Monday, May 4, 2009

transiowa v.5 (prologue)

my transiowa v.5 story actually begins a year and half ago with t.i.v.4. many have heard most/all of this story so i apologize for the redundancy but i feel its important to the overall picture. sometime in the fall of 2007 i was working at the shop, it was roughly 6 months before my 30th birthday, 8 months til t.i.v.4, i had just built my jabber at the same time we became a vassago dealer, and mentally/emotionally i was a mess. i have attempted to defend myself and explain the mental state i was in and most people blow me off...and honestly that's fine. but the truth is my impending 30th birthday was weighing on me terribly. best i can describe it i was in a pre-midlife crisis and was unable to handle it. after some months of soul searching i finally decided that i could hit 30 and start my downhill slide, or i could go the exact opposite way. be in the best shape of my life by the time i turn 30. plan...order, build and ride the shit out of a fixed cross bike and enter transiowa fixed. the idea being if i could get into shape enough to ride transiowa fixed then i would have to be in the best shape of my life. problem #1...i hadn't ever ridden more than 25 miles in my life. problem #2...i'd never really ridden a fixed gear. problem #3...i was at best a slightly above average sport class mtb racer. i had either set myself up for failure or the success of a lifetime. in the meantime i had developed an awesome relationship with kris at vassago. often a frame order would lead to a 30 minute conversations about bikes and rides and races and lives. after a couple of months he started to mention the possibility of them doing a steel cross bike and began asking my opinion on specific features. after talking about it for a while i told him that if they were to be available before transiowa that i would buy one as soon as possible because i was currently on an aluminum frame and really preferred steel as well as how the bike was going to be set up and how it was supposed to fit/ride. kris was excited about what i was attempting to do so offered to get in a prototype, custom paint it, add me as a supported rider and hook me up with the frame. i was floored. beyond floored. i was some daydreaming sport class hack with delusions of becoming the second person to ever finish transiowa and i had a company like vassago wanting to take care of me. damn. so i rode, and rode, and rode. had some successes at triple d and other xc races. had some failures at t.i.v.4 and 24 hours of boone. but my goal was accomplished. when i turned 30 i was as fit as i've ever been. and i was getting stronger and faster. so it was a no brainer that i would continue riding until i finished transiowa fixed. no backing out. no excuses. no freewheels or gears. i would do it every year until it was done. fall came again and i began conversations with misty from vassago regarding my place on the team. by the turn of the year i was racing the proto fisticuff in actual cross races, planning my '09 race season and had been offered a spot as a sponsored rider. things were going well and i had plenty of motivation to keep putting miles on through the winter. i had to finish this thing. for myself, to repay vassago, to justify all the personal sacrifices made during countless hours of training, for my mental health. winter came and went, early spring brought early success on the mtb and a taper toward t.i.v.5. mentally and physically i was in a good place headed into this years race. once we knew that the weather was not going to be the determining factor this year all that was left was to pedal. and pedal. and pedal.


Guitar Ted said...

Everyone has a story and this one is starting out damn good. I can't wait to read the rest.

Congratulations on your accomplishments. (I do not mean T.I. either, although I also congratulate you on that.) I get it and I am inspired. Thanks.

Captain Bob said...

Good stuff Ben. So happy for you.