Monday, November 01, 2010

Trans Iowa V7: Recon Complete!

In an unprecedented move, we have finished Trans Iowa V7 recon. I'm enjoying writing that. Maybe most of you folks don't understand, but trust me, this is huge.

What you Trans Iowa freaks probably would like to see are some images from the course with some descriptions. Well......okay, I suppose. (But we're done with recon!!)

d.p. and I met at an undisclosed location and set out in the Element to back track some of the proposed course to another point where we were to get our bikes out and do some riding. By the looks of the sunrise, it was going to be an outstanding day on the gravel. It was, and we were astounded by how nice it ended up getting.

As I've said, the fine fall weather was instrumental in helping us get the recon done so early. It also helped us do a lot of recon by bicycle. We wanted to do more, but when we saw how close we were getting to having all the recon done before November, we accelerated the process by doing more from the Element. I'm glad it is done, so it was worth it. Maybe next time we'll up the mileage done from the bicycle saddle versus the seat of a car even more.

 I had to include this pic because I had know idea we had pelicans in Iowa, nor that there were so many of them. We were treated to the sight of several hundred of the birds flying in formation in the clear sky of morning over rural Iowa. Very cool!

Then we had a surly old man cuss us out for riding bicycles on a closed section of pavement. Wow! Some people seem to have to be tense about whatever they can find to be tense about. Well, after watching his very vulgar display of ignorance, we bade him farewell, (very kindly, and much to his bewilderment), and motored on to our recon via bicycle. At this point, I was hoping that the sun would hurry on up and warm the air, since I was on the chilly side, and a nice, stiff Southwesterly had sprung up to greet us.

We had a bit of a conundrum with regard to a section from our last recon and how to connect it to where we were going from Saturday. After re-tracing our steps a few times, we finally settled on one part and continued forward to seeing some other bits. We planned on re-visiting the confusion after we had come back around to get the Element.

Onward we rode as the day was warming up, and I was feeling quite comfortable. A far cry from the ride I had the weekend previous in the night and rain!

We scored a dirt road for the course, that I hope stays in. Obviously, if it is a very wet spring, or we have a nasty day on the date for the event, this might change, but I sure hope not. In fact, this was one of the coolest back roads I've been on.

Conditions couldn't have been better on this sector of dirt. It was fast, and with the rain from a week ago, the dust was gone. It was about as perfect as it could be, and we were smart enough to ride it on our bicycles. Nice score! I hope it is similarly as good next April, but even if it isn't, this will be a stretch of road that those that get to ride on it will not soon forget.

Fall colors are not at their "height" now, but all along the section we rode the deep browns, rusts, and tans were really popping. I thought it was pretty awesome.

Finally it was time to loop around back to the Element. First we checked out our hypothesis on the connection to the previous recon. Turns out we were right, and we had to make a decision. Options were discussed right out there on the scene. Finally, we arrived at what we both deemed a workable choice, and then we moved on to the vehicle with a couple more new ideas we hatched while out on the bikes. But first, we had to refuel at a convenience store. After that, we were feeling the end coming on, and with no time restraints on either of us, we went for it.

We decided to just go ahead and recon the last sector by car and get it over with, so off we went on through the Iowa countryside.

Not only that, but after we hit the last sector, we made a decision to check out a bridge we thought might be out, and do some selected looking around at some stuff that may, or may not be on Trans Iowa V7's course.

That means the images you are looking at here might not be from T.I.V7's course, or they might be.

The bridge was intact and because of that, we were able to confirm a huge chunk of the course. That was a huge relief! Then we plunked around a bit.

It was a great day to be out, and I know I speak for d.p. that we are both pretty stoked to have everything looped up and ready to fine tune. What's next? Now we go on to retracing everything via GPS maps and getting turns and mileages figured out. After the hard numbers are in front of us, we'll decide first if the "big assed loop" is big enough. If it isn't, we already have optional loops to throw in if necessary. If it is too many miles, we'll have to do some editing. Then we move on to mileages to checkpoints and figuring out time cut offs to them and to the finish line. After that is all approved, we go to cue sheet production. I think that the cue sheets will wait until next spring, so we can know if we have to change anything due to winter damage, or spring flooding.

Either way, this is the final recon report before we start doing course condition reports in the spring.


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Good work MEN! Thank you!