Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trans Iowa v13: Numbers

What if a six turned out to be nine?
In the process of producing a Trans Iowa, I deal with tons of numbers. That is actually pretty ironic. If you know me well, then you'd know why. Numbers and I have had a troubled relationship over the span of my lifetime.....

Well, be that as it may, I cannot let that bring me down. So I have enlisted help where necessary and the rest I try my best with. Mileages, time cut offs, roster numbers, costs for stuff, t-shirt size numbers. Numbers, numbers, numbers! 

Then there are the number plates. These are super important. They are what enables my volunteers to keep track of your coming and going at checkpoints, so scoring can be accurate, and we have a handle on how many folks are still out on the course at any given time. It is the number you use to call in a DNF with, and it is the number, should you be lucky enough to finish, that we need to record a finish time with.

I have used, off and on over the years, these "Olympic sized" Tyvek numbers meant for track and field events. They were found in a box at the shop where I work at. Since the shop doesn't put on races, and these numbers were just sitting around, I got to using them up. Well, I've depleted the supply. I am about a 1/4 of the total roster number shy for this year. So, I purchased a 100 new ones. Just like the old ones.

Greg Gleason exhibiting proper number plate placement.
So, I'll have all the numbers I will need, but they won't do any good if you don't use them right. We have had issues in the past with folks not having their numbers displayed properly and it has caused issues with my volunteers. So, there is a "right" way to do number plates at Trans Iowa. Here is a short list of things to remember:
  • Don't pin your number to your jacket in the morning. Why? Because at some point you'll get too hot, take it off, stuff it into a frame bag or hydration pack, and guess what? My volunteers do not have x-ray vision, that's what. 
  • Don't modify your number plate by cutting it away, folding it, or by trying to be all aerodynamic. This will get you into a DQ pickle right quick. Just pin it on like everyone else does and you'll be fine.
  • Pinning the number to a hydration pack is allowable, but do a good job. If it flies off and you don't notice, guess what? You won't get scored anymore. Call it a "nature's DQ", if you will. Take that and make decisions based on that in regards to your number placement very carefully.
  • If there is room, you can pin your number on the side of a frame bag or trunk bag, as long as the number plate is not modified in any way. Again, make sure it is secure and that you will not lose it.
  • Finally, the preferred placement is shown at left here with Greg Gleason's winning set up from last year. Take note.......
Finally, I want to add that while some may see this list of "numbers rules" as a bit Draconian, I am doing this to make the job for my volunteers easier. They are doing this for Trans Iowa, and for you, for nothing other than a "thank you" and for the experience. Don't make the experience a lesser one by messing up with your poor or modified number plate placement. That will not be seen as something "good". Make sense? Be cool!

1 comment:

Travel Gravel said...

How he came up with some of the lyrics he did is the ultimate voodoo magic. Plus the drugs, but still....having that much to say, and doing the talking in metaphor and verbal sketches is not a common skill. Keep up the good work.