|From the inaugural Iowa Expo/Bike Party. Image by Izabel Stevenson
Iowa Gravel Expo/Bike Party:
Back in January I had some snow to ride on but the big event for the month was the inaugural Iowa Gravel expo/Bike Party, an event partly cooked up by N.Y. Roll and sponsored by Riding Gravel and the shop where I work.
I was thinking that it would be something geared toward the beginner gravel cyclist and that's how we promoted it. I figured we would be really lucky to get 35 people to attend in the upper room of Doughy Joey's Peetza Joynt in Cedar Falls, Iowa. N.Y. Roll had a feeling all along that it would pull more folks than that. We kind of had a friendly banter about this all the way up to and during the event itself. I kept saying we wouldn't have very many people, and he kept saying we would.
Just before we were to begin, N.Y. Roll and I made a friendly wager that was an "over-under" bet. I took less than 50 people, he took the over. As people streamed in, he leaned over and said, "That's 50 right there!", and I just smiled. In the end, I think we had something over 80 odd folks attend, and the event was deemed a big success. I was blown away most by how far people had come to attend. One gentleman, Gene, was driving through on his way from Michigan back to Northwest Iowa and stopped to attend. We had folks from Cedar Rapids and Des Moines attending, and of course, a bunch of locals.
|Talking to gravel grinders about gravel grindin'. Image by Izabel Stevenson
Well, we're doing it again this coming year, only it will be February 9th, same place, but in two sessions to accommodate more folks. Tickets (free) will be available so we can even up attendance at both sessions. This year the focus will be on Iowa Gravel based events.