Trans-Iowa 6 begins at 4am tomorrow morning. Ari and Russ left today – that’s literally 1/2 of our normal staff. Our hope and prayer is that they make it to the finish line with all limbs and mental faculties intact. There is always hope.
They’ll ride 3 centuries back to back in the gravel wilderness of Iowa in less than 36 hours.
Most people don’t even know what the Trans-Iowa is. Around here, it’s been the only thing we’ve talked about for the last 3 months (and the only thing Russ and Ari have thought about for much longer). Their level of commitment has been impressive, inspiring, and routinely mind-blowing since late fall. They maintained a consistent Wednesday night ride all winter, sometimes riding into the wee hours. Their overnight centuries were the most impressive of all. Not just the fact that they did it, but the fact that they could recover and be productive and useful the next day. I remember recently hearing Russ remark, “well, it was just a hundred miles…”
The weather report was bleak at the start of the week, but it’s grown brighter as the day grew closer. Ari made his final bike choice only a day or two ago. The choice was whether to ride the juggernaut Fargo for wider tires on wet gravel, or the feathery La Cruz since he’d probably be carrying the bike anyway. He settled on the La Cruz. Russ rode his Gunnar Crosshairs. His tax return went almost completely to making the bike race-ready. The man has priorities.
They’ll return bodily – Russ to class and Ari to work – by 10am on Monday. I expect mental return to take place sometime on Wednesday.
Ride well, mes frères.