First, a spoiler alert! Don't read the folowing paragraph unless you want to know what happened with me and that's it.
I went 116 miles plus a little.
Okay, with that said, if you don't want to know anything else about my weekend, then plan on skipping the next four days of blog posts here because- more than likely- I'll be writing everyday about Gravel Worlds all this week. So, now you know what to expect!
This is a big turning point for this event, in my opinion. There was Gravel Worlds up to 2019, and with the 2021 version, things have taken a big swing toward what I would say is "big production, big Pro focus racing". I know that may seem like a hot take on Gravel Worlds, but this event, which I felt had the perfect balance of grassroots feel and competitive racing, has now seen a shift toward the competitive racing side and is leaving certain elements behind which were the defining characteristics of Gravel Worlds.
In this report I hope to illuminate the things I saw and felt at the 2021 Gravel Worlds and portray why I feel the way that I do about this event. Keeping in mind that I have seen- first hand- the evolution of this event from a pure, grassroots event, to what it has become in 2021. I can comment with first hand witness where this event has evolved and changed to the point that it no longer resembles what it was.
And here's another 'hot take': What Gravel Worlds is today is right up the alley of what most folks seem to want in gravel events. Yep. You can cry foul all you want, but almost everyone at the 2021 Gravel Worlds does not have any other reference point to judge the event by. It is what it is now, and whatever 'grassroots' is, most of the folks at Gravel Worlds have no clue about that era of the event. They never knew any better. So, it is hard to get that point across to those who attend now, and what's more, they probably don't care either.
Now I will get into more of this philosophical meandering after my report, but for now, settle in and stay tuned. I'll have more on what I experienced starting tomorrow.
Next: Old Friends