Thursday, April 25, 2013

Trans Iowa V9: Are You Kidding Me?!!

Perfection? It looks that way...
Okay regular readers, this is fair warning for you. From now until.....well it could be up to ten days....this blog will be all Trans Iowa all the time. I wouldn't blame you for checking out for a while.

For those of you nutcases, curious bystanders, and lovers of all things beyond weird, stay tuned. This is going to be another whirlwind ride and there are a lot of things going on.

First up is the Trans Iowa "wildcard", which is always the weather. Except this year, the wildcard looks pretty dang tame. Have you seen the forecast? Check Out The Mountain Bike Radio/2WheelWeather podcast

It doesn't get any better than this folks! If what is being laid down there comes true, it will beat T.I.V3's weather for perfection, and that was a high water mark for Trans Iowa's history. This begs a question: Will there be a sub-24 Trans Iowa this year? Here's my analysis on this question:

First, you have to have been a pretty experienced Trans Iowa veteran to be included in my group for getting that accomplished. While there are a couple of "rookies" in the event that I know have it in them to pull something like this off, they do not have the particular T.I. experiences under their belts, and anything like missing a turn, misjudging a  corner or down hill, or not knowing the techniques to attacking a B Road could derail a sub-24 hour attempt. The nutrition would have to be spot on, the bike would have to be perfect. I'm not saying a rookie to this event couldn't pull it off, but it is highly unlikely.

Will B Roads be dry enough to ride at T.I.V9?
So.....a Veteran then? Maybe, but as I look on the Vets, I have to be honest and say that I see "steady as she goes" types that will be fast, but not ridiculously fast, like you would need to be to pull a sub-24 T.I. The Veterans and Finishers will be tough, but they also realize that Trans Iowa, despite nice weather, is not to be trifled with. Just ask the Braun Brothers!

So, is there anyone out there that could do this? Yes.  Some are in this years Trans Iowa, some are not. I am quite certain that someone of the caliber and talents of a Joe Meiser, John Gorilla, or Ira Ryan would be capable at the height of their powers and on a "no flaws" ride, these athletes could do it. Ira never rode any of the, what I consider to be, tougher routes, with lots more climbing than T.I.V3 and more B Roads. Joe and John had certain elements derail their possible sub-24's as well. But all are people I would point to and say, "they got the right stuff".

And the curious case of The Braun Brothers comes into play here as an example too. Last year, despite some not-so-great weather, these guys burned off all chasers and were within 100 miles of an easy sub-24 hour Trans Iowa. But then something happened. Fatigue. Sleep deprivation. Mental acuity went out the window, and their attempt ended 60 miles from the finish line at about 1:50am. They had slowed down considerably in the three hours previous due to their maladies. So, by 10:00pm Saturday night, their quest for the sub-24 was effectively gone.

Even Ira Ryan and Brian Hannon, who sustained a 18 miles covered on course each hour pace for at least a 100 miles in T.I.V3 couldn't sustain that pace, and that was over a lot of flatter ground. Brian burned up a knee, and Ira was much slower in the second half of that one than he was the first. 

Yeah......I ain't sayin' it can not be done, but it would take a completely perfect ride to get there, despite perfect weather. We'll be finding out soon enough.........

Remember- look for all the Trans Iowa Radio updates to appear here. You can call in if you are a racer to the number posted there as well to leave a message. Those will appear as audio links anyone can listen to, so be good! There will be a final Trans Iowa specific forecast for the event Friday from 2WheelWeather and you can find that  here.

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