Wednesday, October 19, 2016

So, This Popped Up Again

Greg Gleason is attempting an ITT of the TIMP this weekend.
The thing was dead. I ran it for one Summer, a mere three months, and then it was over. I figured I'd never have to say anything about it again. However; in one post on Facebook, the whole Trans Iowa Masters Program thing has come alive.

It was the only ITT finisher, Greg Gleason, who did the deed. He decided to resurrect the idea and try a run at the course during the Fall. Of course, it is his right to do that, I have zero say in the matter. I only bring this to the blog today to explain to the folks that are unaware of what the TIMP was and why it mattered.

So, a quickie explanation here- The Trans Iowa event, when it started, was conceived of as a cross state route. We, (Jeff Kerkove and myself), wanted to route bicyclists across Iowa all on gravel roads. Then things got....well, modified. Certain elements to the original plot were introduced which eventually led us to stop the first two routes I planned in Decorah. Note- Trans Iowa v2 never made it past Algona Iowa, so much of that route was untapped till this TIMP deal.

As the tenth Trans Iowa approached, several riders broached the subject of doing a one-off, cross state Trans Iowa as a way to celebrate the decade of T.I. events. I decided that would be waaayyyy too much of a headache for me and the volunteers to pull off, so I decided to approach the idea in a unique and different way. I devised the "TIMP", or "Trans Iowa Masters Program". As the name suggests, it was set up as a mock degree from "Trans Iowa" which required studying, (the rider had to plan a strategy, study the cues, and prepare their gear and nutrition needs), a class test was taken, (the actual ride itself), and a "masters thesis" was required, (ride report with pictures). Once the three parts were completed successfully, I would issue a certificate and post the story and images on the TIMP site.

Greg Gleason at the finish of his successful ITT attempt in Lansing Iowa in 2014.
So, with that background, the announcement yesterday of Greg's attempt on another try at the original route was something I knew was coming as Greg forewarned me of this. However; I did not expect that there would be comments to the effect of "Hey! I want to do this. What is it all about?"

Yeah, that was something I never expected. Well, there were a few folks saying this and probably several others who had wheels turning in their heads about how they might do such a deed. First of all, let me be perfectly clear- I have zero to do with this "route" anymore. I took the original cues down and only those with the foresight to grab them off the sight when it was live have them. Anyone doing this now or in the future is completely on their own and doing something I have no affiliation with anymore. The TIMP deal was one and done. So, that ship has sailed. The route may or may not be doable or even safe. I have no clue now.

That said, if you have a mind to follow along with Greg as he rides across Iowa on (mostly) gravel roads, check out his SPOT tracker link which will be live this weekend HERE. Greg;s personal page can be found HERE. The original route which Greg has laid out on his link is HERE. Go check that out if you are interested in this.

As for me, I know nothing about the route beyond what I learned two years ago. I have no intentions of ever promoting it again, or reviving this idea again. Don't ask me about the route cues, or the route. Bug someone that has actually ridden it if you have to know more. Thank you!

Greg- Good luck, my friend! Have a great time out there. I know you will.

1 comment:

Melissa in MN said...

You have my total respect and support on not publishing the route! I've dealt with backlash from folks when they couldn't follow their GPS or cue sheets on routes I've created, and they were jerks to me specifically for something that was out of my control (their skill level). Kudos for inspiring the madness of cross-Iowa cycling.