|Trans Iowa's first volunteers were Dave & Linda Kerkove. That's Dave on the right.|
Now I want to do a bit of bragging on my past volunteers. I know lots of events have great volunteers, but Trans Iowa seems to gather some of the most selfless, kind, considerate, encouraging, and intelligent volunteers I have known of or seen at any event. This has only been getting better every year that Trans Iowa has been in existence. From the very get-go, when our only volunteers were Dave and Linda Kerkove, we have had great success with our volunteer corps. Some memories that jump out at me concerning volunteers.....
|Checkpoint volunteers for T.I.V3|
- T.I.V3: The first time I had a "corp" of volunteers was for T.I.V3. These guys were so good and in a way, they helped calm me down, relax, and let go of one of my main worries going into that first time "solo" production of a Trans Iowa. I just remember being so amazed and impressed with this group.
- T.I.V4: Some of the previous year's members were on this group, but we had another checkpoint as well that year, so I was a bit concerned. Once again though, my worries were unfounded. Of particular note here was Steve Fuller showing up with a lap top and running results on a spread sheet program, (I think), which was kind of shocking to me!
- T.I.V5: Now we had three checkpoints! I remember going to CP#2 in Traer, and not seeing anyone there yet. Being a bit overly concerned, I called the two fellas that were supposed to be there and they cheerfully informed me that they were down at the pizza joint and would be there promptly. I saw them arrive on bicycles and of course, they did an awesome job. Scott Ronken and....cannot recall right now. (Was it Ken?) Somebody help me out here. Also- this was the T.I. where Matt Maxwell rode over from Ames Iowa to LeGrand Iowa just to volunteer and then afterward turned his bike Westward and rode back home!
- T.I.V6: The ill-fated, rain shortened event was run well again by volunteers. I remember especially the hoops we jumped through going back and forth on the phone with Paul Jacobson. (Thanks for your patience, Paul!) But what many do not know is that CP#3 was manned by Paul Buchanan and his wife, I believe, and of course, no one got there. We called Paul and he graciously came to the arranged ending at the North English Malt Shoppe and not only that, he drove some of the wet riders back to Grinnell, then drove in the torrential rain all the way back to Waterloo. Talk about yer selfless volunteers!
- T.I.V7: The volunteers impress again, and even on Easter weekend! The thing I am most grateful for here is the selfless volunteering I saw done by Craig Cooper of Bikes To You, Rob Versteegh, and other riders that had dropped out but stuck around to assist after the fact. None of these folks were prearranged for and they just jumped in where needed to give an assist. It wasn't the last time this type of thing would happen.
- T.I.V8: Remember the almost luxurious CP#2 set up by Wally & George? The main memory for me here is the work that Jeremy Fry and Matt Gersib did to run the "secret checkpoint" that year. MG's way-beyond-the-call-of-duty looking for an errant Charlie Farrow was a true lifesaver from my standpoint. I'll never forget that, Brother!
- T.I.V9: This was another "lifesaver", but this time it was Bent Irish who, when finding out that we may be short of cues, arranged to have some of the other volunteers fan out in the small village of Ira to see if we could get copies made. Mind you- this was early on a Saturday morning in a village of maybe 100 people! I believe Chad Quigley was involved in this as well, but we did get copies and we had no issues. Just a great example of how the volunteers for T.I. are self-starters and can think on the ground for the event's best interest.
- T.I.V10: How about Jeremy Fry, his friend Matt, and Scott Redd hanging out in gale force winds all afternoon in the middle of nowhere? Or consider the Slender Fungus, who sent up a crew to man the unexpected re-route in an unbelievable lightning storm with sideways rain. No riders got crossed up, and they manned that post until 4am for me.
|Let's not forget the barn, Trans Iowa's finish line the last couple years. RV brings a crew to assist with that. That's him in the red coat. (Image by Wally Kilburg)|
So, I hope you can see that Trans Iowa lives or dies by its volunteers. Without them, the event doesn't get run. Many times- really folks, I cannot stress this enough- the help comes undirected at all by me. I know a lot of you think I am all on top of everything, but face the facts folks- the Trans Iowa volunteer corps over the years has been mostly undirected and uncontrolled by me. I give them a minimal set of tools and instructions and these smart folks just rise above my short comings and essentially make the event what it is.
So, I thank them, of course, but I sincerely hope that you all do the same. Profusely. Without ending.