I remember when the first Trans Iowa ended and we had only 9 finishers out of 51 starters that there were not a few calls for redemption amongst the cyclists who fell short of the goal. It was my baptism into the endurance world and I just thought it was a shallow statement signifying regret and not much more. Well, the same rumblings were heard after this years event, and signs that guys were going to attempt crossings of the state on their own utilizing old cue sheet sets from T.I. were popping up on different blogs. I even got requests for old cue sheets!
It was inevitable then that someone would actually attempt the thing and talk about it afterwards. In this case, it's T.I. veteran, Jim McGuire by way of another T.I. vet's blog, Dr. Gary Cale's to be exact. There are three episodes to the story. One and Two deal with traveling the T.I. V2 route and Three deals with the T.I.V1 route from Forest City to Decorah.
My observation is that even when this route is attempted in a "more favorable time of year", it still was super tough and yes, weather still played it's part. Which is what I've said all along whenever I've heard complaints about T.I.V2 in particular. Another noteworthy thing was all the gravel road maintenance that Jim encountered, which I've noticed this fall too.
Read this account and see what it takes to overcome the challenge. The '07 event will be about the same mileage, but we're abandoning the point to point format for a single, large loop to better accomodate the riders and event organizers. The drama and suffering will remain the same, if not increase! It should create even more T.I. addicted nutcases just like Jim and Dr.Gary!
RidingGravel.Com: Total Grit
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