Friday, April 30, 2010

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: Seven Bikes- Eight People

As d.p. and I raced backwards on the course, we got a text message from Joe Meiser, "Who is still in?" I was in the process of tapping out my reply when the cell rang. It was Joe. He repeated his question. I knew his ruse right away.

<===John Gorilla with d.p. at the finish.

He was really saying, If anyone is still in the race, we're rolling. If not, we're done too. I told Joe besides he and Gorilla there were six people and five bikes still going. But..............we were calling the event.

"So, you're calling the event, right?", came Joe's reply. I confirmed that indeed we were. I asked him where they were at and Joe told me they were at the "EV Malt Shop" in North English. It was just after seven in the evening.

<===Corey, "Cornbread" Godfrey at the finish.

We took off now on blacktops to cut the time into North English. Our concern now was that riders may pass by the EV Malt Shop and that we would be left scrambling around in the dark tracking folks down. It was raining steadily now, and the winds were picking up more, just like the forcast we heard said that they would.

We got to North English about 7:30pm. Joe and John confirmed that they had not seen anyone else come up the street, which was on the route. We had made it in time! It was only 25 miles past Checkpoint#2, and Joe told us that it took he and John 2.5 hours to get there. Brutal!



<===Matt Braun was the only single speeder to get this far.

Joe mentioned that we would have to go to the convenience store to finish the event since the malt shop was about to close. However; the proprieter
overheard our conversations, and offered to stay open to allow us to get the riders off the road! We were floored by the offer, and gladly accepted.

Once we had all seven bikes and eight people off the road, d.p. and I got our wet, cold selves inside where we found that the owner had re-opened the kitchen and his help was serving food and hot chocolates to the weary riders! This was amazing!


<====Free hot chocolate re-fills anyone?

Not only that, but the riders were guided out back where the owner had hooked up a garden hose to hot water for the riders to de-mud themselves and their bikes with.

Iowa is an amazing place with amazing people!

I was floored by all of it and I thanked the owner several times. He was extremely humble and even offered to be open for a future Trans Iowa should we ever come around again! I don't think he quite understands that he may have more than eight people though! At any rate, it was a heartwarming scene and I was totally grateful to these kind folks at the EV Malt Shop in North English, Iowa.

<===Eric Brunt enjoys a recovery meal of ice cream, fries and hot chocolate at the EV Malt Shop.

By this time, several folks had arrived to assist in getting the riders back to Grinnell. Our Checkpoint#3 folks were there along with some others to help out. By about 8:45pm, we were heading back to Grinnell in a driving rain and wind that was sketchy on pavement. d.p. and I knew we had made the right decision and we were glad to have everyone safe and sound.

That was it for the most part. Trans Iowa V6 was in the books. It is always bittersweet to have this event end, and especially so with a shortened course. However; there was really nothing else for it. Riders we pulled were showing early signs of exposure, the roads were treacherous and would only grow worse. Navigating in the dark around our re-routes would prove to be a sketchy prospect, and we didn't want riders getting lost in that terrible weather. Besides, we thought we wouldn't make it! Driving on these roads was proving to be downright dangerous in its own right!

So we felt bad about it, but we also felt very, very relieved and we believed we were doing the right thing. In the end, riders we have had contact with confirmed this. It just is what it is. But we still had time left in the weekend and we knew what we were going to do. To the barn!

Next: The Post-Race Events.

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: Seven Bikes- Eight People

As d.p. and I raced backwards on the course, we got a text message from Joe Meiser, "Who is still in?" I was in the process of tapping out my reply when the cell rang. It was Joe. He repeated his question. I knew his ruse right away.

<===John Gorilla with d.p. at the finish.

He was really saying, If anyone is still in the race, we're rolling. If not, we're done too. I told Joe besides he and Gorilla there were six people and five bikes still going. But..............we were calling the event.

"So, you're calling the event, right?", came Joe's reply. I confirmed that indeed we were. I asked him where they were at and Joe told me they were at the "EV Malt Shop" in North English. It was just after seven in the evening.

<===Corey, "Cornbread" Godfrey at the finish.

We took off now on blacktops to cut the time into North English. Our concern now was that riders may pass by the EV Malt Shop and that we would be left scrambling around in the dark tracking folks down. It was raining steadily now, and the winds were picking up more, just like the forcast we heard said that they would.

We got to North English about 7:30pm. Joe and John confirmed that they had not seen anyone else come up the street, which was on the route. We had made it in time! It was only 25 miles past Checkpoint#2, and Joe told us that it took he and John 2.5 hours to get there. Brutal!



<===Matt Braun was the only single speeder to get this far.

Joe mentioned that we would have to go to the convenience store to finish the event since the malt shop was about to close. However; the proprieter
overheard our conversations, and offered to stay open to allow us to get the riders off the road! We were floored by the offer, and gladly accepted.

Once we had all seven bikes and eight people off the road, d.p. and I got our wet, cold selves inside where we found that the owner had re-opened the kitchen and his help was serving food and hot chocolates to the weary riders! This was amazing!


<====Free hot chocolate re-fills anyone?

Not only that, but the riders were guided out back where the owner had hooked up a garden hose to hot water for the riders to de-mud themselves and their bikes with.

Iowa is an amazing place with amazing people!

I was floored by all of it and I thanked the owner several times. He was extremely humble and even offered to be open for a future Trans Iowa should we ever come around again! I don't think he quite understands that he may have more than eight people though! At any rate, it was a heartwarming scene and I was totally grateful to these kind folks at the EV Malt Shop in North English, Iowa.

<===Eric Brunt enjoys a recovery meal of ice cream, fries and hot chocolate at the EV Malt Shop.

By this time, several folks had arrived to assist in getting the riders back to Grinnell. Our Checkpoint#3 folks were there along with some others to help out. By about 8:45pm, we were heading back to Grinnell in a driving rain and wind that was sketchy on pavement. d.p. and I knew we had made the right decision and we were glad to have everyone safe and sound.

That was it for the most part. Trans Iowa V6 was in the books. It is always bittersweet to have this event end, and especially so with a shortened course. However; there was really nothing else for it. Riders we pulled were showing early signs of exposure, the roads were treacherous and would only grow worse. Navigating in the dark around our re-routes would prove to be a sketchy prospect, and we didn't want riders getting lost in that terrible weather. Besides, we thought we wouldn't make it! Driving on these roads was proving to be downright dangerous in its own right!

