Saturday, September 07, 2013

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #1

In mid-November, the idea of Trans Iowa was hatched. The year was 2004. In the ten years since then there have been many stories and memories. These posts will tell of the most prominent ones to my mind. Maybe I'll even spill the beans on some things you never knew....

It was all my idea! (Jeff circa 2005)
 Ten years ago times were a lot different. I had only been working at the shop a couple of years and had built a friendship up with a fellow co-worker by the name of Jeff Kerkove. Jeff was, (and still is), a very disciplined, hard working, ambitious young man who had just gotten out of college and was an accomplished 24 hour solo racer. He had several solo wins under his belt and was catching the attention of the mountain bike endurance racing community. Jeff was also an early adopter of what we call "social media" now, but back then, it was just blogging". Not many athletes understood blogging, and even less did it well. Jeff understood it and was good at it. Really good.

So when the idea was hatched for Trans Iowa in November of 2004, he hit his blog with the idea, and also the endurance forum of Mountain Bike Review. Jeff's ideas were accepted and were influenced by members of that community with great enthusiasm that went both ways. It was pretty incredible, actually. Soon Jeff had concocted most of the basis of Trans Iowa. The fundamentals of the event were based off his ideas, his experiences, and by those who were his peers. Chief among those being Mike Curiak.

It's kind of funny to me now, and I have to shake my head at how Trans Iowa has become the event associated with "Guitar Ted". Sure....I have had a big hand in what it has become now ten years down the road. However; my memories of 2004-2007 are those of someone who knew absolutely nothing about putting on such an event, and being the sidekick to the guy who is really the one most deserving of much of the attention this event gets. Eventually I ended up being "the guy", but it was a steep learning curve for me, and many of the basic things about Trans Iowa really were Jeff's ideas and stem from decisions that he made based upon input from others.

Jeff ended up leaving the shop where we worked together in early 2007. He has since been with Ergon, and he still races as well. Not 24 hour events, but crazier, longer, far flung adventures these days are what is on his menu. Although; I've never been able to convince him to come back and do Trans Iowa!

1 comment:

john said...

Nice to hear about Jeff and his part of your great event. How a bout your boss and his trans Iowa time trials - were they an influence? I can hear Jeff saying - yeah, but let's do it on gravel.