Saturday, July 01, 2017

Minus Ten Review- 26

The inspiration for the T.I.v13 shirt was a t-shirt via a post card! Thanks Gary Cale!
Ten years ago this week on the blog I was talking a bit about Trans Iowa, the post-Big Wheeled Ballyhoo, and the upcoming GTDRI. But first, I wanted to touch upon the other topic of note that week, the Great Divide Race.

Okay, you may be thinking, "What the heck is the Great Divide Race? Is that something new?". You could be forgiven for not knowing about this event. It was the precursor to Tour Divide. In fact, the events co-existed for a couple of years before the Great Divide part was let out to pasture. That's another whole story I won't delve in to now.

What I wanted to touch on was how, at that time ten years ago, I had become fully disillusioned with the Pro Road scene and the drug cheating. The Great Divide race was a "purer", simpler form of riding that I could get behind. I see that I commented back then that there were more folks at the start that year, ('07), than the previous four years combined. was a small group of people. Of course, that all has changed now as well.

For instance, that was a time when "bikepacking" had yet to become a term on the tongue of every wannabee hipster wanderer with a beard and a high priced bivy. There were lots of people using racks and hard mounted bags. SPOT trackers weren't a thing yet, but they were coming on strong by that time. Cell phones didn't work throughout most of the route, and GPS wasn't something most folks even had access to yet. There weren't ten ways to follow someone on the route, there was only one, and if they had a "dot" to watch, it was a bonus. Most of the time you had only the uploaded call ins, if a rider made call ins at all.

Am I saying that the Great Divide was a bit "purer" event than the TD is now? Maybe. You could make an argument for that for sure. I guess I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know I liked the event back then better than I do now.

Now days the Tour Divide tracker looks like a segmented snake.
Then there was Trans Iowa. I've brought it up several times before, but it bears repeating that ten years ago at this time Trans Iowa was dead. There wasn't ever going to be another one, as far as I was concerned. I know that many of you think maybe this has become something of a "fisherman's tale", the way that I tell it, but here is a passage I wrote ten years ago this week. See if you cannot read between the lines here.....

"As far as Trans Iowa goes...........don't ask! There are some definite hurdles to putting on another version of this event that may prove to high to clear. The jury is still out."

I cannot remember when I got that pivotal email from Jason Boucher, or the email from David Pals that sealed the deal and made a Trans Iowa v4 a definite reality, but it may have been around this time. Here is a bit more from the same post....

" I'll keep ya'all informed on any updates concerning the status of another Trans Iowa. I'm going to be concentrating on the laid back prep for GTDRI first, then a short break before Interbike. After that I'll make a call on T.I.
Stay tuned....................."

Reading that now I would say that yes- I had gotten those emails at this time, but if anything was holding me back yet it was my determination to get Jeff Kerkove's input on moving forward. I have said many times that I always considered  Jeff to be the "master" of the event and I was merely the "worker bee", so to speak. If he wasn't going to give me a blessing on continuing the thing, and I believed it shouldn't without him, by the way, then it would have died, despite those emails mentioned earlier.

Jeff was, for all intents and purposes, gone from Europa Cycle & Ski where I worked, by this point. Jeff promised to stop by whenever he was around, but sooner or later he would permanently be gone to Colorado. Ironically, now that I think about it, we never got to have a going away party for him. Anyway, it wouldn't be long before he would stop that one last time. That'll be coming up soon in a future Minus Ten Review.

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