Saturday, October 29, 2016
First is that today marks the last day registration post cards will be accepted. The big Lottery drawing for the setting of the Rookie Class for T.I.v13 will happen on Monday.
The other reason is that ten years ago I wrote a post with many of the basic philosophies about Trans Iowa expressed in it that are still foundational to the event 12 years later. I'll just get out of the way here and let my ten years ago self explain: From the post published on Monday, October 23rd 2006-
"For the record, we believe in a tough challenge that not all can handle. We believe that this provides a most rewarding experience if you do finish, or overcome the challenge. This "reward" is personal, and worth more than trophies, schwag, or money. The sheer fact that not all can finish makes the finishing worth more than the things I mentioned. It's what defines a challenge. Anything that allows everyone to finish is something less than that, and I for one, am not interested in that.
So, it boils down to this, I think. Have an event that everyone can finish, within reason, and have your competition within that format. It's then about who is best/ fastest/ strongest. There can be only one person/ team that can claim that honor. The rest are losers.
Or, you can have an event that is about something deeper than that. A challenge: you not only have other individual competitors, but you have the course itself, the weather, time, and yourself to overcome. An event that, even if you do not finish it, can take you beyond your own limits to a new place you may have thought not possible. If that's not winning, if that's not worth more than money, prizes, or even recognition, then I'm in the wrong game."
Furthermore; I would also add that I feel that it was this very sentiment that drew in riders not only to do Trans Iowa, but the Dirty Kanza 200, and all the early gravel road races. Some events have "grown" away from that early ideal. I find that disheartening. That some of these events now are seeing an attitude that has fostered negativity amongst some riders is not to be wondered at. The lure of winning money and prizes tends to upend the aspects of overcoming a challenge. The very aspects I describe above from 2006 that I still believe in deeply to this day. Are prizes and winning money a bad thing? Not in and of themselves, but when riders begin to focus solely on that aspect, or even just too heavily on that, then the problems crop up.
That's my take then and it still is now.