With the thoughts of Trans Iowa V5 running through my, ( and a lot of others) head lately, I have been perhaps a bit more attuned to what is going on elsewhere that is similar. I have always been a bit amazed at the interest in such events.
There is talk of several such events in places like North Carolina, Georgia, and even perhaps a route devised by Trans Iowa mastermind "J-kove" in Colorado. Multi-day, stage race type events are also being talked about in places like Colorado and California. There is a new stage race taking place in Mexico, and the list goes on.
Of course, big loops, grand time trial/tour events, and gravel road epics are still as popular as ever. (Within a certain niche group, that is) There just seems to be a bubbling up of interest for competitive/adventure/endurance type events all across the nation. I think that some of the things I have touched upon are part of this phenomenon. The desire to challenge oneself and compete against others, (not necessarily both at the same time) on a scale once thought unimaginable seems to be becoming a reality for more and more people. They are taking that desire and (at least thinking about) turning it into action in the form of events.
This is going to start to become evident in the equipment used to do these epic events. I know that some companies are going to bring bikes geared to this sort of stuff to market very soon. I suspect others will follow. Accessory makers and component makers will be, or already are taking notice. What might become of that is yet to be seen. I suspect a lot of product development will be driven with these sorts of events in mind, at the very least.
Whatever happens, it is fun to be a small, tiny part of it here with Trans Iowa. Of course, d.p. and I are doing this because we think it is fun. That others are going this route with events, or considering it just tells me that we aren't the only nutcases out there. I guess that is somewhat comforting! (Or maybe we should all be worried. Very worried!)
2016 Dirty Kanza 200—The Dirty Five: Matt Acker
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