So we felt bad about it, but we also felt very, very relieved and we believed we were doing the right thing. In the end, riders we have had contact with confirmed this. It just is what it is. But we still had time left in the weekend and we knew what we were going to do. To the barn!

Next: The Post-Race Events.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: The Unravelling

As the afternoon wore on we were more concerned with the potential weather situation. d.p. and I knew that it was only a matter of time before too much rain would make the roads so bad that we would see riders missing cut offs. 

<===Ditch to Ditch mud hole on the way to Checkpoint #2

When we arrived back at Checkpoint#2 we saw all the volunteers and they had the tent set up, ready to go. This checkpoint closed at 5pm and on a normal day with normal roads, the lead group would have been there and gone by 2pm. Not today! It was closing in on 4pm and we hadn't seen anyone show up yet when d.p. and I decided to head out to do some re-routing. 

We knew we had to remove about 4 miles of B road to speed things up going into Checkpoint#3. The time allotment was originally longer for this section anyway due to the tough nature and amount of the B roads in that section. With the rain and road conditions we had, they would be a killer on time. Fortunately we had learned a thing or two putting on 5 previous Trans Iowas!

<===Making a Trans Iowa Radio post at Checkpoint#2: image by Kevin Wilson

d.p. and I left word with our volunteers to let folks coming through know to look for re-routes and then we bugged out. It wasn't long afterwards that we were caught in a downpour. It rained really hard! We found out later a lot of the riders were also caught in the same shower. We were extremely concerned, but it let up and quit, so we forged ahead. The roads actually were some of the best we had run across all day in the sector we had to re-route onto. We were encouraged for a time by this. The winds were picking up out of the East-Northeast though, and the feeling was ominous

Meanwhile we were getting word that something big was going on at Checkpoint#2. Meiser, Gorilla, and the rest of the chase group had arrived sometime after 4pm and were having a debate under the tent in What Cheer. It was raining pretty steadily there and the riders seemed to be considering dropping out of the race en-masse. That would have been an unprecedented event, and d.p. and I wondered at this news.
<===The debate at Checkpoint#2: image by Kevin Wilson.

Still, we had a job to do and we had to get going up the road. We had just completed the first re-route sector and we were re-fueling the Element while I made another Trans Iowa Radio update. Then it was off to the B road sectors closer to Checkpoint#3. We were in constant communication with volunteers from both Checkpoint #2 and #3 during this time and we were also getting reports on the weather from various sources. We were really busy!
The news wasn't very good either, on the weather front anyway. The winds were forcast to increase to 30mph with higher gusts and the rain was going to kick back in and stay all night. We were very concerned, and then it happened.

<===Charlie Farrow @ Checkpoint#2: image by Kevin Wilson.


Rain. No.......not just any rain. Rain of biblical proportions. We couldn't even see to drive and had to park the Element on the gravel and wait it out. The rain bounced up off the gravel in sheets it was hitting the ground so hard. It was amazing!  I looked at d.p. and asked if he really wanted to continue to drive in these conditions. He said no, of course. We had been fighting to stay on the road all day. Several times we were nearly stuck and a couple of other times we narrowly missed going into the ditch. It was harrowing in the daytime, we couldn't imagine doing it in the driving rain, with high winds, in the dark. No. We were ending the event. It was madness to keep going not only for us, but for the riders as well. We debated a couple of scenarios to end with, the d.p. advised that we should backtrack the course to see where the riders were. 

We had heard that the chase group had indeed dropped out of the event in What Cheer and were getting rides to Grinnell arranged for themselves. Gorilla and Meiser continued, of course. But then we heard something we were quite amazed by. A few riders that we thought had no chance of making the Checkpoint#2 cut off not only made it but rolled right on through and were still on the road! We had eight riders and seven bikes to worry about now. 

Next: Eight Riders- Seven Bikes

                                                      

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: The Unravelling

As the afternoon wore on we were more concerned with the potential weather situation. d.p. and I knew that it was only a matter of time before too much rain would make the roads so bad that we would see riders missing cut offs. 

<===Ditch to Ditch mud hole on the way to Checkpoint #2

When we arrived back at Checkpoint#2 we saw all the volunteers and they had the tent set up, ready to go. This checkpoint closed at 5pm and on a normal day with normal roads, the lead group would have been there and gone by 2pm. Not today! It was closing in on 4pm and we hadn't seen anyone show up yet when d.p. and I decided to head out to do some re-routing. 

We knew we had to remove about 4 miles of B road to speed things up going into Checkpoint#3. The time allotment was originally longer for this section anyway due to the tough nature and amount of the B roads in that section. With the rain and road conditions we had, they would be a killer on time. Fortunately we had learned a thing or two putting on 5 previous Trans Iowas!

<===Making a Trans Iowa Radio post at Checkpoint#2: image by Kevin Wilson

d.p. and I left word with our volunteers to let folks coming through know to look for re-routes and then we bugged out. It wasn't long afterwards that we were caught in a downpour. It rained really hard! We found out later a lot of the riders were also caught in the same shower. We were extremely concerned, but it let up and quit, so we forged ahead. The roads actually were some of the best we had run across all day in the sector we had to re-route onto. We were encouraged for a time by this. The winds were picking up out of the East-Northeast though, and the feeling was ominous

Meanwhile we were getting word that something big was going on at Checkpoint#2. Meiser, Gorilla, and the rest of the chase group had arrived sometime after 4pm and were having a debate under the tent in What Cheer. It was raining pretty steadily there and the riders seemed to be considering dropping out of the race en-masse. That would have been an unprecedented event, and d.p. and I wondered at this news.
<===The debate at Checkpoint#2: image by Kevin Wilson.

Still, we had a job to do and we had to get going up the road. We had just completed the first re-route sector and we were re-fueling the Element while I made another Trans Iowa Radio update. Then it was off to the B road sectors closer to Checkpoint#3. We were in constant communication with volunteers from both Checkpoint #2 and #3 during this time and we were also getting reports on the weather from various sources. We were really busy!
The news wasn't very good either, on the weather front anyway. The winds were forcast to increase to 30mph with higher gusts and the rain was going to kick back in and stay all night. We were very concerned, and then it happened.

<===Charlie Farrow @ Checkpoint#2: image by Kevin Wilson.


