Monday, April 30, 2018

Trans Iowa v14: The Load Out

Packed tighter than a drum.
With just one more Trans Iowa to go, everything took on a new significance with me. The prep, the recon, the loading up of the truck the morning of the event. All of it- just one more time. 

Even writing this report is weird for me. Since, ya know, there won't be another Trans Iowa, (if you missed the announcement, back up a day and take a look here), I won't get all syrupy and what not with you. Besides, that would just make a mess out of you and I. No one wants that now, do we?

The "load out" is always significant here in the house since I have this practice of making a pile of whatever I need to take with me in the front entryway. If it is "in the pile" it is "off my mind" and ready to walk out the door with to be loaded into the truck. This practice really works well for me, but Mrs. Guitar Ted? Ah........not so much. She generally makes a snarky remark when I bring up another box or place another tote out there to go into the truck. Once they are gone the tension gets released and things are back to normal, kind of.

The boxes went into the truck and I texted a few of the volunteers to see if the plans they had made to meet me in Grinnell were still in place. I thought back to T.I.v8 when I did everything alone for the most part. Now I had trusted people doing things I used to have to cover myself. Heck, even the recon of the route the day before Trans Iowa had been done already by Wally. I had intel and time to digest it. But, I went down and drove part of the route anyway. I had the time and I wanted my own first hand viewpoint.

Beautiful? perhaps, but what you don't see here is the malevolent winds.
The wind was fierce. Unreal dust was drifting like snow and blowing up into the air constantly. I've never seen the roads in this dry a state at this early of time in the year. How would that affect Trans Iowa, I wasn't sure. I did have some advice, posted on Facebook, from Sarah Cooper, who was to be in this event, but couldn't, that riders should consider a dust mask or the like. I could certainly get behind that idea after what I saw on Friday.

The other obvious thing that would affect Trans Iowa was the fresher gravel laid down seemingly everywhere. The dust was elevated to epic proportions due to this. But more importantly, it was the roughness and slower speeds that the chunky gravel would impart upon the riders that would be the most impactful. Wally had driven further into the course on Friday and stated it was slightly worse in this way where he was.

Then I finally headed over to the Pre-Race Meat-Up. I met with the Mikes and MG, Tony, Craig and others. Folks started coming in, and the whole she-bang went off well. The overall vibe was that of excitement amongst the riders assembled. You could feel the good vibes there, it was very different than the year before where everyone felt it was "when" more than "if" they were going to bail out.

The dust was outrageous in the afternoon

The meeting went of well and then it was to our motel room to get whatever sleep we could. The chit-chat afterward was that the meeting went well. 95 folks signed on, and with cues being handed out in the morning we had quite a it different vibe overall.

Next: The Start

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