"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!
Last week I shared with you a bunch of images from the morning, (mainly) of that foggy, ethereal Trans Iowa v9 start. Today I will finish up with the rest of the best, with the exception of certain images I am reserving for story-telling purposes. Again- I regret that I have seemed to have lost a bunch of the images from Jason Boucher and Wally Kilburg. They took images mostly up until the close of Saturday, then Jason had to bug out. Wally reappeared with George the following morning for some killer shots around The Barn finish line. Fortunately, I have been able to source some of these men's shots from T.I.v9 race reports other riders still have up in 2020.
I'll add in some comments along the way to help explain some things as necessary. I hope that you all enjoy looking back at these. For many of us involved in this particular version of Trans Iowa, it should stir up some memories. For the rest of you, this might help explain, in a visual form, why Trans Iowa stuck in the hearts of those who became fans of the event.
|More of that big, chunky gravel on the second leg of T.I.v9's course. |
|From the morning of T.I.v9's start, after CP#1 near Melbourne, Iowa. Image by Wally Kilburg|
|Trans Iowa never was noted for long climbs, just hundreds of short, steep ones like this. Image by Wally Kilburg|
|Just one more from that foggy morning- again- from Wally Kilburg|
|The Level B road shortly after CP#1. This is now a gated C Level Road|
The above image is notable for two reasons. One- the road was completely rideable. Tough, but rideable. Had we had any sort of moisture before the event, it would have knocked a LOT of riders out, since this was a very steep descent and climb, just out of view in this image, which is looking backward on the course, by the way.
I took this image while leading out ahead of the event that morning. The reason why was that I had to be the one to mark any unmarked corners. The second notable thing here being the lathe board with the day-glo ribbon, which was the protocol I used to mark directions at unmarked corners on the cues. This was a technique I borrowed from the first running of the DK200 several years prior to this.
|Dodging farm equipment on the course of Trans Iowa v9. Image by Michael Lemberger.|
This scene above was one I never really witnessed during any Trans Iowa, and - fortunately- I never heard about any incidents involving riders and farm equipment. This was a warning I gave every year prior to any Trans Iowa. SEVERAL times, and perhaps was a help in why we never had any troubles. Of course, Trans Iowa weekend often fell during prime planting time for farmers, especially when the weather was good, and we had near perfection for weather during T.I.v9. So, seeing this image from Michael Lemberger's race report is no surprise.
|Gravel posse: (L-R) Ben Oney, Jat Barre, Paul Errington, and Tim Ek. Image by J. Boucher or T. Ek. |
Convenience stores were integral to running Trans Iowa. The distances necessitated opportunities to allow riders to resupply on water and food. These convenience stores also relieved me of having to have aid stations and more volunteers which both would have increased costs and fundamentally changed the event.
Convenience stores eventually became more than just resupply points. They were strategic points for planning for riders getting through the night. They ended up becoming places where riders could bail out of the event, leaving them at a point easy to reach for support people, and a place, an oasis, of comfort from pain, weather, and mental fatigue.
Here, in Trans Iowa v9, at Gladbrook Iowa's Casey's store, there was a lot of activity. Riders quit, strategized for the oncoming night, and it provided for a glimpse into the bonds formed by riders in the event. Above we see such a thing happening between the four riders pictured. I highly doubt any of the four pictured here will ever forget those moments together. By the way, I'm not sure if this is a Jason Boucher shot or a selfie by Tim Ek. Either way, it's a good scene. This was also a first for Trans Iowa- the convenience store was beyond checkpoint #2. This REALLY messed with rider's logistics and was a big factor in some rider's either making it to the finish or not.
|An image which Salsa Cycles used a few times. Paul Errington during the Saturday of T.I.v9 by Jason Boucher|
|Sunday morning of T.I.v9. Image by A. Andonopoulous|
That's a wrap on this photo dump, but there will be more awesome images shared as I tell about a few notable stories behind the scenes at T.I.v9. I'll also have a story about the incredibly emotional finish line scene of this event, so stay tuned......
A Special Note: I learned this week that a former Trans Iowa rider, Paul Black, succumbed to cancer and died recently. He was a well know Des Moines area rider who counted many ultra-endurance events and feats of long suffering cycling as accomplishments. He also has been noted as being a very unassuming and modest man, never making anything of his vast achievements and always at the ready to help other cyclists in their pursuits. Paul was a finisher of Trans Iowa v3. My condolences go out to Paul's family and friends upon the loss of this man. I would like to dedicate this post of Trans Iowa imagery to his memory.
Next: The "Lone Ranger" of T.I.v9