Saturday, April 27, 2024

It Has Been Ten Years Already?! Part 3

Just what an event director doesn't want to see.
So, just one more tale from a decade ago. Gosh! A whole ten years has flown by since this dramatic night I and a bunch of goofy gravel riders survived. I have to say, I would not recommend doing what any of us did to anyone out there. 

That said, this was what I would call one of those life-memories that you treasure because it was so dumb and dangerous. Some would call it "adventure". Some would call it downright negligence. 

The image here to the left pretty much is the mark where everything went upside down and is probably where a lot of people would have said, "Welp! This looks like a good place to call it all off!", but I wasn't one of those people. 

Neither were the 40-ish people still riding in the event. As evidenced by the images I saw later. Some I'll post here for the first time ever below. Let's just say that we probably weren't being very sane or safe at all, but again, I doubt any of us would trade the experience for anything. It is that way with events like this. 

Well, I suppose there are a few who don't know about that night of Trans Iowa v10. For a taste of this crazy night you can go back and read my initial report filed on that particular night just afterward HERE

For images, see below....

A previously unpublished image by Steve Fuller. That's current Iowa Wind and Rock director, Sarah Cooper to the left.

Another previously unpublished image by John Mathias

The storm we rode out together in the middle of the night of April 26th-27th was a pretty bad one. Lightning, high East winds, rain, and night time conditions all conspired to drive the riders to seek shelter wherever they could find it. I heard of several barns being commandeered. Obviously this abandoned home, above, was one such refuge. I also heard about a couple of guys getting into a corn crib to ride out the worst of it. 

By about 2:00am or maybe 2:30am the storm had subsided and the riders all started making their way again against a brutal wind South and East to Grinnell Iowa and an old red barn outside of town a few miles. Fortunately there was no loss of life, no injuries, and no harm done to property or possessions. I seriously doubt any of the landowners of those barns and homes knew of the passing of these strangers in the night. To them, they were perhaps just ghosts. Spirits bourne upon a howling wind and lightning only to be seen if they had dared to go out in the weather. 

No, they probably never knew anything about that passage of the Trans Iowa riders in the night. But yes - that doesn't make it "right" either. I understand the dichotomy of what it is the letter of the law says and what the letter of the Spirit is. If you ask me, I think the more important things were followed that evening. 

I wouldn't have wished for an evening like that to happen at my event ever. But am I glad it happened? Yeah...... Yes, I am glad it happened. Those things those people and myself along with the volunteers experienced? Those are treasured memories that can never be replicated, and I am pretty sure each man and woman that participated in those events that weekend knew that deep inside. 

Were the evening's events stupid, dangerous, and unnecessary? Probably...... Yes. That's the paradox of it all. That evening probably should not have gone down like it did. Maybe the event should have been truncated. Everyone sent home, safe, warm in a motel room and cursing the weather that took away their chances to finish a Trans Iowa again. 

But that ain't how it happened.


MG said...

That’s me in the yellow jacket in John’s shot… I had kind of a stupid grin on my face. I wonder why???

MG said...

… but I’m glad we didn’t die that night. I’m glad it went down, even though I gave up about 25 miles from the finish. Ugh…

Guitar Ted said...

@MG - Oh! That's awesome! It was hard for me to tell who it was in John's image and he didn't tell me when he sent that over last year. I had not seen that before then.

As I posted, there are a few conflicting emotions that I have regarding that evening, so I can see where you are coming from. But I agree, it was pretty damn cool in the end.

I think some people might find your last statement a bit surprising, but you and I both know that the ferocity of that wind was not a thing to be trifled with. That context might help some folks understand better. You rode well and in the end did what was best for you. I am proud of your efforts in that T.I.

MG said...

Thanks Brother… I couldn’t bring my head around the fact that I was alone and facing at least 10 more miles into a 30 mph headwind. You know, finishing T.I. once is fine with me. The memories I have from each edition, whether I finished or not, are priceless. I’m glad we did it the old school way and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. Thank you for giving us that opportunity!!

S.Fuller said...

@MG - I was super sorry to see you drop out at that C-store. I think I tried every trick in the book to get you to come with Josh, John, Mike, and me. I didn't understand it at the time, but I do now.