Saturday, December 28, 2013

Trans Iowa: Ten Years Of Tales #23

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....

The old had passed....

 With the cords cut to anything from the past holding Trans Iowa from moving, David Pals had suggested going South to Williamsburg. He was very familiar with routes in that area. It was decided as well that David would do recon of the Southern half and I would do the Northern parts. Kind of a "divide and conquer" philosophy of course design.

This was done in part due to pending changes in my life. At this time, Twenty Nine Inches was changing hands. The "keys to the kingdom" were being given to me, or more correctly, I had assumed total responsibility, since the owner and originator of the domain and content/editing basically had abdicated his responsibilities. I am not like that when it comes to responsibilities and I took everything very seriously at the time. Needless to say, all the mental and physical energy was taking its toll, and David was there to help relieve me of some of the organizational load of Trans Iowa.

We also discussed many of the strategic and philosophical elements of Trans Iowa. Neither David or myself liked that riders were prearranging strategy for the first half of the event since they were getting cue sheets for half the route the night before the event. David suggested that we cut the distance to Checkpoint #1 to around 40 miles to circumvent this phenomenon. I really liked his idea, so it was decided to hit Washington, Iowa as the first stop on the course of T.I.v5.
Remember that image I took during T.I.v4? It became the next year's header

This leads me to a funny story about the recon. David and I had gotten together to do a big recon mission in October of 2008. During this trip he wanted to get to Washington to see about the checkpoint location. We were driving around the town square on a Saturday morning, looking for a spot of coffee when we spied a gal in a long dress and her appearance was one of a lost Grateful Dead band groupie. She looked at us intently and as we noticed her gaze, we were beckoned by her to stop and follow her. We did, and as it turned out, she was running the very coffee shop we were looking for. It was surreal, and we were a bit flummoxed by it all, but the coffee shop was outstanding and the coffee even better. The woman was curious about what we were up to, and when she learned of our plans for Trans Iowa to come through, she offered to open the coffee shop up for the riders and volunteers as they came by the day of the event.

As we left she flipped us both a business card and we stayed in touch up until T.I.v5's running. She actually did open up the shop, and lo and behold, several riders and volunteers actually were buying up coffee and food from the establishment. It was an unplanned for, but really good joint experience for a lot of Trans Iowa participants, and it all started out with a strange woman's beckoning of us during recon on an average October morning.

Tomorrow: More on the changes and set up for Trans Iowa v5.

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