|This view is completely familiar now, but in '09 it was new and exciting.|
After a Summer of planning a new route in a new area, it was Fall and time to do recon. I had been pushing for an earlier date to get this done since we had been burned a few times by waiting too long and having Winter hit. So, this recon happened in late October, but even the best laid plans can go awry. That will be explained in a bit here.
I still remember being pumped about this route. I cannot speak for David, but I found a renewed energy after we had settled in on Grinnell and this energy was amped up even further by what we saw during the recon. Maybe I got a little too excited, because all the "highs" I was experiencing over this edition of Trans Iowa ended up being translated into many ideas which I ran with. I did these things without really consulting anyone, and in fact, looking back it is a bit embarrassing. This was not at all the direction I wanted Trans Iowa to go into, and I'm pretty certain it was not what David had envisaged either.
Things like the "acronym" crazy ideas I had were pointing more towards bigger production and slicker marketing. All the while we were still limiting the field to 75 riders, so it was a bit incongruous. The basic formula was retained- a short lead out to the first checkpoint, then a second and third checkpoints would fall at intervals across the course of about 80-ish miles. Convenience stores would be near each checkpoint, but we were careful not to choose sites where the checkpoint would interfere with normal business. New was a "no-tell" policy on the whereabouts of Checkpoints 2 and 3. We even kept the volunteers in the dark so as to short-circuit any bribing or "arm-twisting" for information. This became an issue with this event, as we will see.
|From the late October recon of T.I.v6|
With myself heading up all the goofy marketing, hoopla, receiving prizing, and doing all the communications, it left David out of the loop. This ended up causing a bit of a ruffle leading up to the start of T.I.v6. It was another one of those things that almost derailed Trans Iowa, but was a thing narrowly averted.
|David did much of "his part" of recon by bicycle. Image by David Pals|
|I got a LOT of crazy gifts for v6 registration. David got nothing. It was unfair.|
This all came to a head about two weeks out from the event. I was pressuring David about cues, and he responded in an angry e-mail saying he was quitting Trans Iowa and that he wasn't going to do the cue sheets. It was crisis management time for me, and I had to put away my emotions for the time being to help preserve Trans Iowa.
Sure, David could have communicated his displeasure long before it came to a head. Sure, I could have been a lot more sensitive to the situation he was in regarding Trans Iowa. We both had parts to play in the troubles, but that could all be navigated later. Maybe... At the moment, in 2010 only two weeks out from Trans Iowa, all I cared about was salvaging the event, no matter what. I smoothed things over as best I could, and David calmed himself down and put away his issues for the time being, and cues got done.
But you have no idea how close it came to all unraveling right there.
Next: Thunder And Lightning: Part 1