Saturday, April 13, 2013

Trans Iowa V9: It's Getting Down To Crunch Time

Image by W Kilburg
With just two weeks until T.I.V9, there is still a couple of major things to get done. Today, one of those things is happening- the final recon of the course. This does three things for me- #1: It verifies that all the roads we drove last year are still open, all the bridges are still there, and that I do not have to make any re-routes. If we do find something closed, (like we did last year), I can adjust before printing the cue sheets. #2: I have two individuals reading the cues I sent them earlier and they navigate the course as the riders would. If something doesn't make sense, or if I have something wrong, I can adjust for that before the cue sheets are printed. #3: I get a feel for how the roads are coming out of Winter and if I may need to re-route sections due to possible wet weather, or where there may be spots of concern due to road conditions.

Then- if everything checks out- I can finalize the cue sheet process, print all the cue sheet sets, cut the sheets, arrange them in sets, package them, and pack them for the trip down to Grinnell. It is a big process, and it costs me not a small sum of money, or time spent. So, if you are not sure you will make it to Trans Iowa, I would ask you to please decide one way or the other before the weekend is over. It means a lot to me that I don't spend more money or time than I have to.

Signing in...
The other thing I need to get done is to gather all the sponsor product, (which should be showing up soon), and stuff race bags. This is another process that takes a lot of time and effort. Over the past years, my two children have helped out, (child labor, but not forced, so relax!), and we try to make it all fun.

Then those bags get packed up in boxes and readied for transport in my truck. In the meantime I also have to contact and confirm my volunteers, give them instructions, make rosters for the checkpoints, and come up with any other materials I might need to put on a half way decent event. Things like paper clips, safety pins, zip ties, and more all get purchased every year.

One thing that is done already are the race numbers. I finished all of them the other day, so at least that task is done. I have to get a re-route kit together again though.

Weather: Of course, one of the big deals concerning the event is something I can not do anything about. The weather. We've had a very extended Winter which has turned into a very cold, wet Spring. So far the roads have been okay, but I will know more about that today, and will report on that again Monday. The pattern that has been forecast is for a storm to come through mid-week for the next two weeks, then.....???? Who knows, but one thing is for sure, if the cool/cold weather continues up to the event, the roads will probably be softer than not, and it will be a chilly night Saturday night. So if I were going to bet on the weather, I would bet on it being most like last year. Mostly cloudy, cold to coolish, and most likely windy.


For the past couple of weeks I have done a bit on Mountain Bike Radio called the Guitar Ted Show which  has focused on Trans Iowa of late. I had the honor of having past Trans Iowa finisher Tim Ek on board as well. Between us we dole out a lot of useful info regarding the event, so check that out here and here.

Also from Mountain Bike Radio: Folks familiar with "Trans Iowa Radio", which is the series of audioblog posts I normally put up on this site that helps you keep track of Trans Iowa, will want to note that the updates will appear on Mountain Bike Radio's site. I'll have more details with a link, hopefully, that you can use to get to the particular page where the audio downloads will appear.

I will also probably use some social media with Tweets using my @guitarted1961 handle using the #TIV9 hashtag. I will also be posting an image or two on my Facebook page.

Okay, one more week of Trans Iowa musing before the deal goes down. Are you in? Are you ready?

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