Sunday, September 13, 2020

Trans Iowa Stories: Let's Get This One Done - Part 1

One of my favorite images from the final recon of T.I.v9's course.
 "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!

Continuing on with stories from Trans Iowa v9.....

As I moved on toward the next Trans Iowa in 2013, I was quite confident that the major things having to do with Trans Iowa were very set in stone and covered the best way I could get them done. So, I started looking at other ways I could trim back the work load. Minor things that might make life a little bit easier for me. My first concern was to have cue sheet costs, time, and waste reduced. 

I had noted that for several years I would come home with lots of unused, bagged sets of cues. Basically trash after a Trans Iowa. Of course, I recycled the paper and reused the baggies. But that represented a lot of wasted time and labor, not to mention money in paper and printer cartridges. So, I started crunching numbers and I realized that there were average percentages of people making Checkpoint #1 and #2. What if I only made a few extra cues banking on the percentages? I could feasibly cut costs, labor, and waste. I gave it a shot. 

With 91 people lined up to start T.I.v9, I figured that up to 15 might not make CP#1, so I only printed up 81 sets of cues to reach CP#2, and even less for CP#2, although now I cannot remember what number I used for CP#2.  Also, keep in mind that I am terrible at math, so the formulas I was using to reach my numbers was most likely flawed. Anyway.....This comes back to bite me later. Stay tuned.....

There were the photographers to mind. Three different ones this time. Plus I think there was a Des Moines Register photographer there that I didn't know about until later. This I discovered, after the fact, was the most photographed Trans Iowa ever, and as it turned out, the most photogenic, with the possible exception of v12, which was pretty good too. But at no other Trans Iowa did we get nearly a full moon, fog, an awesome Sunrise, and Sunset, along with a killer morning that Sunday as well. The weather was incredibly good that year for Trans Iowa, which allowed for a then new record number of finishers. 

I received this on behalf of Trans Iowa right before T.I.v9
There was also a Trans Iowa volunteers/super-fan ride which was to use the cues for the first section and was to be led by Rob Versteegh, he of Oakley fame and the connection to the Barn finishing area which I was using that year. The plan was for me to lead out the event, run by the farm where the Barn was, and drop of a set of cues in the mailbox there. So, an added 'chore' to the morning's work load. Just what I needed! But seriously, I was happy to do this since Rob and his crew were essentially my finish line volunteers. Rob and the guys always were at the ready to help and were a great resource. 

The pre-race meeting at the Grinnell Steakhouse went off pretty well and seeing everyone again was great. However; I made a gaff during rider call-up that was an unfortunate repeat performance from the previous year's pre-race meeting. I forgot to call up Andrea Cohen! Let me tell you, I felt awful about this, and to be honest, I still do. I forgot her two years in a row! Bah! The next year, at v10, I asked Andrea if I could make it up to her by calling her up first, before anyone else, and apologize publicly, which she agreed graciously to allow me to do. But I'll never forget how bad I felt that night at that v9 pre-race meeting. 

After that gaff, I just wanted to crawl outta there and get this Trans Iowa over with! 

But I had to go to Bikes To You and visit with Craig Cooper and Rob Versteegh, just a courtesy visit, and then I would..... Hmm.... I didn't know, actually. I hadn't booked a room! In all the hubbub leading up to Trans Iowa that one small detail eluded me. Whatever! I figured I'd slam myself into the truck for a few hours and be fine. I had an iPhone with the alarm function, so I could be awake and ready to go when I needed to be.  

Well, there were two surprises. One- I received the Grinnel Chamber Of Commerce's Tourism Award for 2013. What?! I was amazed! (NOTE: I got the paper/framed version which said "2013" and the web banner they provided said "2014". I'm counting it as a two years running award! Ha!) And then, Craig Cooper asked where I was staying, and well..... He offered me to stay in his loft apartment right above the shop, right where we were going to start the event! How convenient! Not only that, but he cooked me a steak, we had some wine, and some great conversation. I think I was more relaxed going into this Trans Iowa than maybe any one of them, maybe with the exception of v5. Anyway, it was an awesome evening and I slept- for maybe three hours- like a baby.

Next: Photo Dump - Some Spectacular Trans Iowa v9 Morning Shots

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