|I rode the XXIX+G on a gravel group ride with Jeff Kerkove for the last time ever in January of '07.|
Trans Iowa was in a pivotal year, although I had no idea going in just how big of a deal T.I.v3 would be. All I knew was that the responsibility for the course recon and planning of the event was now all mine to bear. Jeff was off doing things to solidify his intentions to move to Colorado and work for Ergon, who were courting him throughout the Winter of '06.'07. So, this meant that for the first time I was in charge of the meeting venue, the details regarding lodging, the City relations, and prizing/sponsorship. All things Jeff had expertly done for Trans Iowa the first two years in.
|The first year I used this bridge over the Volga River in a route was for T.I.v3|
I was pretty pleased with the route to the North, but bringing it around closer to the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area was a bit of an issue since the terrain was not as demanding as it was up there around Decorah. The route had a couple of iron gabled bridges on it which I was pretty happy to have found. I always throw those in if I see them and they make sense for the course. Sometimes they haven't made sense to use, but I've been lucky to find many of these throughout the years that did work out. Like barns, these bridges are slowly decaying. They are being shut down or replaced with modern, boring cement bridges at a rapid pace. I figure we should use them while we can.
Of course, there was the last gravel group ride I was on with Jeff. He had been doing these for a while in '05 and '06, and this was one of the only ones I had been available for to go along on. I rode the new to me Raleigh XXIX+G with a few modifications. It was........not the greatest bike. I think I touched on this before, but the geometry for forks and the geometry for frames were not yet refined for 29"ers, so that was a bit of a nit I had with that old bike, and I never really was able to resolve it. I tried all sorts of oddball set ups on it with the hope that something would click. But as with the Salsa Dos Niner I had, nothing really settled with me, although there were various tries at getting those bikes "right".