Rain. No.......not just any rain. Rain of biblical proportions. We couldn't even see to drive and had to park the Element on the gravel and wait it out. The rain bounced up off the gravel in sheets it was hitting the ground so hard. It was amazing!  I looked at d.p. and asked if he really wanted to continue to drive in these conditions. He said no, of course. We had been fighting to stay on the road all day. Several times we were nearly stuck and a couple of other times we narrowly missed going into the ditch. It was harrowing in the daytime, we couldn't imagine doing it in the driving rain, with high winds, in the dark. No. We were ending the event. It was madness to keep going not only for us, but for the riders as well. We debated a couple of scenarios to end with, the d.p. advised that we should backtrack the course to see where the riders were. 

We had heard that the chase group had indeed dropped out of the event in What Cheer and were getting rides to Grinnell arranged for themselves. Gorilla and Meiser continued, of course. But then we heard something we were quite amazed by. A few riders that we thought had no chance of making the Checkpoint#2 cut off not only made it but rolled right on through and were still on the road! We had eight riders and seven bikes to worry about now. 

Next: Eight Riders- Seven Bikes

                                                      

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: A Ray Of Sunshine

Hope rises in the morning, they say, and we certainly were feeling more hopeful as we saw the leaders come into Checkpoint#1. They were later than we imagined. The rain and B Road really put a dent into the their progress and time left was slim. d.p. and I knew that there would be many that wouldn't make the cut off.

That said, the sun was out, the winds had died down somewhat, and it looked as though it might allow for the roads to firm up later on in the day. We stuck around for a bit after the leaders took off and then we set out to chase them down and continue our check on the roads and directions.

Here is the lead group on their way out of Checkpoint#1. (Click on the pic) Notice the tire tracks? Yeah........soft, soupy, and like peanut butter.  d.p, and I could see that this was going to be a really tough Trans Iowa.

We passed the leaders and then we were on to the western reaches of the course. The hills were many, the roads were really soft and bad here, and the views........incredible. There is something about a rain washed sky, wet landscape, and springtime that is really beautiful. But, I doubt the racers were looking longingly at the bucolic countryside of Iowa. Something told me that there was a lot of grinding of teeth about now.

The roads were so bad that we were wondering in some spots how to negotiate the mud holes that had developed from the mutitudinous dust holes we saw here just weeks ago. The Element pitched, swayed, and spat mud high into the air. At one point I remarked that if we continued to have spring road conditions in Iowa like this, we should promote a rally car race! It would be epic.

Well, we weren't doing a rally car race, although it felt like it at times. We were checking out roads and trying to gather information. We were getting DNF calls and texts. I knew we would, but when Checkpoint#1 volunteers told us 30 riders failed to make the cut off, I was a bit stunned. The gravity of how tough this event was this time settled in, and d.p. and I knew that another blow from "Mother Nature" would knock Trans Iowa down for the count this time. The event was teetering on the edge of collapse, and only a respite from clouds and rain were going to salvage something from what we had to deal with. Of course, we had dealt with bad situations before, so we soldiered on content in knowing we had experiences to draw from that would perhaps be valuable once again. It didn't help the bad feeling in the pit of my gut that had been there for hours though!

<====Jeremy Fry and Joe Mann refueling at Pella.

We raced ahead all the way to Checkpoint#2 and confirmed that almost all the sections we had chosen were doable. We only needed to re-route around one really bad B Road just outside of Pella Iowa that was an all clay mire which would be a bit treacherous to walk due to the grade of the road. We marked it off on the way out to Checkpoint #2, but we had thought we should get back to man the corner where the re-route started to make sure the riders saw the flagging.

As we approached the corner, we saw the chase group just behind Meiser and Gorilla taking the "wrong turn", only they didn't know it. We chased them down and set them straight. Whew! Now what about Meiser and Gorilla? Well, we saw the tell tale footprints in the mud, indicating that we were too late. We found out later that by the time we saw those footprints they were already gone down the road.

<===Jay and Tracey Petervary's "Love Shack"

Afterwards, d.p, and I went to Pella to find any riders we thought would make the cut off at Checkpoint #2 and warn them of the re-route. When we saw that time was running out on the riders coming into town yet, we high tailed it back to Checkpoint#2 to watch what might happen with the event. By this time the clouds were building back in, and I think we both knew it was a matter of time before the skies unleashed their fury on the hills and dales of Iowa's countryside again. By 2:00pm we were getting into some drizzly showers. Hope against hope, we waited to see what we would be dealing with, and how far the riders would get before the inevitable happened.

Next: The Unravelling

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: A Ray Of Sunshine

Hope rises in the morning, they say, and we certainly were feeling more hopeful as we saw the leaders come into Checkpoint#1. They were later than we imagined. The rain and B Road really put a dent into the their progress and time left was slim. d.p. and I knew that there would be many that wouldn't make the cut off.

That said, the sun was out, the winds had died down somewhat, and it looked as though it might allow for the roads to firm up later on in the day. We stuck around for a bit after the leaders took off and then we set out to chase them down and continue our check on the roads and directions.

Here is the lead group on their way out of Checkpoint#1. (Click on the pic) Notice the tire tracks? Yeah........soft, soupy, and like peanut butter.  d.p, and I could see that this was going to be a really tough Trans Iowa.

We passed the leaders and then we were on to the western reaches of the course. The hills were many, the roads were really soft and bad here, and the views........incredible. There is something about a rain washed sky, wet landscape, and springtime that is really beautiful. But, I doubt the racers were looking longingly at the bucolic countryside of Iowa. Something told me that there was a lot of grinding of teeth about now.

The roads were so bad that we were wondering in some spots how to negotiate the mud holes that had developed from the mutitudinous dust holes we saw here just weeks ago. The Element pitched, swayed, and spat mud high into the air. At one point I remarked that if we continued to have spring road conditions in Iowa like this, we should promote a rally car race! It would be epic.

Well, we weren't doing a rally car race, although it felt like it at times. We were checking out roads and trying to gather information. We were getting DNF calls and texts. I knew we would, but when Checkpoint#1 volunteers told us 30 riders failed to make the cut off, I was a bit stunned. The gravity of how tough this event was this time settled in, and d.p. and I knew that another blow from "Mother Nature" would knock Trans Iowa down for the count this time. The event was teetering on the edge of collapse, and only a respite from clouds and rain were going to salvage something from what we had to deal with. Of course, we had dealt with bad situations before, so we soldiered on content in knowing we had experiences to draw from that would perhaps be valuable once again. It didn't help the bad feeling in the pit of my gut that had been there for hours though!

