Sunday, February 16, 2020

Trans Iowa Stories: History Rediscovered

A downlaoded screen shot printed on typing paper of the original Trans Iowa site header
"Trans Iowa Stories" is an every Sunday post which helps tell the stories behind the event. You can check out other posts about this subject by going back to earlier Sunday posts on this blog. Thanks and enjoy!

We are going to go backward a bit today with today's chapter in the "Trans Iowa Stories". All the way back to the beginnings of the event. But first, a little background for context here.

As Trans Iowa developed and moved from year to year, I would find a binder, or heavy duty folder, and download all records, extra cues from recon, maps, drafts, waivers, and whatever else from a particular Trans Iowa into that binder or folder and put it on a shelf, or in a drawer, or wherever I could find space. After about four or five of these deals, I realized that these were historically important. At least to anyone like myself that cared about Trans Iowa. So, I made a concerted effort to find nicer binders and folders where necessary, (Trans Iowa v1 in particular), and then I put these things back on the shelf. I rarely ever looked back at the old stuff, so sometimes these folders and binders would get separated, one from the other.

As it happened, about two years ago, after the last Trans Iowa, I went looking for all the binders to account for them. I was only able to locate binders for v8-v14. The earlier ones seemed to be MIA. I figured that they had to be somewhere in the swirling vortex of detritus called Guitar Ted Productions. But where?

Well, a few weeks back I discovered the whereabouts of these documents. They had been put into a tub which was sitting out in my damp, leaky garage! Fortunately everything was dry, but you can bet this stuff came back inside that very day that I found it all. And by "all", I mean all of it. Versions 1-7 were in that tub. Awesome!

So, amongst the treasures of roster sheets, notes, maps, and cues, I found the first Trans Iowa book which had a complete downloaded hard copy of the v1 webpages, screen shot three days before the event! Note the "ticker" under the header which was counting down the time to the event. Then also, you can see when the last "news" entry was put up on April 16th, 2005. In fact, there are three or four pages worth of things which are all about the first Trans Iowa. It's fascinating reading, from my perspective, because all that stuff was straight out of Jeff Kerkove's mind. I had zero to do with how any of that was written then. The v2 and subsequent Trans Iowas were all my baby in that regard.

So, look closely at that header. What does that remind you of? Something straight out of 2020 perhaps? We had a "presenting sponsor", and speaking of sponsors, there were a full line up of "heavy hitters". These were no slouch sponsors! Tifosi eyewear, Ergon, Giant Bicycles, and more. But again, that was all due to Jeff's endurance racing/solo 24hr successes. It had nothing at all to do with gravel racing. 

I'll get into the whole sponsorship deal in future "Trans Iowa Stories", but for now, I just wanted to share this "find" that I had forgotten all about. Whether it was Jeff or myself that had the presence of mind to screen shot all this and print it later, I don't recall, but it is literally a snap-shot of a point in history that otherwise would be lost to the mists of time.

Next: New Things Part 2


graveldoc said...

Reading this and of your recent"findings" I think about the Rough Stuff fellowship archives book that was released in 201. THIS IS THE STUFF FROM wHICH BOOKS ARE Written. IF A COLABORTaION ON TRANSIOWA AND OTHER GRAVEL EVENTS WAS PUBLISHED, I'D BUY THE BOOK!

Ari said...

I love the riders on 26ers. After all it was a mountain bike race. Right?

Guitar Ted said...

@graveldoc - Well, as you may know, this series was suggested by a reader to become a book in the beginning, and if there is enough positive feedback on the idea, that's what this is about. I had not thought to include anything from other events, but your suggestion is noted loud and clear. Thank you!!

Guitar Ted said...

@Ari - Yes, it was billed as the Trans Iowa Mountain Bike Race in the beginning. The picture is a bit of a curiosity, and I'd have to talk with Jeff about the source for that. Obviously it was NOT from a gravel race. There were few such events back then and no one really knew about them.

If I recall correctly, that is an image from one of his 24HR mtb events that he used to do. But more than that, I cannot say.

graveldoc said...

well, ya know. If a TransIowa exclusive book were to be published, I'd certainly go for it! Due to the large size of the gravel community, as I perceive it, a book including a bit on other events to contrast with each other might be interresting, too.

Rydn9ers said...

Good find, once that book deal gets inked you're going to need those files to recount all the events.