Monday, April 15, 2024

It Has Been Ten Years Already?!

Want to feel "old"? It has been ten years since Trans Iowa v10. So, yeah, that hit me last week and I found it kind of hard to believe. But it has been that long ago now that the tenth (!) Trans Iowa was about to be run. Thanks Facebook memories! Ha!

Of course, I have written reams about Trans Iowa on this blog, since this blog was the de facto secondary source of information on the event back in the day. I wrote a series in 2014 about all the previous Trans Iowa events, and of course, the entire saga of Trans Iowa in the Trans Iowa Stories series. 

However; those Facebook memories stirred up some things I had forgotten about, and that I had not written much about concerning the tenth Trans Iowa. Any of you familiar with the history of the event may remember that this particular Tans Iowa was earmarked by myself as being the last one ever. I had serious plans for never doing the event again. Obviously, there were four more before the tank went dry, but the tenth one holds a special place in my heart, and I am sure it has a special place for those who were a part of that one. It was truly worthy of a ten year celebration, and it was a record setting event for myself, and the event in particular. 

But a lot of that has been beaten to death. What I wanted to point out were a few things I found in Facebook that I had forgotten about and have not really ever made known well enough, in my opinion. Things you all may find interesting. Well.....we'll see about that!

One of the first ten Nano 40 tires in the USA.

2014 was a year that could be said to be the first year of "gravel specific parts". Sure, we had the Warbird two years earlier with those Clement tires, and there was the Challenge Tires' Almanzo model, and maybe one or two other, hard to find bits for gravel by 2014. But beyond those few niche brands and low availability parts, there wasn't anything. 

That all changed in 2014. One of the most highly anticipated introductions that year, or since then, was the tire from WTB called the Nano 40. It was a folding bead, non-tubeless tire with a fairly aggressive tread in a 40mm width. 

WTB, and in particular, then employee Will Ritchie, convinced whomever they had to that Trans Iowa needed to be sponsored by WTB, and in a very special way. The idea was to send Trans Iowa the first batch of Nano 40 tires ever in the USA. A small batch of five pair of tires were sent to me and I was floored! 

There were, by 2014 bigger gravel events with more people attending. There were chances to bring a spotlight to those events, but WTB sent Trans Iowa these rare tires. What?!! I still am amazed that this happened. It is also worth mentioning that these went to the winners of each category, and I did not get any for myself. WTB did send a set later in the year for me to review. 

So, yeah, that was amazing, and what a thing to have happen to Trans Iowa and myself. Just an unprecedented happening, and I haven't heard about anything like that happening to an event since then. That an introduction of a new component would be sent to some bizarre event and given away as prizing? I cannot stress how rare that was. Thanks again to Will Ritchie and WTB! 

But Will and WTB didn't stop there. This isn't T.I.v10 related, but it fits this narrative in this story. That's because for the following year's T.I.v11 I received cases of tubeless Nano 40's to give away. A first for gravel, the Nano 40 TCS was not yet available anywhere in 2015. You could not buy them, look at them, or even touch a box that they were in. But I had a stack of them in my basement! And not only that, they were prizing for riders in T.I.v11. Not for sale! Amazing!

That one got me in hot water with bicycle dealers across the USA as I was getting calls to sell sets of these rare tires to shops for their customers! No doubt, I could have cleaned up on those offers, but that's not how I roll. It was a stressful thing and had I known how much demand for a tubeless gravel tire was motivating these bothersome calls, I wouldn't have made known I had them until after the event was over and I had given them away. 

Oh well! 

Look for another story or two in the coming weeks before April ends concerning the tenth Trans Iowa.

1 comment:

Pedro said...

Really impresive!!!
Another part of the post…. 10 years. Time moves very very very fast, so just enjoy life.
Ride & fun, all my best.