Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Trans Iowa V11: Time To Get Crackin'!

Winter has been fading quickly into the rear view mirror here, my health has taken a big upswing, and there are about 7 1/2 weeks to go to Trans Iowa V11! Much to get done, so I've been really busy of late.

Sunday and Monday I sent out a big e-mail to the roster and the response has been pretty good so far. About 50% response. That's slightly above average. I'll give it about a week before I start outing names and looking for folks that have not responded. Behind the curtain, I have been pulling some levers and having discussions with a few folk. Volunteer placements, duties, and some outlying things tied to the event have been getting arranged. Dots being connected, but more to go......

The next big hurdle to jump will be the final recon with Wally and George where we will drive the route by the draft of the cue sheets which have been proofread already by Jeremy, who is pretty critical, (in a good way), and keeps me honest. Wally and George have been known to make a few great observations in the past as well. These fellows are a big, big reason why the Trans Iowa cue sheets have risen to such a high level of reliability and clarity in the last few years.

And what might this be....?
I've gotten a lot of great comments saying that folks are going to make an effort to thank WTB for the sponsorship of Trans Iowa v11. They are going to award each official finisher of Trans Iowa v11 with a set of tubeless compatible Nano 40 tires in the TCS format. This is really unusual for a company to do for such an event, or any event, really. I suggest that if you like gravel events, that you might want to send WTB a big thank you for this gesture.

Okay, so there are a few details yet to hammer out like what we are doing at the barn, getting the numbers, and a few other details, but after the last recon- things will be downhill from there. Printing and sorting cue sheets will be a task, but really after that the show can go on the road. It'll all be happening very, very soon.

Finally, I made some serious statements in the e-mail, and I hope all the riders heed my warnings and notes. However; there was one more thing that I wanted to cover, but it also applies to all gravel road riders. That is the principle of "Riding Right". This refers to where riders should position themselves during gravel road rides. My friends down in the Lincoln, Nebraska and the Pirate Cycling League were the first ones to really bang on this drum, but I want to strongly suggest that you all consider the following....

Gravel, dirt, and many chip seal and back roads are not clearly marked, or marked at all.  They have no center line, no signage, usually, and almost all intersections are uncontrolled, even if corn is planted at all four corners and you cannot see oncoming or crossing traffic. I know in most Mid-Western states, rural folk expect you to swing over to the right as you climb hills in a vehicle and that you should slow to safely examine intersections before crossing where sight lines are short.

So, please- do the same on your gravel road rides. Stay to the right going up hills, slow to ascertain if there is any traffic coming at tricky intersections, just like you would on pavement. It's really easy to get caught up in the low, low traffic numbers and peaceful rural scenery, but I know a truck blasting over a steep hill top at 80mph can suddenly appear out of nowhere. It happened to us at the Geezer Ride last October, and thankfully, no one was injured. It could have gone much worse though.

More Trans Iowa V11 stuff coming soon.....

Oh! and that green hub? Yeah........I'll have more to tell about that soon as well.

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