|Kevin Fox took this image of the B Road before CP#1 after everyone else had gone through.|
Trans Iowa will continue to cater to those who desire to be challenged in a unique way, and will never have licenses, "winner's jerseys", points, or be "sanctioned". Some may not see it as a race, or see its rules as being fair, but it is a race and the rules are what they are. This is what makes the Trans Iowa race unique and appealing to those who are not all about trappings and hoopla.
Trans Iowa has a history that shows that this event has not had finishers before. It has been shortened a couple of times as well. After eleven events, I think it should be pretty apparent that if Trans Iowa has crap weather, or the roads go to pot, it is going to take place, ( the original rules say as much), and it will be run as far as the roads allow it to be on any given year. I've often said that each Trans Iowa is its own, unique entity, experience, and the outcomes reflect this. That's why the course changes every year. That's why there are no set checkpoints, no "classic climbs", and nothing is the same but the start line since T.I.v6. Even the finish line has moved since we've been in Grinnell.
Many folks don't get that stuff, but that's okay. There are plenty of other events for them to attend, like, be fans of, and complain about. Trans Iowa is a square peg and it ain't gonna fit into your round holes.
|In the end, it's about the people that come to T.I.|
This year, Trans Iowa took on a new shade for me. The event was so short, and time was available to many, which allowed for gatherings to happen that would not have ordinarily occurred had the event run its full 34 hour course. I ended up down at Lonski's, as previously reported, and found that the social, people side of these gravel events was something I really liked a lot.
I looked around the table and saw four people that spoke foreign languages natively. Two of them from Germany. There were four distinct cultures represented. There were folks from the Mid-West, and folks from the East Coast/New England area. In the back room was a family from middle Missouri, and over at the bar was a couple from Duluth, Minnesota. I couldn't get to know these folks without what happened at Trans Iowa V11. I may not see some of them ever again. This was a treasured moment for me. Trans Iowa may have been a roaring lion that did not allow the riders to pass, but it was also giving me a gift that night that I otherwise would never have gotten. People. Relationships.
Tim Ek told me something that night. He said it numerous times. "Trans Iowa is bigger than you. Don't forget that." I'm not sure I understand what that means. Maybe I won't ever fully understand that. All I know is that the event this year was very unique and I gained a new appreciation for what it can do this year. Next year.....?
I'm not talking about that just yet. Stay tuned............