• Posted May 15, 2017

BIKEIOWA gives a quick run down of the race, the gear and bike used for Trans Iowa v13 that took place April 29th and 30th 2017

April Showers bring...

Well.. April Showers bring rain and wind, but seemingly only on Trans Iowa weekend since the weekends before and after Trans Iowa were gorgeous! Trans Iowa v13 was our 3rd attempt the self-navigated, self-supported, 300-plus mile gravel road event. In 2015 no one finished, then 2016 had the most finishers ever. This year we posted that we wanted a mentally challenging event and that is what we got!

120 signed up, 76 started and only 6 finished. That should tell you something right there.


I'd been watching the 10-day forecast every day. The cold, windy and rainy forecast did not change all week. Even my 2:15am weather-check in held no surprises.

2017 seemed like the year for rain for me anyways... Earlier in March I competed in the LandRun 100 in Stillwater OK t where it rained the majority of the 100 miles of red dirt. 800+ started, but on 160 finished. Lots of hypothermia, broken derailleurs and dreams. I ended up getting 1st place Fat Bike after riding 10 1/2 hours in the rain. Then I signed up for the long race in the Crush Rock Classic in Ames which it poured the whole race. Lots of folks took cover and dropped out early that day too.

So this is why I was playing such close attention to the weather.. After those hypothermic races, I splurged on a new rain jacket, waterproof socks and gloves. I knew if it were raining the whole Trans Iowa it would be hard to survive out there.. and it was.

I did my usually regimen the week before the race. I set up 2 large folding tables and started to pile "potential" gear on one table. Then over the course of the week, I move the "potential" gear to the "Its going with me" gear. i also have a "What if" box on the floor that is full of extra gear that I can use or switch out on game day.

I've did this enough, but I still pack up my bike once or twice and go for a short ride. I'm always looking for a new way to carry something or a way I can use a piece of gear in a way it wasn't intended for.


We have been wanting to do a video series for some time on what we packed before the race and then follow it up with what gear worked and what did not. So we took some time before and after the race to create a 9 part video series showcasing what we packed and what gear we used for Trans Iowa v13.


Pulled the plug at mile 211 in Trans-Iowa #TIv13 shortly after midnight. A combination of rain and high winds all day, head-bobbing, super-soft roads, 5-7mph speedz, no brakes, Flintstone stops, boots full of water, uncontrollable shivers and the thought of riding another 130 miles like this all night long and most of the morning if not the afternoon was just over the top. I took some non-normal gear that worked out really well, but that last level B road was like walking through the Florida Everglades. Just too much. THANKS for everyone's support this year including Jess Rundlett for being my support, Maria von Ruhtenberg for making me eat, and Bob Moural for picking me up since i was close to the Cumming Tap. Time will tell whether I'll sign up again. I've finished before, but wanted to finish a bad year from a mental standpoint.

It's kinds of funny to look at my bike and gear compared to the winner (Dan Hughes). I looked like I was ready for the Tour Divide and he looked like he was ready for a Spring Classic. We were the extremes with plenty in between.

You'll get lots more recap comments in the videos


Thanks to Mark Stevenson (aka Guitar Ted) and every single volunteer for making this race happen. Just thing about the endeavor it takes to plan out a 300+ mile gravel route and ensure everyone can have a place to refuel and ride safely! We love it!



  1. Gore Jacket (breathable, long cuffs, reversible zipper)
  2. BIKEIOWA Wind Vest from Primal (3 rear pockets, and reversible zipper) -
  3. Lake WInter Boots
  4. Seal Skiz water proof socks (grippers)
  5. Press-n-Seal on helmet
  6. 45 North Cap
  7. Patagonia Wool base layer
  8. Gore water/wind proof pants (rough on inside, but did not cause issues.)
  9. Oakley inserts
  10. REI Waterproof Mitten Shells


  1. Bar Mitts
  2. Garmin 800
  3. Camelback hydration
  4. Revelate Frame Bag
  5. 2 Revelate Feed Bags
  6. Revelate Front Bag (chargers and extra food)
  7. Revelate Pika (never opened it)
  8. Selle Anatomica Seat
  9. Sling
  10. Music


  • 1/2 Pancheros Chicken Burrito for breakfast
  • Chicken Noodle Soup, Lays Potato Chips, string cheese and a Mountain Dew in Melbourne
  • PIzza at Caseys in Madrid (Filled up Camel Back)
  • 2 True Moos Chocolate Milk in Adel (Filled up Camel Back) - saw Jim Philips and 4-5 others
  • True Moos Chocolate Milk, Fig Newtons and Chocolate Zingers in Winterset (Filled up Camel Back)
  • Pizza and Mountain Dew at Cumming Tap
  • Various salted nut rolls and GU in between stops


  • Wish I would have taken a ton of photos
  • Should have put on an extra thermal jersey at CP#2
  • Should have inspected my boots to see that the right heel had ripped apart from the boot. I could have duct-taped the boot to stop the rain from getting in.
  • Should have taken some time to adjust my brakes
  • Don't be in such a hurry when the going gets rough. Spend a bit of time to strategize and use some of that gear I packed

Thanks to Mark, Steve and Bif at Bike World for making sure my Trek Cronus was race-ready!

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