Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Times They Are A-Changin': Verse Two

Tagging onto yesterdays post, I had another related thought. The appearance of more 100 mile events is interesting. As many of you may already know, there is a new national series based on existing 100 mile events. It was developed as an answer, ( a better alternative, I guess might be more accurate) to the NORBA national series Marathon events. There is something else that I find interesting about these 100 mile events though.

The old skool nature of alot of these events is not lost on me. Many riders might think of the 100 milers as some new trend. I see them as a "return to the roots" kind of event. Here's why: In the beginnings of the sport, many of the great races were long distance, point to point races. In other words, they were cross country races! You in; you ride your bike across the country? Yeah, that seemed to have gotten lost somewhere along the way and what we now know as a XC race is nothing more than a dirt criterium. Bunch of corners here, a few climbs there, short distance, and off you go! The only thing they are missing is a bell lap!

That's why these 100 milers are beautiful. They are really what "XC" races should have been all along. The "marathon" events that NORBA puts on should really be called sprint races. The XC races of today should be renamed "dirt criteriums" especially since you can get mechanical assistance, which flies in the face of what the original intents of the charter members of NORBA were in the first place. Namely that all riders should be self sufficient! How hard is that to understand? I guess that would be my one and only beef with the current 100 mile race series. They allow drop bags and aid stations. Hrrumph! Aid stations! .............whatever.

Anyway.........These 100 milers. Beautiful! I look for more of this type of event to crop up in the future. It's more all terrain riding and less of the roadie thing.

.................................not that there is anything wrong with roadies! Anybody seen those new Jan Ullrich bikes?

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