Sunday, November 03, 2019

Trans Iowa Stories:The Reasons Why It Happened Again

"Trans Iowa Stories" is an every Sunday post which helps tell the stories behind the event. You can check out other posts about this subject by going back to earlier Sunday posts on this blog. Thanks and enjoy!

One of the first gifts I got for putting on Trans Iowa from Gary Cale, vet of  V1, V2, V3, V4, V5, V7
Summer 2007. A normal day, one in which I worked at the bike shop, came home to write reviews and do behind the scenes stuff for "Twenty Nine Inches", and of course, to write the next day's post for this blog. Along the way I was checking e-mails. I had one from a friend in the in-box. It was from the head of Salsa Cycles at the time, Jason Boucher. I was excited. Maybe it was news of a new 29"er, or a new Salsa component. But the subject line wasn't encouraging. It sounded more deeper and personal than a chance to review a product.

Jason wasn't a Trans Iowa guy, but he knew guys that had been in it. Joe Meiser, a young engineer at Quality Bicycle Products, had been in v3. There were also other guys that Jason heard buzzing about Trans Iowa. Then, I suppose, he had also got wind of my desire to quit the thing. By the way, and this will come up again, I became aware over the years that many people were very passionate about Trans Iowa and myself, and you folks were talking about myself and T.I. a lot over the years. Rumor spread like wildfire amongst the Trans Iowa Freaks. This I know now.

Anyway, I am imagining this was how Jason heard the story. Or it could be that I told him myself about the reasons I didn't want to do another Trans Iowa. Either way, but I cannot recall if I had told him or not. He felt compelled, based upon what he had understood from the riders of Trans Iowa, and possibly from myself, to send me this particular e-mail. He was, and is, a good friend, and while it could be argued that he had an ulterior motive, being the head of Salsa Cycles, I am quite certain that was not his motivation.

In this documentary I shared the story of the famous e-mail that I got post T.I.v3
In the video documentary, "300 Miles of Gravel", by Jeff Frings, you see a scene which shows me telling the story about Jason's e-mail, and it is pretty easy to see how choked up I got while telling it. That should tell you how powerful this e-mail was for me in 2007. Jason asked me to consider how it was that I was giving people the chance to change their lives. It was a short e-mail, but the weight of its impact helped to pushed me on towards another decade plus of doing the event.

But the question of Jeff's influence missing in the event, and whether or not what I would do could even be Trans Iowa, or whether Jeff would ever feel okay about that, still was hanging out there. That question was answered not long after I received the e-mail from Jason. In an odd, and what turned out to be final visit, Jeff told me he was okay with me carrying on. Basically, he didn't care what I did, trusting to my judgment, and he was just happy to hear I wanted- maybe- to do it again.

Also during this time, I was riding and communicating with a Trans Iowa rider by the name of David Pals. He a veteran of V2 and V3. He and I attended the first DK200, and David was helping me to organize and put on the second Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational. Of course, I told David about my misgivings concerning the putting on of another Trans Iowa. David offered himself up as my assistant, should I decide to do this event again. This was a huge thing, by the way, because despite Jason's e-mail, and despite Jeff's blessing, I was not going to do Trans Iowa alone again.

So, those three things conspired to tip me toward doing Trans Iowa again. If any one of those three things had not happened, I doubt Trans Iowa would have ever been put on again.

But they did happen. And so did more Trans Iowas.


Rydn9ers said...

I finally was able to find 300 Miles of Gravel out there in the stratosphere. Pretty good little documentary, thanks for sharing these stories.

Guitar Ted said...

@Rydn9ers- Oh! Good, I am glad you found a copy. That won a regional Emmy for Sports Documentary, so I guess it is at least *that* good!

The whole story behind how that came to be is interesting. I'll get around to it at some point.

Rydn9ers said...

@Guitar Ted - please do! Between the book, the documentary and these stories... I think you should bring back T.I. so I can give it a go. :)