Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Trans Iowa v12: Gypsy Road

 I'm drivin' all night . I end up in the same ol' place.
The second deal that I can think of that was important for me on this- or any- Trans Iowa, is the roads. The condition of them, what they show me, where they take me, and just being out there on them. Sure....being on a bicycle is better, but Trans Iowa has evolved into this roving band of gypsies not only on bicycles, but in the chase vehicles as well.

Now days we have three, sometimes four of us roaming around in cars doing things that are unseen or unknown by the riders. Sometimes the things we're doing are evident. The riders see us out there, sure, but sometimes, unless they are the front runners, they do not see us at all. I would fall into that former category. It's a weird existence for two days, but it also is a great time now. It wasn't always so fun though!

I won't get into it too much, but those years where I was out on my own in the "Dirty Blue Box", or the truck were hard. Really hard. Once David Pals came on board for T.I.v4, I realized that I didn't need to repeat the nearly catastrophic trip I endured coming home from v3, and having someone to hang out with all weekend was fun. After David left Trans Iowa I missed that for a few years, which were the really hard years. Last year I was going fix that by putting MG in the passenger's seat, but v11 was pretty much a bust. So, for v12, MG asked if it would make it easier on me if he drove and I played the role of event director. Wow........that was a great idea! 

Steeper than it looks, really off camber and rutted. Oh....and this is the widest part of the road! It gets narrower on top.

Sometimes we make wrong turns too!
 So, MG brought his wife's Forrester and we put that all wheel drive vehicle to the test. We drove it all the way through 270th in Tama County, which, if you were in Trans Iowa this year, you know was no small feat. For those of you unfamiliar with that "road", and I use that term loosely, it is a dirt scar cut through a ravine and a hillside that is barely wide enough for one small sized car, and has ruts eroded into it which are 4-5 feet deep in spots. Not only that, but the gradient is pretty steep. MG expertly navigated us through this road, and well, we just had to celebrate that fact. A quick pull on the flask for each of us, and then back at it. More miles to go!

Tony and Mike were having their own adventure, and that included a wrong turn on a super muddy Level B that went steeply up a hillside. After some scrambling, Tony realized he had a rear axle lock out and he used it! He revved the 302, dropped in in drive, and all four wheels spat out clay and mud while the truck lurched forward, pitching sideways, jumping in the air, and spurning the earth under its four wheels. It was a sight to behold, and MG and I were cheering like college boys at a bowl game.

My coworker Andy brought down a relatives 1980's era Winnebago and we slept in that Friday night. Just another way Trans Iowa feels like a road trip for me. The whole event, in a way, is like playing hooky on the World for me. Sleeping in strange places, running around in the hinterlands, goofing off, spending time with good people, and just generally dropping out for a while. Sure, there is the event, and running it isn't easy, but playing the part of a wandering soul on a gypsy road is kind of fun for a while.

Next: Heroes


MICHAEL said...

Awesome song, great group. One of my faves

MG said...

That was an awesome way to spend a weekend, Brother!