|Super Volunteers and good friends- Mike Johnson (L) and Matt Gersib or "MG"|
This is something not just relegated to the riders, but to myself and my volunteers as well. I have been found guilty on several occasions of not following my own advice and getting to bed early. There was that one year I ate a steak and had a glass of wine at midnight before a Trans Iowa with Bike To You's Craig Cooper, or the many times I sat up late drinking beers with MG or other volunteers. But this past TI wasn't going to be like that. I was going to behave and be on target. That sleep plan was going well as I got into bed before 10:00pm, but then all Hell broke loose and........well, fail.
I snore. Loudly. While I was off to a good start, my roommate wasn't digging it. So, MG went out to his car and was going to crawl into his sleeping bag (apparently he was prepared for me!), and decided that I might freak out if I awoke to find an empty bed next to me. So, he kindly sent me a text, and when the notification came through, loudly, as I don't turn off the sound on Trans Iowa weekends, I awoke. Then the patrons of the motel that particular evening handled the rest. Loud televisions, a "bouncing rubber ball sound" (?) and more forced me into staying lucid enough to start worrying about things. Our room clock was off by over an hour forward, and at one point I thought it was 2:30am when it really was barely past 1:00am. I called MG and woke him up, thinking it was "go" time. Embarrassed, I tried getting back to sleep. Then MG came in to use the toilet, as he had a sudden "movement" that needed attention. Well, that was that. Sleep plan in tatters. By this time it was past 2:00am and we were going to get going by 2:30am.
|Class of v14 Image courtesy of George Keslin for Wally Kilburg Photography|
|Cue sheet hand up process. Image by George Keslin|
I guess if I were to ever do another TI this cue sheet hand up process would be handled differently, I have tweaks I would make, but that won't be necessary. Still, I learned a lot, once again, by trying something new. Just for the record, I really liked the dynamic this added. I wished I had done this years ago now. It was generally agreed upon that this change made the riders tackle the first leg like the others. I also found out that it was not uncommon for riders to study maps the evening before and have a strategy laid out. I knew this, as that was what changed the first checkpoint location years ago, but I guess it never dawned on me to eliminate that factor altogether.
|And just like that, the riders are off on the last Trans Iowa. Image by George Keslin.|
So, I sauntered around a few minutes, soaking up the experience, then gave the one minute to go command. I jumped in MG's Subie, checked my phone which showed 4:00am, and MG honked the horn at my command and we were off. The last Trans Iowa was finally in motion. But, I didn't have time to think about that. I would have time to reflect later in the day though.
Next: The Moon And Cows