<====Jeremy Fry and Joe Mann refueling at Pella.

We raced ahead all the way to Checkpoint#2 and confirmed that almost all the sections we had chosen were doable. We only needed to re-route around one really bad B Road just outside of Pella Iowa that was an all clay mire which would be a bit treacherous to walk due to the grade of the road. We marked it off on the way out to Checkpoint #2, but we had thought we should get back to man the corner where the re-route started to make sure the riders saw the flagging.

As we approached the corner, we saw the chase group just behind Meiser and Gorilla taking the "wrong turn", only they didn't know it. We chased them down and set them straight. Whew! Now what about Meiser and Gorilla? Well, we saw the tell tale footprints in the mud, indicating that we were too late. We found out later that by the time we saw those footprints they were already gone down the road.

<===Jay and Tracey Petervary's "Love Shack"

Afterwards, d.p, and I went to Pella to find any riders we thought would make the cut off at Checkpoint #2 and warn them of the re-route. When we saw that time was running out on the riders coming into town yet, we high tailed it back to Checkpoint#2 to watch what might happen with the event. By this time the clouds were building back in, and I think we both knew it was a matter of time before the skies unleashed their fury on the hills and dales of Iowa's countryside again. By 2:00pm we were getting into some drizzly showers. Hope against hope, we waited to see what we would be dealing with, and how far the riders would get before the inevitable happened.

Next: The Unravelling

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: The Start And The Beginning Of The End

I probably slept better than I had before any Trans Iowa, but that isn't saying that I got a great nights rest either! Any way you slice it, 2:30am is pretty early.

d.p. and I along with Daryl Pals and Mark Pals made our way down to the start area in front of Bikes To You. On the way down, we saw Steve Fuller riding to the start with a heavy bag he was carting down for another racer. We stopped and offered to carry it for him, which he gladly let us do. Then we were off again. When we arrived at a little after 3:00 am there were bikers there already! Guess some people are like d.p. and I and can't sleep well before a Trans Iowa, eh? At any rate, we were able to spend some time with those who were hanging out before the start.

Craig Cooper of Bikes To You and Rob Versteegh of Oakley spent the night in the bike shop's trailer and after everyone got down there Craig fired up the generator and we had great lighting at the start area which was really nice. (Thanks Craig!!) Bikes To You also allowed us to use some pop up tents for our checkpoints which turned out to be a really good thing!

Well, it wasn't long before we had everyone down there and ready to go. I had to have everyone sign the waiver at the last minute, which was unplanned because I had originally wanted that done at the Pre-Race, but I had forgotten about it! (Whoops!) That put us about three minutes in arrears on time, but it wouldn't matter in the end. While everyone was trying to sign on, I had a bit of a warning to the racers about the downhills. After I finished, Odia, the wife of Salsa Cycles Tim Krueger, said that I sounded like a father leaving his sons in charge of the house for the weekend. Ha! I resemble that remark too!

Well, once d.p. hit the horn on the Element we were off. The roll out was longish, due to the fact we were in the heart of Grinnell and had to get the riders to the first gravel road before we pulled off.

Once we did, the lights and commotion of the start were replaced by the tomb-like darkness and a thick blanket of fog. We could only see what the headlights illuminated, otherwise we were bouncing down the road in solitude and silence.

The roads were pretty sticky and gooey for the first miles. Worse than we had seen the night before. d.p. reckoned that a lot of riders had torn the beginning sector up reconning it after the pre-race. It looked to be true, as after a few miles the roads got a bit better. That was soon forgotten though when we started seeing flashes of light. Trying to believe it was just micro-wave towers went out the window when we saw an obvious big flash which couldn't be mistaken for anything other than lightning. The worry level went way up!

Then after waiting on an overpass for any signs of the leaders, we took off and found a car parked backwards on the course with a bike rack on it. uh-huh.......hmmmm..... Then a text comes on my phone from Paul Jacobson, " that was me". So that turned out to be our pair of "eyes" to watch for the leaders. Paul texted not long after when they came by him. They were doing close to an 18mph average over the first 20 hilly, gooey miles. Amazing!

It wouldn't last though. The rain unleashed its fury upon the course with strong, amazing blasts of lightning all around, but not on the course. It was getting pretty close to shutting us down though, and as we crawled along some discussion was had to what we would do about ending the event. About that time we noticed that the fog disappeared. Shreds of blue sky could be seen coming our way, and the rain was stopping. Maybe we would get this event in after all!

But the damage had been done. We were told that the thunderstorms had dumped up to an inch of rain in that short time. Water was standing on the roads, and of course, the B Maintenance roads would be unrideable.

<===image by Steve Fuller.

T.I. vets knew not to even try and ride these sections, but others not so well versed ended up with a real time sucking situation on their hands. Unfortunately, fully over a half of the field was wiped out before Checkpoint #1  due to the conditions which prevented them from making the 8am time cut. So it was that the event started to take on the look of T.I.V2. Would anyone make Checkpoint#2? Would the weather improve enough for the riders to make up time? These were the questions on our minds as we drove off on into the section between Checkpoint"1 and Checkpoint#2.

Next: A Ray Of Sunshine

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: The Start And The Beginning Of The End

I probably slept better than I had before any Trans Iowa, but that isn't saying that I got a great nights rest either! Any way you slice it, 2:30am is pretty early.

d.p. and I along with Daryl Pals and Mark Pals made our way down to the start area in front of Bikes To You. On the way down, we saw Steve Fuller riding to the start with a heavy bag he was carting down for another racer. We stopped and offered to carry it for him, which he gladly let us do. Then we were off again. When we arrived at a little after 3:00 am there were bikers there already! Guess some people are like d.p. and I and can't sleep well before a Trans Iowa, eh? At any rate, we were able to spend some time with those who were hanging out before the start.

Craig Cooper of Bikes To You and Rob Versteegh of Oakley spent the night in the bike shop's trailer and after everyone got down there Craig fired up the generator and we had great lighting at the start area which was really nice. (Thanks Craig!!) Bikes To You also allowed us to use some pop up tents for our checkpoints which turned out to be a really good thing!

