Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday News And Views

The lottery submission process ends Saturday night.
DK200 Lottery Entries Close Saturday Night And Thoughts:

The inaugural Dirty Kanza lottery process has its first stage close on Saturday evening when all submissions must be in. The next step will be for the selection process to begin. It isn't quite clear to me how that will work, but then again, it doesn't matter. It's their event and they can do whatever they deem right for them.

I know I will not be going down this coming year. My feeling is that some others are deciding against the event as well. Prices for entry seem to be the main reason I am seeing folks make the decision not to go. Granted, it is the DK200, but prices for this event are decidedly on the higher end of the scale when it comes to gravel events nationwide. Ultimately, the riders will vote with their dollars and the resulting economy will be the deciding factor here.

Some folks like to point to "gravel cycling" as the culprit. They like to say that the "movement" is getting "too big", or it is "selling out", or they blame whatever nefarious group or nebulous movement for the reason why this is happening. This "vague blaming" is easy to do. It's non-confrontational, easy to agree with, and doesn't require any real cognitive action on anyone's part. Basically it is worthless spouting of hot air. You want to know why these kinds of things like the situation at the DK200 are happening?

It's the people who willingly buy into it. No one is prying money out of wallets and "making you spend money" or making you train, or buy a package to get a free entry, or whatever it is. No one is making anyone do that forcefully. Nope! People willingly pay these prices. 

Until people willingly do not pay these prices, nothing is going to change.

Oooo! Snow!
 Wow! What A Winter So far!

Sarcasm Alert: Gee, this fantastic cold weather with no snow has really been fantastic. And just think, next week they say it will get even colder! Awesome.

Yeah, it hasn't been maybe as cold as it should be this time of year, but the wind has more than made up for things, at least around here. Plus, the humidity levels have been high enough that this air we have just cuts right into your bones. At least the Arctic air we're supposed to get just in time for Christmas will be drier and not so bad to stay warm in.

Snow has been a rarity, and by the looks of it, that should remain the case through Christmas. Yeah, that's a risky thing to say, what with Winter weather being so hard to pin down. Who really knows. We could end up with a bunch of the white stuff here, but the weather prognosticators and my gut feeling say not so much.

The point is that Winter is going to be a slow starter if ever it does snow here. Really cold air without snow is just wrong, and for me, not really Winter. If we get very far into the New Year with no snow, well then.....I'm going to say this Winter is a major fail. But there is still a lot of time left before we can really think seriously about Spring, so this Winter still has time to redeem itself. I just know that short days, brown scenery, and cold air add up to a depressing state of affairs.

Meanwhile the rivers are already icing up and many will freeze solid they are so low, that is if we get really frigid temperatures for very long. It could make for interesting fat biking opportunities, but other than that, this situation isn't good.

Can you believe anything done when this is worn anymore?
The Latest Dope:

Occasionally I will opine about Pro road cycling here. I used to be a big fan. However; I became jaded after umpteen doping scandals and now I only casually follow this side of sport.

So, the following is from the perspective of someone that rides bicycles but doesn't really know or care about the Pro racing side of the equation anymore.

That said, the winner of the last Vuelta, Chris Froome, returned a positive for an inhaler banned by the UCI at twice the level allowed. No penalties have been issued, no sanctions declared, but the court of public opinion is already buzzing about this one. However that goes, should we be surprised anymore? 

Doping in bicycle racing goes way back. You really cannot blame salaries, modern cycling culture, or sponsors for this. It is historical. Riders have doped and died for doing it in the past. That doesn't excuse what we see today, by any means, but that it continues to this day, that is no surprise. Even in competitions that pay no money, have no prizing, or any real fame or glory to offer, even those events  have their cheaters. It is human nature to cheat. That's my opinion, and maybe a dim view, but I see no other logical explanation.

So while it is noble to believe that the Pro racers are "clean" when you watch the sport, it is naive to believe that there are no cheaters. That goes for all levels of cycling. Right down to the rank amateurs.

So, the latest scandal involving Chris Froome? I am not at all surprised.

 That's all for this week. Have a great weekend.


Phillip Cowan said...

When Armstrong was stripped of his 7 TDF wins no rider below him was awarded the win as in the Floyd Landis case. I think that was UCI's tacit admission that the next 50 guys under him were doping just as hard as Armstrong.

S Sprague said...

Thanks GT for the range of topics in your blog!

Rydn9ers said...

We have similar thoughts on the DK, a riding buddy is in the lottery and wanted some of the rest of us to enter as well. I told him I'd go down any other weekend with him and we could ride it twice if he wanted to go. The $800 just for entry fee alone the four of us would spend would make a heck of a nice weekend and we'd get to ride the same exact roads. That's the challenge part of the race, not paying the $$ and riding it with a large group... most of whom you'll only see at the beginning and maybe the end.

Guitar Ted said...

@RobE- Yeah, I just cannot see why you wouldn't choose to use one of the several routes that they promote and just go do your own thing, ala the Death ride kind of experience we had last summer up here. A dollar per mile (which is what the 200 cost now) just seems a bit steep for a hug and three blocks of people cheering you in. ;>)