The idea is to enlist, recruit or cajole four of your friends, well usually your friends, to wake up really early on a grey, cold Saturday morning and ride your bikes for 61 miles. There's a bit more too it though. The deal is that to count as finishing, the five of you have to come across the finish line together. On top of that, the format is that of a team time trial, meaning you toe the line with your five comrads at a pre-ordained time, meaning that the organizers agonizingly scrutinize the rosters, strava, and maybe sometimes a coin toss to pick your start time. So there could be a whole lot to consider when putting your team together. You eat, sleep and breath bike racing and carry a license with the low number on it you'll have a little more time to down some coffee before starting. If you are the lucky ones to start at 10am, to be a top the podium you need to cover 61 miles all while overcoming the two hour advantage the first team off the blocks has on you.
Do remember, its called the Gents Renegade. First picture below shows ya how renegade it is.
Three, two, one
32 miles done, half way home
You could find yourself in a dilemma at Snus Hill Winery. The grain silos next to Slater are plainly in sight. A mere two miles away. Forge on, or take a short cut? If you venture inside, there's wine tasting too. Oh what to do?
It will take some calories to finish the second half. Solid or liquid, your choice.
For the first time in seven years, the wind didn't show up. Nada, none. When I came through Napier, seven miles north and east past Snus Hill, teams of five were making their way through. Fifteen minutes later when I pulled into the driveway at Snus Hill, the teams that got to enjoy their coffee in the morning were either pulling in, or refueling. It was looking to me like this would be only the second time the speedsters wouldn't be able to close a two hour gap. This is what trying looks like.
Today was a whole lot of people who came out to live life and be a part of it. Come out to the finish next year and you'll find that today is about camaraderie, friendship, and telling the stories of the day. Remember what it was like riding your bike for the first time when you were six years old? That's what today feels like. After a week or two of grey bleak Iowa days, it's about emerging from winter, and seeing the prairie come to life, all dotted with splashes of bright color. It's also about community and giving back. The Bike Iowa bunch doesn't charge a dime to participate, and they encourage you to donate $'s bring pet food with you to the start in Slater, all to help the felines over at Furry Friends Refuge.