Saturday, December 07, 2013

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #16

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....

Trans Iowa v4 Recon circa January '08
 With David Pals on board, Trans Iowa took on a very different look right away. David was aware of my misgivings about ever doing another Trans Iowa, and he was giving me some great ideas on how to make things better.

With regard to all the drops, which angered me, he suggested we let in "veterans" on the registration first, since they'd likely be more apt to show up. It was decided that out of a roster of 100, 50 spots would go to Veterans of Trans Iowa first, and if they didn't take them all, the rest would go to the Rookies. This marked the first year we discriminated the roster by experience.

Secondly, with regard to keeping track of riders, David suggested more check points be implemented. T.I.v4 would be the first  Trans Iowa that featured a Checkpoint #1 and a Checkpoint #2. This was done primarily to help keep track of who was in and who was not.

We were going to go out of Decorah again, so all the route planning and recon centered around Decorah and Northeast Iowa. Unfortunately, 2007 was the Winter when we got iced out of recon in the early Winter. Simply put, David and I waited too long to get going, and Winter shut us down. We did a meager recon effort early in '08, but basically, nothing got done until about a month before the event.

This image was taken less than 1 month before T.I.V4
Then Winter kept pushing us backward. finally, there was time and there was decent weather about three weekends before T.I.v4 was to occur. David and I did the entire recon in one trip. It was super brutal, but we were backed up against the wall, as it were, by the severe Winter conditions of '07-'08. I remember seeing snow drifts that were ten feet high on the sides of the road and there were hardly any places we didn't see copious amounts of snow sitting around waiting to be melted.

The addition of a second checkpoint made volunteers more important, so a call was out to recruit enough folks to get the ball rolling at two checkpoints. It was decided also to make three sets of cues to get through the event. Starting out would only get you to Checkpoint #1, then a new set of cues to Checkpoint #2, and so on. Time limitations were set to get to each checkpoint and to the finish, which was 34 hours total once again.

Sponsorship was found for the event from Priceton Tech, Surly, and others. I was basically doing all that behind the scenes sponsorship stuff for the first time since Jeff, who was so good at that, was gone. It also meant that Pre-Race stuff was all up to me as well. I secured the T Bock's Sports Bar again as the center of the race start, and the only change there was that we would have to use T Bock's basement level party room, since the old upper room used for T.I.v3 was under renovation.Things were coming together in that respect, but as far as cue sheets and how the course might fare, well- that was another thing altogether.

Tomorrow: The mud-tastic final recon of the T.I.v4 course.

No comments: