Saturday, June 16, 2018

Minus Ten Review- 23 & 24

The Upper Iowa River at Decorah, June, 2008
Ten years ago, at the start of June, I had a bit of a discussion on crank sets concerning gearing and crank arm length for 29"ers. Oddly enough, going back to the earliest days of 29"ers in the late 90's, a bunch of Crested Butte residents on running the wagon wheelers decided that 170mm length crank arms was the schiznit for riding these new big wheels. I'm not sure why, or how they arrived at this, but it was out there in the early days. Run 170mm length arms. It's the way to do this dance. So, I did just that.

Now, I didn't do that right away. My very first 29"er had 177.5mm arms. That's right- 177.5mm arms. Anyone with a background in BMX or vintage mtb will know right off what I am referring to. That would be Cooks Brothers cranks. I still have them.........somewhere around here! Anyway......

I also was talking about the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo. That was a 29"er demo/get together/festival we had planned up in Decorah. Well.......I say "we", but the reality was that it was "me". My partner at the time in Twenty Nine Inches was, let's say, "flaky"? Yeah...... Nuff said..... The point is that I was left doing all the heavy lifting on that project and I had a ton of time and effort into it. Then the rains came.

I've already mentioned it in previous "Minus Ten Review" posts this year, but 2008 was a really rough year in terms of weather in Iowa. The "Flood of 2008" won't soon be forgotten around here. That was the highest the water has ever been in many Iowa rivers since that date or before it. You can still go to many bridges and dikes in Iowa and see the high water marks people immortalized from this 2008 flood.

I was sent the image on today's post two weeks before the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo was to take place. On the left of center is where the people were to camp and set up the demo booths. It was under 15 feet of water at this point.

While the trails were high and dry in the bluffs, I had to make a call within a few days time of receiving this image to advise vendors. Many of which had to send demo vans from the Southwestern US. They needed advance notice on whether to come or not. If the event was to be cancelled, giving them two weeks notice would allow them to salvage something out of their plans by setting up demos elsewhere. So, I made the call to cancel the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo.

While this had nothing at all to do with Trans Iowa, this decision would shape what I would do with that event for the next decade. Stay tuned for why that was........

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