|Local coffee club yakking with Trans Iowa riders. From T.I.v8|
Let me tell, ya: It ain't gonna be like it used to be for a long, long time.
My partner, Ben Welnak, in Riding Gravel, messaged me and gave me his thoughts on this subject. He thinks there will be no big, organized gravel rides in 2021. Ya know.......he might be on to something there.
Big league sports are dancing with the devil now, trying to get something going by having protocols in place and, of course, no fans. They are not without some missteps already. Plus, there are no fans. It's kind of like having the church choir sing with no one in the building. It's just not the same, but I digress.......
The point is, we have no idea if what they are doing will work. Will the athletes remain safe? How long can we play games like this? Plus, we have no immunity to COVID 19 in the sense of what it would take to make this 'go away', (hint- it isn't), and we have no vaccine. The US has approximately 331 million folks and as of Thursday, (when I wrote this), we have had 4,426,982 total COVID cases in this country.
I'm not much at math, but this seems like a no-brainer when you look at the numbers. We've got a long way (possibly) to go before this thing is going to allow anything even close to 'normal', in terms of gravel events, like pre-March 2020, to happen. In fact, I am betting we'll never see those kinds of days again. We are changing. Things are in the midst of a big gear shift, and gravel events are not going to be anything like they once were. Not to mention what the rest of our lives will be looking like.
That isn't to say we should be scared, or that the future will be bad. It will just be very different. I have no idea what it will be like now, but we can figure it out. I'm sure of that. But for anyone who thinks we are going to "be glad when this is over and we can get back to our lives", well, let me tell ya- there's no turning back now.