Well, it wasn't long before we had everyone down there and ready to go. I had to have everyone sign the waiver at the last minute, which was unplanned because I had originally wanted that done at the Pre-Race, but I had forgotten about it! (Whoops!) That put us about three minutes in arrears on time, but it wouldn't matter in the end. While everyone was trying to sign on, I had a bit of a warning to the racers about the downhills. After I finished, Odia, the wife of Salsa Cycles Tim Krueger, said that I sounded like a father leaving his sons in charge of the house for the weekend. Ha! I resemble that remark too!

Well, once d.p. hit the horn on the Element we were off. The roll out was longish, due to the fact we were in the heart of Grinnell and had to get the riders to the first gravel road before we pulled off.

Once we did, the lights and commotion of the start were replaced by the tomb-like darkness and a thick blanket of fog. We could only see what the headlights illuminated, otherwise we were bouncing down the road in solitude and silence.

The roads were pretty sticky and gooey for the first miles. Worse than we had seen the night before. d.p. reckoned that a lot of riders had torn the beginning sector up reconning it after the pre-race. It looked to be true, as after a few miles the roads got a bit better. That was soon forgotten though when we started seeing flashes of light. Trying to believe it was just micro-wave towers went out the window when we saw an obvious big flash which couldn't be mistaken for anything other than lightning. The worry level went way up!

Then after waiting on an overpass for any signs of the leaders, we took off and found a car parked backwards on the course with a bike rack on it. uh-huh.......hmmmm..... Then a text comes on my phone from Paul Jacobson, " that was me". So that turned out to be our pair of "eyes" to watch for the leaders. Paul texted not long after when they came by him. They were doing close to an 18mph average over the first 20 hilly, gooey miles. Amazing!

It wouldn't last though. The rain unleashed its fury upon the course with strong, amazing blasts of lightning all around, but not on the course. It was getting pretty close to shutting us down though, and as we crawled along some discussion was had to what we would do about ending the event. About that time we noticed that the fog disappeared. Shreds of blue sky could be seen coming our way, and the rain was stopping. Maybe we would get this event in after all!

But the damage had been done. We were told that the thunderstorms had dumped up to an inch of rain in that short time. Water was standing on the roads, and of course, the B Maintenance roads would be unrideable.

<===image by Steve Fuller.

T.I. vets knew not to even try and ride these sections, but others not so well versed ended up with a real time sucking situation on their hands. Unfortunately, fully over a half of the field was wiped out before Checkpoint #1  due to the conditions which prevented them from making the 8am time cut. So it was that the event started to take on the look of T.I.V2. Would anyone make Checkpoint#2? Would the weather improve enough for the riders to make up time? These were the questions on our minds as we drove off on into the section between Checkpoint"1 and Checkpoint#2.

Next: A Ray Of Sunshine

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: Pre-Race Meat-Up

Getting There: The story of Trans Iowa V6 started off with a drive in the "Truck Without A Name" to Grinnell in the rain. I was doing okay, blasting some tunes, when a van tried to pass me and then slip between myself and the feed truck/semi in front of me at 60mph. Yeah, they about put me in the ditch! Nice!

<===Pre-race scene: image by Kevin Wilson

Well, without further trauma I got there and when I pulled into town, d.p. called me and we met in Bikes To You in Grinnell's downtown area. We hung out and talked to Coop, the owner, and then we hit up some grub. Finally we decided to go to the motel and get our room. There we met Kevin Wilson who has a bicycle consulting business, and we all chatted for a bit.

We three then went out and checked on a bridge over I-80 that was in question. It turned out that it was not a bridge, but an underpass and it was fine. After purchasing a new rain jacket back in town at Bikes To You, it was on to getting set up for the Pre-Race Meat-Up. The volunteers were great and we had more help than we needed. Things were going smoothly, really.


The gig was at The Grinnell Steakhouse which was an awesome place. Very nice inside, with our own room which was quite perfect and the service was incredible. Everyone was to "grill yer own" vittles which was a great way for the racers to meet each other.

<====Kill it and Grill it! : image by Ryan Carlson

The meeting was fun and went well. Afterwards we hit the motel and got some short but sweet shut eye.
Much of the talk was about the weather, of course, and we felt sure that with forecasts calling for minimal amounts of rain on Saturday that we'd be okay. As we left the Meat-Up, we noticed that the air temperature was rather warm for that time of year, and there was much fog, even with a stiff breeze. Something felt odd about all this, but at the time, we were more concerned with rest.

Tomorrow: The Start and The Beginning Of The End.

Trans Iowa V6 Race Report: Pre-Race Meat-Up

Getting There: The story of Trans Iowa V6 started off with a drive in the "Truck Without A Name" to Grinnell in the rain. I was doing okay, blasting some tunes, when a van tried to pass me and then slip between myself and the feed truck/semi in front of me at 60mph. Yeah, they about put me in the ditch! Nice!

<===Pre-race scene: image by Kevin Wilson

Well, without further trauma I got there and when I pulled into town, d.p. called me and we met in Bikes To You in Grinnell's downtown area. We hung out and talked to Coop, the owner, and then we hit up some grub. Finally we decided to go to the motel and get our room. There we met Kevin Wilson who has a bicycle consulting business, and we all chatted for a bit.

We three then went out and checked on a bridge over I-80 that was in question. It turned out that it was not a bridge, but an underpass and it was fine. After purchasing a new rain jacket back in town at Bikes To You, it was on to getting set up for the Pre-Race Meat-Up. The volunteers were great and we had more help than we needed. Things were going smoothly, really.


The gig was at The Grinnell Steakhouse which was an awesome place. Very nice inside, with our own room which was quite perfect and the service was incredible. Everyone was to "grill yer own" vittles which was a great way for the racers to meet each other.

<====Kill it and Grill it! : image by Ryan Carlson

The meeting was fun and went well. Afterwards we hit the motel and got some short but sweet shut eye.
Much of the talk was about the weather, of course, and we felt sure that with forecasts calling for minimal amounts of rain on Saturday that we'd be okay. As we left the Meat-Up, we noticed that the air temperature was rather warm for that time of year, and there was much fog, even with a stiff breeze. Something felt odd about all this, but at the time, we were more concerned with rest.

Tomorrow: The Start and The Beginning Of The End.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Mother Nature Wins!"

