Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A Day In The Sun

Anybody using this road for anything next weekend?
Circa 2004: The term "gravel grinding" was something only a few hardy Mid-Western roadies were familiar with. There were some early races done out in the rural areas- Rich Gosen was involved in some of those up in Decorah and regions nearby there in the 80's. Of course, there is the Colesburg race, and the Death Ride in Kansas pre-dates the Dirty Kanza 200 by a handful of years at the very least.

But by and large it was an activity associated with early season road training by "flatlander" cyclists looking for an edge on their competitors in the upcoming criteriums of spring in the Mid-West. Those gravel roads followed the contours of the rich farm land more closely than the blacktops, and the wind...... There was always a good stiff wind to test yourself against out there.

Fast forward to 2012: Now days the "gravel scene" is getting more well known. Oh sure, you've got the core group- the "niche riders" of the cycling world that have latched on to what the pioneers of the sport ground out in the latter part of  the "oughts". But even then- gravel grinding? Look, most folks still have never heard of that term.

But that's all changing. When companies in the cycling business start paying attention and start making product specifically aimed at your "genre", then things start picking up steam. However; when the non-cycling media start paying attention, well then- that's a whole 'nuther thing altogether now!

Yep! It has now hit the "non-endemic" media that "gravel grinding" is happening out here, and over there, and down the country lane you thought didn't exist on anyone's radar. It's in "Men's Journal", to be exact, and here is the link you can go look at for the story. Funny to see that image of last February's CIRREM there. That day I took the wrong road to get there and was turned back. Oh well....

What do I think? Well, I think most "Men's Journal" readers will think "we're nuts", or probably some other more colorful version of that sentiment. And we'll just keep on keepin' on without them. Maybe some will get interested, get a bicycle, and get turned on. That'd be awesome.

Either way, I'm just gonna keep riding my bicycle and riding it on those dusty ol' roads.


Ari said...

I think a lot of people will try it just like the fixie thing but there will be a lot of them that will not endure. Being out there in the middle of nowhere, being chased by a wild mutt takes a special kinda nut.

Unknown said...

I'll keep ridin' em with ya.

Thanks for getting my head right on this topic the other day.

rideonpurpose said...

The part I don't get- what about in 1920 or 1960 or in parts of the world where roads aren't always paved? What is new here?

I love it just the same though.

Guitar Ted said...

@rideonpurpose: It isn't the same thing. That's maybe all they have, (had), to ride on. We don't have that situation here.

I get your sentiment, but the analogy isn't right. To answer your question- Nothing is new, really. But taken in light of "today", it is different, and yes- new- to many folks.

MG said...

There is nothing new here... That's the beauty of it.