the rules can even make us as event coordinators learn a thing or three!


Mike said...

Please remove the "r" word from your rule. Would you use the "n" word?

Guitar Ted said...

@Mike: I think in this instance Jeff was sarcastically thinking along theses lines.....

retard: a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way:
a hopeless social retard.

So in context of the rule and what you would maybe be one way of referring to someone who broke the rule, I get it.

If you do not see it that way, then perhaps Trans Iowa isn't for you.

I don't make any money or gain anything substantive in a worldly sense from putting this event on, so if it all goes away due to one word in a silly rule, well, I would be able to live with that. Easily.

Many people get uptight about words that they attach a firm and fast meaning to, or interpret in a singular fashion that lacks freedom to see that others may not even be going to that place you have gone to when you see a certain word. (Which you can't even type out, but must indicate by a singular letter?!!)

In the end, words represent ideas, and sometimes the same word can mean many different things, or represent many different ideas, ya know- like retard. It's part of the reason we as humans have misunderstandings and confusion.

So, again- If you cannot see it any other way but in the way you do, then Trans Iowa may not be for you.