|From a 1980 Des Moines Register article|
What you are looking at here represents what is pretty much one of the major reasons Trans Iowa got started. This article is the story about four road riders that decided to try to cross the state of Iowa in a single day on road racing style bikes. I happen to work for one of the four men who did this, know another, and have met the eldest one just recently. They are all nice guys, but you'd never know they had done this unless they told you. It's one of those forgotten "feats of strength" that not too many folks know about.
That's a shame really.
So, how did this forgotten ride that happened 34 years ago help to spawn Trans Iowa, and arguably, the whole gravel scene that followed? Interestingly, it was because a couple of mountain biking fans got fed up with hearing the story a few times too many.
|An old story of road riding tripped the trigger for the idea of Trans Iowa Image by W. Kilburg|
Of course, we wouldn't be able to do that on dirt. Iowa is, after all, a very agrarian state and most of the countryside is plowed and tilled. However; there are a claimed 70,000 plus miles of gravel roads with some dirt ones sprinkled in for good measure. You know the rest of that story......
Now, there were other influences on Trans Iowa, certainly, and the whole gravel riding scene may have popped up without us at some point, but if you ever come to do Trans Iowa, or have ridden in it, or ride other events inspired by T.I., then you have these four humble gents to thank for it. At least in part. I cannot imagine Trans Iowa ever happening without them.