Sunday, October 17, 2021

Trans Iowa Stories: A Look At Sponsors For The Last Trans Iowas

A small craft bag maker by the name of Knickerbakken made these for v13.

"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 clicking on the "Trans Iowa Stories" link under the blog header. Thanks and enjoy! 

As Trans Iowa went on, not only were certain people enamored of the event enough to come and ride in it, certain people were attracted to it enough that they found ways to be a part of the event through other means than by direct participation in it. One of those was a man who crafted custom made cycling 'wallets' for tools and tubes. 

His company was called "Knickerbakken", and he just wanted to do some work with the T.I.v13 logo. I allowed that and he sent out about six wallets which I ended up passing on to some special volunteers of the event. I still have mine and when I look at it I am struck by the amount of work and detail that went into making this. I am truly still astounded that anyone would have done this for Trans Iowa. 

Then there were the items that my partner in made for Trans Iowa. Ben made me a flask for v13, but for v14 he went all-out and we had bottle openers made for everyone in the event out of stainless steel. I also got a few flasks made and some coffee mugs which I handed out to my dearest volunteers.

Flasks and the bottle opener that Ben Welnak made for T.I. v13 and v14

Of course, we had more 'traditional' sponsors as well. The interesting thing about sponsors, for this era of Trans Iowa or earlier, was that I almost never asked for sponsors. I admit- I am really bad at that. Not that I never asked, because in a few instances I did. No, what was unique about Trans Iowa was that, as far as I know, it was an event that businesses and people wanted to do things for. The smaller, more 'under-the-radar' sponsors really exemplify this, I think. That's why I am spending time writing about this now. 

Some of the more traditional sponsors were WTB and Velocity U.S.A. Both were multi-year sponsors which came on board in the last several years of the event. Velocity liked to do this thing where they gave away a wheel set but only to the last person to make Checkpoint #2 on time and then finished, so basically the last placed person. I always thought that was cool. 

WTB was even more egalitarian with prizing. They would give away a set of tires to every finisher! This wasn't always easy to forecast, obviously! We had no finishers, then 40+, then 6 the following year. It was a good idea that was a bit hard to implement, but they were always up for it. 

The Trans Iowa v13 t-shirt, inspired by a post card sent in by a T.I.v3 rider, and funded by Lederman Bail Bonds.

We would often get collaborative efforts that would result in cool items for the riders. The T.I.v13 t-shirt being one of those. It was, in fact, the last t-shirt done for the riders. Lederman Bail Bonds always was very generous with sponsorship monies and I allocated a big portion of that to getting these made. It was all based upon a design from a post card entry for Trans Iowa v3 sent in by Gary Cale. I ran the idea by him and he allowed us to modify the idea to fit the v13 theme seen above. Ironically, the t-shirt fit the event like a hand in glove. 

N.Y. Roll also did another volunteer's t-shirt for v13.

N.Y. Roll had done a t-shirt for the volunteers of v12 and he stepped up again for the volunteers of v13 with another design. This time he used the v13 logo and put it on an ash gray t-shirt. He did both the v12 and v13 designs without any prompting, or even with my knowledge, beforehand. Again, showing what lengths people would go to in order to show their respect and love for Trans Iowa. It was simply amazing and I know of no other event which allowed, or even asked for, such participation in an event in these unique, creative ways. 

I should also mention sponsors like Pedal of Littleton, Salsa Cycles, and Bar Yak, all sponsors in one form or another which would come alongside Trans Iowa and offer goods and merchandise for the prizing table year after year. There certainly were others, and of course, the anonymous donors of cash and pre-paid gift cards who would slip me their support at the Meat-Up, or in a letter ahead of a Trans Iowa, just to make sure that this event was well funded and backed. 

All of these things were out of respect and love for Trans Iowa. I am, now and always will be, forever in these people's and company's debt for what they have done for this event during the years it was run. It wasn't so much the things, or the money, it was what the motivations were that I find really special. A 'thank you' is all I have to give, but it just never seems like enough.

Next: Back to the route finding for v13


S.Fuller said...

I really love and cherish all of my TransIowa shirts. Kick in the Junk, the TI V5 with the calf, and even the super rare "Face of G Ted" shirt. :)

Guitar Ted said...

@S. Fuller - have one THOSE t-shirts? I'm still embarrassed by that Face of G-Ted one! But I am glad you enjoy it, and the others!