|Jeff Kerkove was a recent guest on the Bikepack Racing Podcast.
My interest was piqued when I read Jeff's description of the show which stated, "Last week I sat down with Ezra and Andrew of the Bikepack Racing Podcast to talk Atlas Mountain Race, how Trans-Iowa got started, my journey thru cycling, the Colorado Trail Race attempts...and much more! "
Jeff was going to talk about Trans Iowa?! I had to hear this! So, I settled into the show and anxiously awaited to hear what Jeff's recollections and thoughts about the event he and I started up were. You see, we don't talk much and the times when I did see him we just never felt that the Trans Iowa story was worth discussing. I mean, we were both there at the start of it all, so why talk about it? That's not odd, in my opinion.
But now many years have passed and Jeff, for the most part, hasn't spoken publicly, that I am aware of, about Trans Iowa and his viewpoint of how things got started. There was really no need for him to talk about it. But with this whole gravel thing blown up to epic proportions now, I suppose those who are younger, who never knew those days of cycling, are wondering what the story was with Jeff. His whole story, and that includes 'gravel'.
I'm not going to give it away here, you'll have to listen in to the first 16 minutes or so to get the T.I. stuff, but I enjoyed Jeff's viewpoint very much. It's obvious to me that he never really thought that Trans Iowa would start this gravel grinding thing nor that it would become so important because he seemed to have a vagueness on some dates and details, but I get it. Trans Iowa wasn't a big deal for him, as he had bigger fish to fry in terms of endurance racing, bikepacking, and getting himself to his goal of living in Colorado. Still, his take on things is really interesting. I learned a few things and Jeff's viewpoint is important to story of the Modern Gravel Era because Jeff gives a great view of where Trans Iowa came from, how the gravel scene got started, and who were the main players in it, which really informed how gravel events were done early on.
I also enjoyed the podcasts host's view of Jeff, which I readily agree with, and which I have spoken to here and elsewhere before. But to hear the hosts "fanboy" on Jeff was fun for me. Jeff really deserves it, despite his obvious humility around that.
Anyway, for the Trans Iowa nerds and endurance racing freaks, you should listen to this podcast. It's worth your time.