|Sportin' my brand new Gravel Worlds Special Jersey I received yesterday.|
I say that for several reasons, but one of those reasons is that the Lincoln Crew, (as I named them back in the day) were stout supporters of Trans Iowa. I think a bunch of them got wind of Trans Iowa after v1 and they showed up for the second version and every year since then, a fair number of Lincoln area gravel grinders have graced Trans Iowa with their presence. Right up until the end, they were there last year too. There are a lot of great stories involving the Lincoln Crew and Trans Iowa. But I would have to say that having gained a Brother out of the deal in MG is the best story of them all regarding those folks. That's something for another time though.....
I have always thought Gravel Worlds embodied the full essence of what a grassroots gravel event was all about. Somehow or another the Pirate Cycling League, (PCL), has managed the tightrope of being able to attract Pros and the regular adventure seekers without alienating either group. They have found a way to keep the event a legit competition, but they also have found a way to make it an event where the local citizen can feel like they are a part of the hoopla. Even to the point of allowing hand-ups, making certain residences "oasis stops", and involving the local charities and groups in the area. It's like a "real race" and a gravel RAGBRAI all rolled into one tasty treat. Roll it as a tour, or race it until your heart rate is pegged. Whatever. Everyone is welcome.
Anyway, the PCL almost always offers a special jersey every year. Usually they are specifically PCL themed, but this year they also offered a Gravel Worlds Tenth Year Anniversary Jersey. That's what I got. I wanted to throw my support their way by flying the colors.
Thanks for all you do, PCL! See ya in August!