It's all over. Trans Iowa V6 was epic, crazy, and a total blast from beginning to weather shortened end. I'll have detailed reports coming in the following days, but for now, here are the folks that were still running when we made the cut off at North English, Iowa:

Joe Meiser
John Gorilla
Corey "Cornbread" Godfrey
Matt Braun
Eric Brunt
Jay & Tracey Petervary
Charles Parsons

Congratulations to these riders and all who gutted out even one mile on this crazy, wet, wind blown event this time. Unfortunately, the conditions worsened on Saturday evening to the point that d.p. andI felt it was best for everyone's safety to get off the roads. I'll check in tomorrow with my first report on the event.

"Mother Nature Wins!"

It's all over. Trans Iowa V6 was epic, crazy, and a total blast from beginning to weather shortened end. I'll have detailed reports coming in the following days, but for now, here are the folks that were still running when we made the cut off at North English, Iowa:

Joe Meiser
John Gorilla
Corey "Cornbread" Godfrey
Matt Braun
Eric Brunt
Jay & Tracey Petervary
Charles Parsons

Congratulations to these riders and all who gutted out even one mile on this crazy, wet, wind blown event this time. Unfortunately, the conditions worsened on Saturday evening to the point that d.p. andI felt it was best for everyone's safety to get off the roads. I'll check in tomorrow with my first report on the event.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

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Friday, April 23, 2010

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Trans Iowa V6: Pre-Race

Today will begin my series of reports to be found here on Trans Iowa V6. Today is the staging day. I will be loading up the "Truck Without A Name" and then driving to meet d.p. in Grinnell for some last minute prep before the big shindig at The Grinnell Steakhouse where we will be reuniting with many old friends and meeting a few others for the first time.

This is always the funnest part of the event, in many ways. We all look forward to this "excuse" to get together, hang out briefly, and pedal some bicycles for a really long time the next day or two. The pre-race is really too short, in many ways, but it is what it is. You can always sense the cameraderie, the nervousness, and the excitement in the air at these gatherings. It's just the tip of the iceberg though.

For those who wonder, I usually get up and say a few words, then we "call up" each racer individually, hand them their race packet, and then most will rush out of the room to peel out the first cues and look at their maps to see where we are headed. Then they look at the weather for the umpteenth millionth time, futz with their equipment, and second guess their set ups until it is time for lights out.

The alarm always comes too early to signal that your fitful nights "sleep", (if it can be called that), is over and it is time to suit up and toe the line. Then you see them coming. A few at first, then by bunches. Blinking lights, red and white. Twinkling off in the distance as they stream towards the start line. Some will be dropped off by car, no doubt, especially this year if it is raining. Then I will call for them to line up behind the truck. I'll give them some last minute "blessings", toot my horn at 4am sharp, and d.p. and I will lead out the throng of riders to the first gravel road sector.

That's a spectacle that few ever get to see, but is well worth it. One of my favorite parts of Trans Iowa.

That's it in a nutshell. Everything that leads up to the start of Trans Iowa V6.  For updates on what I see out there, you might check into Twitter @ guitated1961, or search for Tweets with the #tiv6 tag. There probably won't be any audio-blogging since all the free sites are defunct. So if you were looking for me to do that, I won't be. Sorry! If you are racing in Trans Iowa, we encourage you to Tweet up your experiences and to hash tag the messages you Tweet with #tiv6 . It'll be fun, and a great way for folks to follow along from several vantage points.


Otherwise ya'all will have to wait patiently until Sunday night for a very brief report, or be lucky enough to be hanging out at The Barn where occaisional feeds will be phoned in to the folks there.

See ya on the other side!

Trans Iowa V6: Pre-Race

Today will begin my series of reports to be found here on Trans Iowa V6. Today is the staging day. I will be loading up the "Truck Without A Name" and then driving to meet d.p. in Grinnell for some last minute prep before the big shindig at The Grinnell Steakhouse where we will be reuniting with many old friends and meeting a few others for the first time.

This is always the funnest part of the event, in many ways. We all look forward to this "excuse" to get together, hang out briefly, and pedal some bicycles for a really long time the next day or two. The pre-race is really too short, in many ways, but it is what it is. You can always sense the cameraderie, the nervousness, and the excitement in the air at these gatherings. It's just the tip of the iceberg though.

For those who wonder, I usually get up and say a few words, then we "call up" each racer individually, hand them their race packet, and then most will rush out of the room to peel out the first cues and look at their maps to see where we are headed. Then they look at the weather for the umpteenth millionth time, futz with their equipment, and second guess their set ups until it is time for lights out.

The alarm always comes too early to signal that your fitful nights "sleep", (if it can be called that), is over and it is time to suit up and toe the line. Then you see them coming. A few at first, then by bunches. Blinking lights, red and white. Twinkling off in the distance as they stream towards the start line. Some will be dropped off by car, no doubt, especially this year if it is raining. Then I will call for them to line up behind the truck. I'll give them some last minute "blessings", toot my horn at 4am sharp, and d.p. and I will lead out the throng of riders to the first gravel road sector.

That's a spectacle that few ever get to see, but is well worth it. One of my favorite parts of Trans Iowa.

That's it in a nutshell. Everything that leads up to the start of Trans Iowa V6.  For updates on what I see out there, you might check into Twitter @ guitated1961, or search for Tweets with the #tiv6 tag. There probably won't be any audio-blogging since all the free sites are defunct. So if you were looking for me to do that, I won't be. Sorry! If you are racing in Trans Iowa, we encourage you to Tweet up your experiences and to hash tag the messages you Tweet with #tiv6 . It'll be fun, and a great way for folks to follow along from several vantage points.


Otherwise ya'all will have to wait patiently until Sunday night for a very brief report, or be lucky enough to be hanging out at The Barn where occaisional feeds will be phoned in to the folks there.

See ya on the other side!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One More Day!

Okay, the e-mail has been flying back and forth. The workers are working, and the bits are coming into place for T.I.V6 .

Here are a few more thoughts from my wearied brain.........

As I have mentioned, there will be a barn where the event will host the finish line, the awards, and also will play host to support folks Saturday evening through to the end. It will be where we are phoning in updates, and this will be the only source of info during the event. Okay, just to let you know, the place will be warm, dry, and it has electricity, but................. IT IS A BARN. Basically it has wooden walls and a concrete floor with a ton of open space.

