Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Trans Iowa v12: Checkpoints, Convenience Stores, and Chit-Chat

Trans Iowa multiple finisher, Mike Johnson is making these 3D printed tokens for all the riders.
Three weeks to go, and the time will fly fast! Trans Iowa is about to kick off its twelfth version and before we get there, here are a few tidbits of interest to those in the event and, perhaps, of slight interest to onlookers as well.

First up, I wanted to underscore a point that I've made in the last several Trans Iowa versions. That being- There are NO CONVENIENCE STORES at CHECKPOINTS!! That's right. You will not find anything but cheerful volunteers and a fresh set of cue sheets at checkpoints, so be prepared!!

As always: Be prepared at the start to ride 100 miles with no chance for water or food!!

Convenience stores will be on the route. They just will not be at checkpoints. You will have ample access to convenience stores and the route will go right by several. While the following should not be construed as a comprehensive list of all convenience stores on the route, the overnight section of Trans Iowa will be highlighted by ONE store open all night. There also will be two other chances in the late afternoon/early evening hours before night fall, so be aware that YOU NEED TO MAKE THE CORRECT DECISIONS!! This means YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU.  Should you pass a convenience store and not check to see if you need water or food, you are making a poor choice and will suffer the consequences. Trans Iowa, its directors, volunteers, nor anyone associated with the event are responsible for your nutrition, water, safety, or decision making. It's all on you.

Checkpoint volunteers will have these hats on so you know you aren't dealing with imposters!
Keep in mind that Trans Iowa will also not reveal the location of the second checkpoint, and checkpoint #1 will not be revealed until the Pre-Race Meat-Up. I do this to cut down, eliminate, and dissuade anybody from trying to get out on the route to spectate. Trans Iowa is not a spectator friendly event. I am often asked, after this statement, "But what if a rider needs help?" Well, then that rider can and should call you, (the support person), if there is a need to extract a rider from the course. It isn't that tough to figure out where someone is by the cue sheets if you have a cell phone and an Iowa map. Plus, we strongly urge riders ride in small groups.  This not only ensures a greater chance at finishing the event, but riders can look after one another and in cases where someone needs to bail out, we have found that other riders are more than willing to help out. Bottom line- We don't want, nor do we need, folks gallivanting around the course. It invites cheating, and it is not necessary.

A quick note on cell phones: Riders will be in areas with little, or absolutely no- coverage. You are advised to turn off your cell phones until they are absolutely needed. (UK translation: Cut the power on the mobile unless you want a dead battery.)

That said, we understand that folks want to know how their rider is progressing. You can suggest one of the following two options, or both, to do just that. First, you can purchase a SPOT tracking device and have your rider wear it. They are very reliable and follwing a SPOT tracker of a rider is super easy to do. If this appeals to you and any rider you may know, the option will have to be pursued on your end. Trans Iowa does not offer this option. The second way to keep up with any rider is to encourage them to make call-ins to Trans Iowa Radio sponsored by This is also where I will be updating on the event as well.

There were two, independent reviews of the final cues for the event, and they passed both reviews with flying colors. The final test will be on April 16th when we field check the cues for accuracy and clarity. We will also verify the existence of the roads as being open. Then, and only then will the cues be printed. If there is one thing I have tried to make absolutely as perfect as possible, that would be the cue sheets. Speaking of cue sheets, the size is approximately 4 3/8ths long by 3 7/8ths wide for each sheet, although there may be some variances in that since the sheets are hand cut and complete symmetry is not possible. Also- and this is very important to note-  the cues are not moisture friendly. So, try to make sure you do not get them soiled by perspiration, wet from your water bottles, or get rain on them. They won't survive that.

That's it for this time. Hit me with any questions you may have in the comments section, please.

1 comment:

Irishtsunami said...

Of all the years to miss volunteering! Beautiful hat.