Friday, January 24, 2020

Friday News And Views

59 Trips Around The Sun:

Well, I made it. Another year was marked yesterday. I make a silly deal out of my birthday every year, because, really, it's just another day, but we do "mark time", don't we? So, yeah..... Very blessed to be here and to have had the life I've had so far. I'm very much looking forward to what is to come, despite the assurances of sorrow and heart-ache being alive will bring.

I say this many times here, but at the risk of sounding cliche'....

Thank you so much for reading the blog. It means a lot to me, and this has become a big part of my life, obviously. What started out as a silly stab at writing, on the insistence of Jeff Kerkove back in 2005, has become a daily routine for me that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I guess I'd better enjoy it for all the time I put into it!

But anyway, thank you. Thank you all who sent greetings and well wishes on Facebook and text yesterday. I read each and every one and appreciated them all. Too kind, you all are. Too kind!

This years C.O.G.100 hat.
 C.O.G.100 News:

First of all, we sold out entries! Thanks to all who entered this year's event. We had initially set 75 as the limit, sold that out, added ten more, and sold those as well. N.Y.Roll and I appreciate the commitment to our event.

So, with that done we sent in the orders for the hats. Due to a weird requirement where getting 100 patches for the hats cost less than getting 90, we will have a very limited number of patches available. How we are going to deal with the ten or so extras we haven't decided on yet. If you really gotta have one, let me know and what that's worth to you. Maybe we can make it happen.

Secondly, the t-shirt offer stands till February 29th, (it's a leap year, ya know), so take a look HERE and order from that page. We will push go on the order March 1st and then that's it. No more will be made ever again.

Remember, all the artwork is by yours truly and is completely original. Very unique, and so you won't be seeing this on every street corner. The proceeds help to pay for the shirts and that's about it. We are probably going to break even this year, if we're lucky, as last year we ended up doing that as well after expenses were accounted for. So, we're not making a living, or even beer money on this deal. Just so you know.....

A Tweet from "Elizabeth @eGrindcore", a Nebraska native, on Wednesday.
 Media Hop On The Gravel Bandwagon: 

What was it with this week and media concerning gravel riding and racing? Must have been the "gravel summits" I mentioned in my post on Tuesday. Anyway, suddenly all the endemic cycling publications are falling all over themselves to get out some sort of "whatever will gravel do once it grows up" posts.

"Cyclingtips" had one by Neil Shirley, and so did "Velo News" in an article about power and the winner of Gravel Worlds last year. There were others as well. I got a laugh when I read the Tweet I have posted here. Yeah....."seven years behind the times" is about right.

Anyway, "Welcome late-comers".  We're not so goofy, or stupid as you once thought, eh? I'll say it again though, these endemic outlets haven't changed their tune, really. They still are trying to bend the narrative toward "professional level competitive racing". It's all wrong. They just do not understand how exclusive and "old" that narrative is. Times have changed, but the old media dogs that cut their teeth on the Pro racing scene haven't changed their colors, or learned new tricks, as they ought to have by now. It's a shame, really.

Even the Pro roadies they quote keep saying they like gravel events because of the relaxed, laid back, all-inclusive, fun nature of it, then in the next sentence you read something about doping controls and who will come "out of the gravel scene" to contest some Old World road event. It's tone deaf as all get out. But I also know some of these writers get it. They've done gravel events, so the disconnect is even more baffling.

Then I see the UCI is considering a true Pro level World Championships with doping controls, rules, and regulations. There is only one way that gets off the ground and that is with the same teams, athletes, and infrastructure they have now. Everyone that is outside Pro level racing is outside of it for a reason. Again- I don't see it working, at least not in the U.S.A., and that's where the action is on gravel anyway.

That's it for this week. Get out and ride if ya can!


Daniel said...

Happy Birthday!! Your blog over the last 2 years or so has become something I read when I get home from work every night. Its just a part of my routine now. Here's to many more years of your blog and to a new a hopefully fruitful 2020.

graveldoc said...

Erll, a belated Happy Birthday, Mark! All the best for you and yours for the coming years! I've made GTP a daily read of mine for the past seveal years and want to say a big "thank you" for putting in the effort to deliver your thoughts and words daily like you do. I sometimes wonder how late you're up some nights hammering out the next days posts. I even enjoy reading some of the blog posts that link up through your blog. Have a great weekend! Steve.

FarleyBob said...

Belated Happy Birthday Mark! I love your blog and read it every morning! Keep up the great work!!

CrossTrail said...

Happy Birthday from another daily reader, at least since I stumbled onto the gravel community in 2013. Thanks for your continued contributions to the community. Regularly creating so much content must take an enormous amount of energy and time. Like many others, I greatly appreciate it. BTW - if there's room in the package for the two Real.American.Gravel. t-shirts I ordered, I'd be excited to pay for one of those patches.

Nebo said...

I just want to say how much I enjoy your blog. It's the next thing after coffee in the morning. Your views and opinions are spot on. I can only dream about living in the Midwest with endless miles of gravel to ride. Your adventures make that dream seem almost real for me. Keep on keeping on for all of us followers. Peace

Greg said...

Happy Birthday Mark and keep on keeping on! I read your blog everyday at work on my break time - only one I read now. Thanks for keeping it real and keeping politics out of it. It's a nice escape.

blooddoc23 said...

Happy birthday!! So glad you write!! Thanks for all your time and all you do for cycling. Ive learned a lot over the years from reading your blog, and Im better for it! r/

Guitar Ted said...

TO ALL- Thank you so much!

teamdarb said...

Because of the way I live, I have zero use for a hat. I would much rather have a patch.

Guitar Ted said...

@teamdarb - Okay. We'll fix you up with a patch then. Thanks!