This means you will need to bring chairs to sit in, if you plan on hanging out. There will be refreshments and munchies, but you can bring whatcha want to eat and drink. There will be a campfire, (weather permitting), and some other fun. Bring a guitar. Sing dirges in the dark. Wonder at the spectacle that is Trans Iowa!
Finally, the barn has NO RESTROOM. The Jacb Krumm Nature Preserve, just about a quarter mile away, where you will be parking your cars, does have a restroom that will be unlocked and at our disposal. By the way, the road to the barn may not be driveable if it is wet, so please do not attempt to park near the barn.

There will be instructions on how to get there in each racers packet that will be distributed at the Pre-Race Meat-Up.

__________________

Weather Update: Some folks are crying, "Remember T.I.V2!!" already. The rain factor has them freaked out through and through. Look.........here's the deal: That year it rained for several days prior to the event. It didn't rain the day before, but the rains had done the damage already. Today is Thursday. It hasn't rained on the course yet. It isn't supposed to rain on the course until Friday, and it really needs to be rained on!! We've been on it, and the extent of the dust holes is unimaginable until you've seen them. Rain could pack it down. Saturday is forcast to be hit and miss thunder showers. Saturday night the rain chances increase a bit. How fast you go will determine much of your success or lack thereof. One good thing: The winds are forecast to be less than previously thought.
 
Okay, that's all for today. A final word before I go to T.I.V6 will be on tap for tomorrow...........

One More Day!

Okay, the e-mail has been flying back and forth. The workers are working, and the bits are coming into place for T.I.V6 .

Here are a few more thoughts from my wearied brain.........

As I have mentioned, there will be a barn where the event will host the finish line, the awards, and also will play host to support folks Saturday evening through to the end. It will be where we are phoning in updates, and this will be the only source of info during the event. Okay, just to let you know, the place will be warm, dry, and it has electricity, but................. IT IS A BARN. Basically it has wooden walls and a concrete floor with a ton of open space.

This means you will need to bring chairs to sit in, if you plan on hanging out. There will be refreshments and munchies, but you can bring whatcha want to eat and drink. There will be a campfire, (weather permitting), and some other fun. Bring a guitar. Sing dirges in the dark. Wonder at the spectacle that is Trans Iowa!
Finally, the barn has NO RESTROOM. The Jacb Krumm Nature Preserve, just about a quarter mile away, where you will be parking your cars, does have a restroom that will be unlocked and at our disposal. By the way, the road to the barn may not be driveable if it is wet, so please do not attempt to park near the barn.

There will be instructions on how to get there in each racers packet that will be distributed at the Pre-Race Meat-Up.

__________________

Weather Update: Some folks are crying, "Remember T.I.V2!!" already. The rain factor has them freaked out through and through. Look.........here's the deal: That year it rained for several days prior to the event. It didn't rain the day before, but the rains had done the damage already. Today is Thursday. It hasn't rained on the course yet. It isn't supposed to rain on the course until Friday, and it really needs to be rained on!! We've been on it, and the extent of the dust holes is unimaginable until you've seen them. Rain could pack it down. Saturday is forcast to be hit and miss thunder showers. Saturday night the rain chances increase a bit. How fast you go will determine much of your success or lack thereof. One good thing: The winds are forecast to be less than previously thought.
 
Okay, that's all for today. A final word before I go to T.I.V6 will be on tap for tomorrow...........

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trans Iowa V6: Mid-Week Update: Final

Lots of important things to cover today so please pay attention.

Dining Dollars/Welcome Bag: Sheryl Parmley of the Grinnell Chamber Of Commerce told me today that your racer welcome bag is already at the Comfort Inn And Suites in Grinnell. Amongst the information in the packet, you will find an envelope. Note! This is your Dining Dollar certificates!  The Chamber has allotted some of their tourism budget to subsidize your meals while you stay in Grinnell. Two ten dollar certificates are within the envelope. You can use the Dining Dollars at The Grinnell Steakhouse, or any other member of the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce that sells food. Note: These are also for support people and volunteers.

IMPORTANT!! YOU MUST PICK UP THE WELCOME BAG YOURSELF!! We will not be bringing the bags with us to the Meat-Up. You forget, you pay up full price for your meal. Make sure you get the bag at The Comfort Inn and Suites front desk BEFORE you come to the Meat-Up.

Thank You!! Thanks to all who promptly answered my 11th hour question about what you wanted to eat. I appreciated the prompt responses, (from most of you!!)

Cue Sheets: d.p. has feverishly been working, hunched over some micro-sized print on maps, trying to make the cues make sense. A dizzying job of tediousness of the highest order. He has gotten the first draft to me, and I have sent back my suggestions/corrections already. The final major hurdle is almost cleared. What a relief that is!!

Weather And A Word On The Course: Okay, this has been on everyone's minds of late. Rain and wind look to be bearing down on this weekend, just in time for T.I.V6. Here are the factors going in and how poor weather may or may not affect the course.

Roads are dry. REALLY dry! The course has seen no appreciable rain for weeks. The roads really could benefit from some precipitation that would settle the dust and perhaps help to make the dusty holes that have cropped up set up into something less like a sand dune. Rain is forecast to hit on Friday. This looks to be the day that could have the heaviest amounts of precipitation, but it sounds as though it may come in as a hit or miss thing. Saturday and early Sunday look to have a much lesser chance for rain, with only showers on tap both days, and low amounts of total precip are expected. Friday will be the wild card then. As of now, it looks as though close to an inch may fall "if" it falls on course.

The real kicker is going to be the wind, which is forecast to be out of the Southeast to begin with and then turn Northeasterly at the end of Saturday night into Sunday. The winds are expected to be in the 14-20mph range with gusts up to 35mph. Rain may make things difficult, but to my mind, the wind will be what turns out to be the beast that everyone must face this year.

Course re-routes will be a consideration around some B Roads. We do have options to avoid some of them, but not all of them, and we will make on the fly determinations based upon current conditions and with consideration of how the riders are progressing on course. But here is one truth about T.I.V6: You will have to traverse a B Road. It might be unrideable. There may be no ditch to ride in, (most likely not). Be prepared for the worst. In fact, we may not take out any B roads at all! Even if it does rain.

Be Careful! Be Smart! The course we have laid out will have some speedy, fast descents right out of the box. It will be dark. People may be nervous to be up front, or in packs to avoid wind/weather. The roads are not the greatest and with the descents in the dark, it will make for a potentially dangerous situation. Be smart! Don't take unnecesary chances at mile 15 that will end your race. (Like what happened to a guy in T.I.V3)

Be At The Pre-Race Meat-Up On Time! Doors open to our meeting space at 5:00pm Friday and the meeting starts at 6:00pm!! You can't start unless you come to the meeting on time.

