I can still remember cruising around the forlorn looking downtown area of this city back in 2005 with David Pals, who joined me and gave me a ride down to the inaugural DK200. There were more vacant buildings than not on Commercial Street, and no one had ever heard about a gravel road cycling competition that would later help transform this city from a relatively unknown spot at the junction of the Kansas Turnpike and I - 35 in the Flint Hills.
Now things are a heck of a lot different, and gravel is a big deal in cycling. Emporia, Kansas is arguably the epicenter of gravel riding for the USA with its UNBOUND event holding the premier position and status amongst the hundreds of gravel events here and world-wide. Who'd have thunk it in 2005? No one, that's who, if we're being honest here. This is all an amazing transformation for cycling, Emporia, and its people who live there and are connected to this city.
So, here I go. Me. A guy who never would have figured I'd be a part of anything like this. Not in a million years. And I am very, very grateful for what has happened. So, I am going down there once again to celebrate the next class of inductees.
We did a podcast about the 2023 class and gabbed about some other stuff on the "Guitar Ted Podcast" which you can listen to at the LINK HERE. Check it out if you care to and tell your friends. Thanks!
I'll have a write-up on my trip starting here Thursday.
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