Saturday, December 17, 2016

Minus Ten Review- 50

Back when the Salsa graphics were pretty exciting, in my opinion anyway.
So, ten years ago this week on the blog I was yakking about a few things of interest. One was that I got a sweet rig in for a long term test. It was a Salsa Cycles Dos Niner. An odd creature of a 29'er the likes of which hasn't been seen since.

The whole Dos Niner deal was a struggle for Salsa, as far as I know about it. They never really got the chassis dialed in and then in the long run they had breakage issues, so not many of these are around anymore. Too bad. I always thought that the soft tail idea was a good idea that never was quite figured out. Trek has hit on something with their ISO Speed concept, and Salsa has actually done something cool as well. The Class 5 VRS rear end is definitely a platform that a high end 29"er hard tail could be based off of. You could argue that the Cutthroat is that bike, actually, but it has drop bars.

Then I was also bemoaning the fact that it looked like USAC and the UCI was going to start poking around in the ultra-endurance scene. Hmm....... Wait a minute! Doesn't that sound familiar? Only this time they want in on gravel road racing and riding. Same deal, different decade. I kind of hit on why things seem to slip by USAC and the UCI back then by saying the following, " The "governing bodies" that have made participating in cycling here such an inviting proposition that entire rogue racing series have sprung up and thrived from without their shadow of influence." In other words, these deals like gravel racing and what not have become a thing precisely because of the culture within the UCI and USAC, which doesn't appeal to many cyclists looking for challenges and competition. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with insurance, but that seems to be all USAC has to offer. 

Finally there was the end of Trans Iowa registration that weekend ten years ago. This was for T.I.v3, which marked a watershed for Trans Iowa's history and future. Do you think last year was the first time we held a lottery for Trans Iowa entry? Well, it wasn't. T.I.v3 gets that honor, actually. Here's how it was:

Trans Iowa charged an entry fee which covered the insurance policy on the event for the first two years. We tried to make it so the entry fee covered that and nothing else was left, so the first year I think it was something like $40.00 a head and the next year it shot up to around $60-ish. Someone that has a better memory of that could confirm, but I do recall it was significantly more money. So the third year it was going to end up being something over $100.00 each, and Jeff and I agreed that it was getting out of hand. It would look like we were gouging the entrants when in fact we were simply being raked over the coals by the event insurance rates. Anyway, we also were getting pressure to let more folks in. That's another story, but the short of it was that we were not going to have insurance, so we wouldn't have to charge an entry fee, and we were going to have a lottery for 75 spots. 

There was complete and utter madness with regard to the lottery idea. It was really stupid. I let on a tiny bit in one of my blog posts ten years ago and said, "The nail biting and pacing back and forth in front of computer monitors across North America has already begun. "Am I going to be in?" "Did they get my card?" "Did they get my package with 300 cards?" (yes..............Really!) "Will they miss my Dad's cards because we have the same name?" "My brother and I both want in, will they pick us together?""

That's right, we were getting a million stupid questions. Some folks, and I mean more than a few, sent in hundreds of cards in the hopes that they would get drawn for entry to T.I.v3. It was a huge mess. We simply forgot to say, "One entry per person". 


In the end, we let all 128 separate individuals in. On race day, only 64 showed up.  So, if you ever wondered why I get kind of short and surly with folks regarding getting entry into Trans Iowa, you can thank the 64 folks that no-showed for Trans Iowa v3 for that one.


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