Be At The Start On Time! We Start At 4am sharp in front of Bikes To You in downtown Grinnell!!

Can't Come? E-mail me and let me know ASAP! It will save d.p. and I a lot of pre-race effort.

Trans Iowa V6: Mid-Week Update: Final

Lots of important things to cover today so please pay attention.

Dining Dollars/Welcome Bag: Sheryl Parmley of the Grinnell Chamber Of Commerce told me today that your racer welcome bag is already at the Comfort Inn And Suites in Grinnell. Amongst the information in the packet, you will find an envelope. Note! This is your Dining Dollar certificates!  The Chamber has allotted some of their tourism budget to subsidize your meals while you stay in Grinnell. Two ten dollar certificates are within the envelope. You can use the Dining Dollars at The Grinnell Steakhouse, or any other member of the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce that sells food. Note: These are also for support people and volunteers.

IMPORTANT!! YOU MUST PICK UP THE WELCOME BAG YOURSELF!! We will not be bringing the bags with us to the Meat-Up. You forget, you pay up full price for your meal. Make sure you get the bag at The Comfort Inn and Suites front desk BEFORE you come to the Meat-Up.

Thank You!! Thanks to all who promptly answered my 11th hour question about what you wanted to eat. I appreciated the prompt responses, (from most of you!!)

Cue Sheets: d.p. has feverishly been working, hunched over some micro-sized print on maps, trying to make the cues make sense. A dizzying job of tediousness of the highest order. He has gotten the first draft to me, and I have sent back my suggestions/corrections already. The final major hurdle is almost cleared. What a relief that is!!

Weather And A Word On The Course: Okay, this has been on everyone's minds of late. Rain and wind look to be bearing down on this weekend, just in time for T.I.V6. Here are the factors going in and how poor weather may or may not affect the course.

Roads are dry. REALLY dry! The course has seen no appreciable rain for weeks. The roads really could benefit from some precipitation that would settle the dust and perhaps help to make the dusty holes that have cropped up set up into something less like a sand dune. Rain is forecast to hit on Friday. This looks to be the day that could have the heaviest amounts of precipitation, but it sounds as though it may come in as a hit or miss thing. Saturday and early Sunday look to have a much lesser chance for rain, with only showers on tap both days, and low amounts of total precip are expected. Friday will be the wild card then. As of now, it looks as though close to an inch may fall "if" it falls on course.

The real kicker is going to be the wind, which is forecast to be out of the Southeast to begin with and then turn Northeasterly at the end of Saturday night into Sunday. The winds are expected to be in the 14-20mph range with gusts up to 35mph. Rain may make things difficult, but to my mind, the wind will be what turns out to be the beast that everyone must face this year.

Course re-routes will be a consideration around some B Roads. We do have options to avoid some of them, but not all of them, and we will make on the fly determinations based upon current conditions and with consideration of how the riders are progressing on course. But here is one truth about T.I.V6: You will have to traverse a B Road. It might be unrideable. There may be no ditch to ride in, (most likely not). Be prepared for the worst. In fact, we may not take out any B roads at all! Even if it does rain.

Be Careful! Be Smart! The course we have laid out will have some speedy, fast descents right out of the box. It will be dark. People may be nervous to be up front, or in packs to avoid wind/weather. The roads are not the greatest and with the descents in the dark, it will make for a potentially dangerous situation. Be smart! Don't take unnecesary chances at mile 15 that will end your race. (Like what happened to a guy in T.I.V3)

Be At The Pre-Race Meat-Up On Time! Doors open to our meeting space at 5:00pm Friday and the meeting starts at 6:00pm!! You can't start unless you come to the meeting on time.

Be At The Start On Time! We Start At 4am sharp in front of Bikes To You in downtown Grinnell!!

Can't Come? E-mail me and let me know ASAP! It will save d.p. and I a lot of pre-race effort.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bike Shop Tales: Going To The Show

The recently completed Sea Otter expo and cycling races reminded me of the Big Show and the first time I went......

Being in the cycling industry, or working at a shop back in the 90's meant that the biggest, most sought after "ticket" was the chance to go to Interbike. I had heard about Interbike, read the stories, and knew about the "schwag" to be had by simply walking into the showroom floor. So it was with great excitement and intrepidation that I learned that I was going to my first Interbike at Anaheim, California in 1995.

Intrepidation was a big feeling for me then not only because I hadn't been to a show before, but also because I had never flown anywhere in an airplane before. I wasn't to keen on that aspect of the trip at all! Tom made all the arrangements, and then all I had to do was show up, which was weird, but nice. Heck, I wouldn't have known what to do anyway! One thing is for sure, flying was a whole lot less of a hassle back then!

So, we had to fly out of Cedar Rapids to Minneapolis and then on a straight shot to Anaheim and John Wayne International Airport. Well, we were detained on the runway in the Twin Cities for awhile. The pilot was worried they would close JWI before we got there, as we would be pressing up against their 11pm shutdown time. Well, we made it, barely! I was petrified the whole way, not able to take my grip off my arm rests for the entire 3.5 hour flight. When we finally got to our little hotel room, Tom ran up to a nearby liquor store and got me a 12 pack, which I drained in record time. I was so nervous, I still wasn't drunk, and I couldn't get to sleep until 4am in the morning!

Well, the show was fantastic. I got to see all the latest and greatest stuff, which was amazing. Back then there was no internet coverage, no "instant" access to images or stories. Everything I was seeing and hearing would be "insider info" for at least the next two months, as that was about how long it took for the magazines to get their coverage to print. I felt really priveledged to have been there. It really made the trip special for me, and I am sure for others. Interbike has certainly lost that aspect!

The Anaheim Convention Center was a sprawling complex of several buildings that seemed to go on forever. The big booths and set ups were cool, but my favorite part was the basement where all the weird, marginal, and up and comers were relegated to show their wares. The vendors down there were creative and the weirdness was fun and off the charts. Really nothing that made much of a dent in reality, with a few exceptions, but it was like cycling's version of a circus side show. You knew it was a trainwreck of an idea that was being shown, but you couldn't help but look.

Next Week: I'll be taking the week off next week to use Tuesday for T.I.V6 wrap up. Come back in a couple weeks for some more stories on the Anaheim Interbike of 1995.