|A sleepy Grinnell Iowa under sullen skies.|
With that great food in the belly, we started reconning the course for the thirteenth Trans Iowa. Thirteen! I never would have guessed.......
So anyway, we got rolling, and it was with some trepidation too. The weather was weird. It looked as though it could break into a full on rain at any given time. In fact, it kept misting almost all the time in varying degrees. Sometimes it was barely enough to turn on the intermittent wipers for, and then at other times it was full on regular wiper speed and almost not cutting it at that. I think I about wore out the wiper switch Saturday!
The point was that with Level B Roads to look at, rain was going to make the recon very difficult and maybe we would have to cut things short. I was ready to give in should it do the rain thing since the Truck With No Name isn't exactly "mudder friendly", being a two wheel drive vehicle with highway tires and all. No need to try and be a hero when I might get stuck miles away from any services.
|Rain was potentially only minutes away many times during the day, but it never developed beyond a heavy mist.|
Once out in the country we were headed out on the proposed course to checkpoint #1. It didn't take long to have a reminder of why it is that you have to physically go out and look with your own two eyes at your course. Any event director that doesn't actually lay there eyes on every mile of their proposed course is making a big mistake. We were initially really excited that we could drive onto the first Level B on the course. That was until we saw the following.......
|Yeah...... This is the reason why I drove 488 miles Saturday. When you rely on maps and GPS tracks, they don't show you stuff like this.|
Jeremy and I improvised a quick re-route, but it won't be the way T.I.v13 runs. I am going to have to redo three quarters of that section just to get the mileage and destination to work out right. The Level B? Well, I hope to find a substitute for that. Stay tuned....... In the meantime, we were off to CP#1 and beyond. The next Level B was a completely new one to me, and should be perfectly fine for T.I.v13 no matter what the weather brings. That doesn't mean you wouldn't have to walk it, by the way. I wouldn't read too much into that.
|You know that there will be big hills, but there will be "mind numbing flat sections" as well.|
|Quick break on a Level B road........somewhere in Iowa.|
|One of those times when we thought it was about to pour down rain, but it didn't.|
|Jeremy took a cemetery count, but I didn't get the final total we went by.|
I also was pleased by a safer choice I made to cross a major highway, and another way to get folks across a separate one was deemed good enough. Then there were a couple of bummers as well. Places where pavement running out of towns went on a lot longer than I'd have liked to have seen it. I will be looking to make tweaks in these spots.
|Yep .....that would be a Level B.|
One thing we found coming out of a town on route where there is a 24hr convenience store stop was a gravel road where I expected a city street. Now that was a change for once! Less pavement, bonus gravel! We'll take that!
|A "bonus" Level B road that wasn't marked as such on the State DOT maps.|
|Another unexpected Level B find.|
|The weather cooperated and we didn't have to cut recon short! We even saw some blue sky.|
I feel the route will provide a great challenge to the riders this time. It will all be dependent upon whatever the weather brings, of course, but the Level B's should play a part in the outcome, unless it is totally dry. There are hills, but again, there are some mind numbing, flat, boring parts that will test both mind and body in unique ways.
Stay tuned for updates on the course, mileages, and checkpoint cut off times. I cannot comment on any of that just yet as there are some serious tweaks to this course on the menu, and when they are completed, I can then give you all the details.
I finished up the day with 488 miles of driving in 14 hours. I used a tank and a half of gas, we stopped about seven times, and we covered all but the last 25 miles of the proposed course. Those might be tweaked as well due to construction in Grinnell. We weren't stopped by rain. That was amazing!
Okay, more soon, but for now, thank you for reading!