Over the next couple of days I'll be posting some TransIowa thoughts and details about my 2014 ride experience. There is much about this years event that my mind is still sorting through and trying to make sense of, so hopefully I can put it all into words while the thoughts are still fresh.
Over the course of 312 miles, I endured 25-30mph headwinds, lightning storms, rain, chasing dogs, and darkness, but in the end it proved to be my single speed drivetrain that did me in. At mile 150 my chain broke as I was torquing up yet another enormous hill. I fixed it using spare links I brought with me. During the night my chain broke two more times, and I once again repaired them. At mile 311, 25 miles from the finish, my chain broke one final time. But this time it was on a down hill, causing it to flip up and wrap around itself, the cog, and the frame, causing it to become bent and kinked beyond repair. And just like that, the ride was over.
As I sit here, my mind and body are wasted. I feel like I endured the event. I gave it all I had and was in the perfect position to finish once again. I endured the cruel winds. I fueled correctly. I had the physical stamina and mental mindset. I embraced the pain and suffering. I rode 311 miles over the course of 27 hours. I did all these things, but I did not finish. It's frustrating to say the least. My name won't be on the finishers list. I can say my bike had a mechanical and pat myself on the back and say I almost finished. But I still came up short.
TransIowa is about the complete package. Everything has to go right in order to finish. That is the challenge. Every year I learn a little bit more about the event and myself, but as this year goes to show, there is always something more to be prepared for. I am disappointed, but not upset. I gave the event what I had. Unfortunately I came up a little short. But one things for certain, I'll make sure I bring a spare chain next year just in case.