|From a ride in 2005 I did which became part of the first GTDRI course
There had bee two Trans Iowas run by that time with a grand total of 9 finishers. There had been one Dirty Kanza 200, and nobody really had heard of that event back then yet. There had never been an Almanzo 100, Barry-Roubaix, or Gravel Worlds. Never.
"Gravel grinding" was something roadies did to train in the early Spring here in the Mid-West. It wasn't a term known to describe any sort of racing or riding for fun and recreation. Gravel travel was waaaaay under the radar back then. So, by announcing a ride on gravel of 100-150 miles just for the heck of it- no prizes, no glory, nothing other than just to ride, was unheard of for the most part. Sure, there were pockets of that sort of thing happening. Lincoln, Nebraska comes to mind, but for the most part, this was an off the wall idea, and then I went and called it the "Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational" just to make it even more absurd.
And then.......you folks responded.
I had a great group the first year out, and it just never quit after that. Obviously. It is a thing now!
I had two other main subjects that week ten years ago. One was a tandem project with George Wissell who ran a shop in New Hampshire back then. We did a two part series about riding with tunes or without them. The other article I wrote up was about how cyclingnews.com was going to do a 29"er vs 26"er test to see which was best. Well, the protocol for the test was so full of holes that even a Mid-Western goofball like me could see right through it. The thing caused a huge uproar, then it died down only to resurface a couple of years later with custom bikes built to eliminate the variables. However; to this day I do not think I ever saw a conclusion to this test, and of course, it doesn't matter anymore anyway.