Thursday, February 13, 2014

Have It Your Way

From the town with the cheeky name...
There was an advertising campaign for one of the chain store burger joints that went something like "Have It Your Way", if I recall correctly. I always thought that was an inviting advert. You know, it made me think I could get my burger exactly the way I wanted it. Funny thing was I never actually acted on that, so maybe that ad campaign was not so hot, eh?

Well, yesterday I saw a bit of a discussion concerning a new gravel road event based on the premise  of a 24 hour mountain bike event, only on gravel, and the "pits" would be in the small town of Cumming, Iowa. There is to be a band, aid station in the town, and what not. Cost is about $95.00 to enter as a solo rider.

The question that was posed was about the fees, and where was the money going, and what would the "other grinders think?"

While it probably is a good idea to be transparent about where fees like that are going, and what they are for, I think on a larger scale this question is indicative of the duality that exists in the gravel riding scene these days. On one hand you have the "under the radar", free, grassroots, no license type events, and on the other hand you have the licensed, pay-to-play, highly promoted, aid stationed, events with other amenities attached. It seems that in some rider's eyes one type is "not cool" while the other type is sometimes referred to as "real racing".

Riding free for free
The "what others think" thing is what caught my attention. It seems that we as humans think too much about that, and it gets in the way of what matters by replacing what matters with thoughts about stuff that doesn't matter at all.

In other words, it's all a pile of horse crap.

Ya know, I have my thoughts about what I like in a gravel event, but if that doesn't match up with some other folks ideas of what is good, hey- who am I to say that what they want in an event is wrong?  Here's a thought: If you don't like a certain event's way of doing things, feel free to put on yer own deal. That's pretty much where I came into this whole gravel event thing. Otherwise, if you don't see yourself as a doer in the promotional/event directing sense, find any one of dozens of events that do it your way. Or barring all of that, you can always just ride your bicycle on those gravel roads. They are all there waiting for you and your bicycle for no charge.

Or you can ride free for a fee.

Either way, there are plenty of events that do things in vastly different ways. I don't see any issues with this. In fact, it should be a diverse menu for the gravel riding enthusiast to choose from. Plenty of promoters have put their stamp, their "ethos" for gravel riding events, right out there for you to peruse. The choice is yours. "Have It Your Way".  But if something about an event rubs you the wrong way, ya know what? You do not have to choose it. You don't even have to acknowledge it. You can just look away, and go find something else that does trip yer trigger. Like I say- there's plenty of events to choose from. It isn't like there are few gravel road events out there in 2014!

But who am I kidding? It seems to be the "American Way" to have to type up a rant about something or another that doesn't make a hill of beans difference to anyone, other than to be annoying. Which at this point I probably should heed that thought and move along here................

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