Wednesday, March 09, 2011
I was at work yesterday, and my mind was wandering, as it is wont to do while I am doing a menial task, and I thought about what it might look like if there was a stage race on Iowa gravel roads. You know, like the road and mountain bike stage races mixed together with the "under-ground event, free race" ethos thrown into the mix.
I even came up with a slick name for the whole deal. Check this out: "Tour of Iowa Gravel Endurance Road Race". Yes folks, that spells "TIGERR". Charlie Sheen would be proud, (not that this matters, but....).
Okay, so what is an idea without some substance to it.
So, I thought about that. I could do the easy thing, and just dial up my Gravel-brai route that I came up with last year. The route is all there, all the way across the state, for seven days. Stage race, right? All the towns have accommodations, and cues would be easy-peasy. However; that is waaaaay too obvious, and also- very challenging logistically for anyone considering doing such a stage race event. Besides, the route isn't all that great, and I can do better. Way better.
Soooooo......here's where my head is on this right now. To make the thing do-able for a lot of folks, an entire week of gravel riding, as awesome as that sounds, is probably too much awesomeness all at once. (But- If I am wrong, please let me know that.) I thought that it might actually work out better as a three day stage race, at least to start out with. This does several things.
One, it makes the event a "bite-sized" deal that looks attractive from a time-off-work standpoint, because, let's be honest, taking a week plus travel time off to ride gravel is probably not a thing many could do, or even would want to do.
Secondly, the logistics get a lot easier to deal with on a three day stage event versus a week plus one. I could dial in three different stages out of the same hub, for instance, thus cutting down on multiple over-night stops and the resultant details in lodging/camping. Costs for riders comes down as a result, as well. This could also put the event in one spot with lots of great roads to explore, as opposed to having to cover some not-so-interesting places in between cool spots.
Finally, I was thinking this might be good to take place in July, because that's when everyone is thinking, "Tour", ya know?
So, what does the gravel aficionado say? Let me hear your ideas on this in the comments.