Yes, today is finally the day. The twelfth edition of this nutty gravel road cycling event will occur tomorrow starting at 4am in the morning. There will be a pre-race event tonight at the Grinnell Steakhouse, and that will be the big "family reunion" for many Trans Iowa veterans and a big welcome to the Rookies into something I don't think they will quite understand till afterward. It will all lead up to 339.9 miles of gravelly goodness, stories for a lifetime, and memories we will never forget. Let's hope that they are good ones, eh?
Trans Iowa Radio Presented By RidingGravel.com: You can check in on many of these memory making moments as they happen by going to the Riding Gravel Trans Iowa Radio Page. Go to the page, scroll down a bit, and hit any of the icons with an "arrow" to start the player and hear what is there. Make sure your volume is turned up and you speakers are on, and you can enjoy hearing from myself and the riders as they try to make it through the maze of Iowa roads. There is one update as of now but there will soon be many more from myself, at least! This should be going on until Sunday at around mid-afternoon when I will likely wrap things up. Yes......I am expecting Trans Iowa to be finishable this year!
|The Truck With No Name will be taking a break this year.|
I'll get to the weather here in a bit. First off, there is something that is going to happen this year that has not happened since 2011, and that is that someone else will be driving me around the route this year during the event.
My good buddy, MG, from Lincoln, who was to ride shotgun with me last year, but fell ill and ended up chasing me around in his Honda, is going to ride me around in his Subaru so I can concentrate on the event and surrounding activities.
He offered about two weeks ago to do this, and I accepted gladly. It will be a monumental task for him, make no mistake, because, well........I know! Driving gravel roads is no picnic and some of the roads we will be on should be a bit hairy, especially if there is fresh gravel laid down anywhere on the route. Add in fatigue and tiredness from being up for 24 plus hours and you can understand how it might be a tough job. So, to super-volunteer MG, I tip my cycling cap. It'll be more fun to have him along, and my job will be easier as a result.
Okay, Now For The Wild Card:
I said I expect Trans Iowa v12 to be finishable, but I don't expect the weather to lie down and give over. It won't. Here's the scoop as I understand it. There will be no rain today, but there has been rain for three straight days on the course. Nothing huge, just fine soaking rains and showers. One day of drying before we get going will likely mean that the gravel roads might be perfecto. The Level B dirt roads are another matter. In my experienced opinion, there will be some that are fine, while others will be sticky and wet. There will be walking at some point.
Besides that, there will be a healthy wind out of the South-Southeast at 20+ mph with higher gusts. I've heard reports that the gusts could be as high as 40mph. Hmm..... Well, we will see, but it is almost a certainty that there will be a tailwind and headwind at certain points during the event. How that plays out with the route I've designed is only known to but a few others besides me. I will not say too much, so as not to give anything away, but I suspect that the word "tough", or variations thereof, will figure into many reports about this version of Trans Iowa.
Speaking of reports:
A very brief statement on the event will be given here Sunday night, most likely. There will be coverage on the Trans Iowa Radio page, mentioned above, on my Twitter feed @guitarted1961, and on Facebook. The hashtag will be #TIv12. Search that. I may also do some Periscope live videos. You can find those linked to my Twitter feed. Then on Monday expect a full recounting of events to begin, which probably will take us into the first week of May here. So, if you are sick of Trans Iowa, maybe it is time to tune out till May gets going. If so, see ya then. If not......
Hang on folks! Here we go!