Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday News And Views

Cycling back roads getting "official" State designation?
The (Scenic) Road Less Traveled: 

The avid gravel road rider in the Mid-West will likely tell you one of the several reasons they like riding on gravel is because of the scenery. Well, it appears that at least one state in the Union just may make some of their gravel back roads official "scenic cycling routes". 

Oregon cyclists are gathering in meetings with State officials to possibly designate certain routes as "State Scenic Bikeways" to help boost tourism and bring people in to the state's rural towns. Roads are being looked at and advisory teams made up of some of the more prominent Oregonian cyclists are helping out. They are aiming to help bring gravel road riding to the masses. It is hoped that by promoting the routes as being scenic, little trafficked by cars, and having friendly rural towns along the way it will lure cycling tourists and their dollars to some of the towns and villages in rural Oregon.

Oregon is home to several gravel road rides and races which generally cover the State's little known Eastern interior. The rise of gravel road racing and the cycling industry's introduction of "gravel road" specific components and bicycles helped spur the idea.

It makes me wonder how this might look in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, or elsewhere. It is quite obvious to me that really great riding exists right here in the Mid-West on back roads that are unpaved. I will be watching this Oregonian idea closely to see how it might turn out. 

For more details on this Oregon gravel initiative see here.

Post cards still coming in...

Mail Bag:

Even though Trans Iowa v10's registration ended on Monday, the post cards have been trickling in all week.  I probably have enough post card enties to field another event!

Not that I am going to, one is enough. I suspect that the uptick in interest in Trans Iowa is maybe due to the word getting spread via the "300 Miles of Gravel" deal and because Trans Iowa appeared in a lot of print articles or was referenced in a bunch of gravel stories throughout 2013. It's getting harder and harder to say this event is an "under the radar" event, like it used to be!

At any rate, I will be moving on to doing up some cue sheet drafts for T.I.v10 and for the Trans Iowa Masters Program. That should keep me occupied for a while on these cold Winter nights upcoming! And I will also mention the Trans Iowa Clinic coming up December 7th. There are still spots available, so send in your RSVP if you are interested.

Oh yeah.....the eagle-eyed here will notice the design for the t-shirt for the Trans Iowa participants is shown in the image with the post cards. More on that soon......

And something I haven't seen before until just yesterday:

A version of "300 Miles of Gravel" shown on "Iowa Outdoors", a PBS Iowa show. It's kind of weird seeing some T.V. "talking heads" doing a bit about your event. Like I said- it isn't so under the radar anymore!

Have a great weekend ya'all!

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