Thursday, April 23, 2015

Trans Iowa V11: It's All About The Weather And More

Could we be seeing B Roads like this for v11? (Image by W. Kilburg)
"The weather is the wildcard"

I'm pretty sure Jeff Kerkove said that about Trans Iowa way back when, but if it wasn't him, it was a wise man's utterance. Trans Iowa is totally shaped by weather, and what I do with the course, timing of checkpoints, and what have you, well that all is only a small percentage of what makes Trans Iowa so difficult.

Sometimes the weather doesn't show up, in a manner of speaking. Things like sunny skies, light winds, and warmer temperatures have happened at Trans Iowa before. In fact, there was a time when riders swore that there was an "even year curse", which early on seemed to be true. T.I.v2 was an absolute washout. T.I.v4 was a wind swept, bitterly cold, truncated version of the event. T.I.v6 was another wash out. However; things began to switch around after that.

T.I.v8 started out right after a night of angry thunderstorms, and I was sure that it was headed down the storm drain as another version which was to be wiped out by wet weather. I was wrong. It actually turned out to be a rather great version, and who could ever forget the valiant Braun Brothers attempt at a sub 24 hour Trans Iowa? Then at V10, we nearly were derailed again during the evening with a squall line of thunderstorms that sent riders scattering into abandoned barns and farm houses. However, after a two to three hour delay, of sorts, the event was contested to the bitter end with 19 finishers crossing the line.

Odd numbered years were hailed as being the ones to attend with great weather and high finishing rates. And again- it seemed that this was the rule. T.I.v1 was very sunny, but folks forget the horrendous winds and frigid night time temps. But after that, V3, V5, and V9 probably had the best weather Trans Iowa has ever had. I still say V3 was the best, but regardless, those three versions stand out as being some of the best April weather Trans Iowa has ever enjoyed. V7 wasn't bad, but it wasn't stellar either. Cloudy, somewhat cool, but obviously a great weather day compared to the "even years".

Trans Iowa V9 was marked by tranquil, warm weather during the day.
Now we're looking at an odd year, which is supposed to be a good weather year. I've been saying that sooner or later an odd year would be not so nice. Well, it would appear that this year just may be that year. 

The weather forecast looks rather, well.......shall we say wet? It doesn't look to be a whole day affair, but it will be cold, (50-ish), windy, (E-NE at 20-ish), and that will all translate to a tough day riding in the boondocks. Oh........and the night time low looks to be around freezing. That'll be fun, won't it? Definitely does not fit into the "odd years are good" theory. It definitely doesn't play into the sub-24 hour Trans Iowa finish wheelhouse either. Nope. I do not expect to see that happen this year.

This is shaping up to be a Trans Iowa that just might be a super tough one. At least from the standpoint of the weather. I know the course will be tough, but this "wild card" that is about to be played should amp things up just a hair, I think. Want to listen in and follow along? Check out Trans Iowa Radio HERE. The riders will be calling in, and Ben Welnak will be out in the field driving around getting interviews and more. This will be a well covered Trans Iowa from that standpoint. The best Trans Iowa Radio production ever attempted. That said, do not expect every rider to be talked about, reported on, or tracked. We don't plan on doing that, but you could encourage that rider you care about to use the call in number. That would be the way to do it.

One more post for tomorrow and then I'm out for the weekend. Stay tuned to's Trans Iowa Radio page, linked above, Twitter by following the hashtag #TIv11, or myself- @guitarted1961. or at the Riding Gravel Facebook page. I'll not be posting anything here after tomorrow until maybe Sunday.

Well..........maybe sooner, depending upon that weather wild card!

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