|Guitar Ted where you usually could find him- in front of a computer.|
Also, I've been treated to some great Trans Iowa stories and memories from riders recently. I am collecting these to - hopefully - put into a book at the end of this series. If you were a Trans Iowa rider and have any memories that you'd like to share, please do and send those to email@example.com. Maybe your tale will also end up in the Trans Iowa Book Of Tales!
Besides the tensions within Trans Iowa, social media/technology as it affects gravel racing, and gravel racing as a whole, there were a lot of tensions outside of that with my job and life. I've mentioned before about the loss of several close relatives of mine to death. My children were maturing and coming up on their high school graduations. But there was an elephant in the room that I wasn't even 100% aware of at the time which was leveraging me pretty hard.
That 'elephant' has been hard for me to address as it has been difficult for me not to be bitter about this and have it all come out wrong. That said, I think it is fairly obvious that my job at the time at Europa Cycle and Ski was a big issue for me. It was a dead-end job and the way the business was being run made it obvious to us who were there that things were not going well, to put it mildly.
In fact, it was a major source of stress for myself, since - on the one hand - it made things very unstable for me financially, and secondly, it was painfully obvious to those who had been there a while that it all hinged on our boss who was basically driving the business into the ground with his lack of leadership and inept business practices.
I think I'll leave it at that as those are the facts behind what would eventually lead to the demise of the business and my moving to Andy's Bike Shop. Circling it back to the subject at hand, all this background drama and stress made doing something as risky and difficult as putting on a Trans Iowa seem like a burden and not a lot of fun. That all was affecting my physical health as well. I was getting worse off in that area and not better, despite riding my bicycle a fair amount. This became a concern around about this time also.
Depression instigated by all of these factors was real for me and the years between 2016-2019 were really, really hard on me. I quite honestly didn't even understand how much of a burden the job situation was until I got out from underneath it. The two Trans Iowa events I had left to do in this time period were made a lot more difficult due the job and other outside influences that I have mentioned here. As the business sank even further into the morass that would eventually end it in December of 2019, the strength it took to keep my head up was not enough with all the things I had going on. I had to let something go.
And that 'thing' ended up being Trans Iowa.
But that tale will come when we get to Trans Iowa v14. There was a Trans Iowa that came before that, and the tales surrounding that event will come up next here.
Next week: The Long Way Around