Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trans Iowa

I have never had a scorching desire to do this race, and this year is a perfect example of why.

Pic from S. Fuller's Flikr page
  • First, this is the worst time of the year to hold a gravel road race (and this only adds notoriety ). In the midwest, Precip is distributed in a bellshaped curve from Jan-Dec. April and May are going to have the heaviest amount of rain fall.
  • Couple this with the fact that most of the gravel roads in Iowa there are primarily pea gravel/course sand. If you want to have a all weather road you need a coarse aggregate to form the base.
  • I also have a bit of anxiety about failure. If I do not think I am capable of finishing something, I will not start. This was a rule that was beat into me growing up, and has given me a bit of a complex as an adult.
  • Could I do it (ride 320 miles)? Maybe, if the conditions were not total crap and the cards were falling in my direction. Would I develop a stomach ulcer in the months leading up to it? Probably.
  • I have tremendous amount of respect for the guys that go out there and throw down on iowa roads, but its just not my cup of tea.
  • Sounded like half the field was done by the first checkpoint.
Hoping that EB, Corey, Troy, and everybody else stays safe out there. I am looking forward to hearing tales of this glorious, albeit soggy, adventure!


brady said...

well put

Neve_r_est said...

Actually most IA gravels are limestone. You only get into the sandy pea gravel stuff North of I80 in the central and Western regions.

I didn't worry at all. Didn't think about till a day or two before. I really enjoy walking next to my bike, I really do.

Maybe you should try snowbiking...


Steve Fuller said...

Agree with what DG said regarding the roads. That said, we did have a fairly hefty amount of sandy stuff and the portions of the course I managed to ride were fairly sandy.

At that point of that photo, we had just cleared a bit of rain that had fallen as we were riding towards that particular spot. What you don't see behind me are the 8 other people that had pulled up behind me at the same point to assess their options. We looked like a bunch of lemmings having second thoughts about running off the cliff.

Joshua Stamper said...

OK, I will conceded that Quantifying "most of the roads" as pea gravel may not be the most accurate statement. Granted, after living in KS, you become a bit spoiled when it comes to gravel. I hate loose sand/pea gravel roads.
Remember, I may be a bum, but I am a picky bum :-)

@DG I am not sure that even I have enough self loathing (or consistent snow in NE) to snow bike, but I walk real good!

@ SF.....I love that analogy!

MG said...

I didn't worry either... But that said, I did curse a bit on the second B road section. That sucked.

Not sure if I'll be lining up for TransIowa next year or not yet. It's a big commitment for a let down that often has absolutely nothing to do with training or bikes...

Cornbread said...

Come on Stamper! You gotta do TI next year! Triple century on gravel! Yay!