Wednesday, February 01, 2023

More Gravel History

Riders of the first Trans Iowa heading out of Hawarden, Iowa in April of 2005.
Last Monday I shared an image that surfaced which showed the first roster for the inaugural Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race. It was also shared on my Instagram feed and quickly became the most "liked" picture I have ever shared there. Not that any of my posts there get much run, but you know.....I'm not one o them thar "influecer types", ya know? 

Of course, that image reminded me that I have a similar roster which I could share. So, I figured that I would let that DK image stand on its own, because I do not want to take anything away from that history or those that were behind it. I waited until today to share what I have here. I don't think I've ever shared this on the blog here, so until now, no one has seen this sheet but Jeff Kerkove and myself. 

The roster sheet I used during Trans Iowa v1 (Click to embiggen)

 So, here's the backstory on this sheet of yellow paper. Back when I stareted working at Europa Cycle & Ski, anything you wanted to copy using their copy machine had to be done on recycled or reclaimed paper. You never used new paper! Well, unless you bought it and put it into the copier. Anyway, this roster sheet was printed at Europa on the back of some distributor's sales flyer. 

This was the final roster for the event. Savvy Trans Iowa historians may recall that the field limit was 50 people. Well....Jeff Kerkove let a few more in because these people begged to be let in on this inaugural running of this crazy idea. For the most part, these were endurance MTB racer friends of Jeff's. 

This served me as my check-off sheet during the event to keep track of who was in and who was out of the event. It's the actual working list I used in 2005. You'll note that I have only six circled names when 9 people finished. I had moved on from this sheet for the end of the event, so that's why they are not circled here. 

Notable: We had THREE women sign up! Only one took the start though. Joel Dyke took part in the event as a way to do "in the field research" for what he and Jim Cummins would do the following year. Joel actually rode in T.I.v2 as well, shortly before the first DK200. 

See how many ultra-endurance freaks you can pick out of this list. There were a few heavy-hitters in that first Trans Iowa!

The same thing applies here as it does to the inaugural roster for the DK200- ALL are pioneers of the gravel scene. The "Modern Day Gravel Movement" started out with these people signing on to back a crazy idea- That being that gravel racing was a good idea. Now- these weren't the first people to do this! But these were the first people to bring a spotlight to an idea which had the internet as a fertile soil for reproduction across the nation, and eventually, the world. It is these people's influence, and those of the event promoters, that propelled "Gravel™" to where you know it today to be. 

It is merely a case of "right place - right time" that put Trans Iowa and the DK200 in the places of history that they hold. This document, and the roster I shared Monday are in tribute to those who came to test this "new" thing out and gave it a rousing review afterward all across the internet. 

Thank you, one and all!


fasteddy said...

I love seeing these founding artifacts. Some names that became/remain pillars of eastern Iowa cycling there.
Thank you for sharing!

Guitar Ted said...

@fasteddy - Thank you! I'm amazed at the interest in the history of these events.

Exhausted_Auk said...

Proud to be on that list. Not so proud of the DNF, of course.....

Guitar Ted said...

@Exhausted_Auk - And of course, I am very proud to have you on that list as well. Additionally, didn't you settle your score with Trans Iowa several years later? ;>) Congratulations again on that feat!