Gravel Grinder News: Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame Announces Inductees – by Guitar Ted
The Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame, announced just this past January, has now unveiled the inaugural class of people associated with gravel cycling’s modern era, pioneering days. The first class of inductees are as follows:
Corey “Cornbread” Godfrey: Corey Godfrey, of Lincoln, Nebraska, is probably the most well-rounded inductee in terms of his participation in, and promotions of gravel cycling, since the beginnings of the modern era of gravel cycling, which is generally held to have begun in 2005. Godfrey, often known by his nick-name, “Cornbread”, is one of the co-founders of Gravel Worlds, one of the preeminent gravel events in the scene as of this writing. Corey also is a well accomplished rider, having won an early version of the DK200, (Now Unbound Gravel), and was a perennial participant in the legendary event, Trans Iowa. Corey also participated in the seminal event, the Almanzo 100, and its variants over the years as well. He is also known for his fund-raising for charities to the tune of several tens of thousands of dollars via his promotions of Gravel Worlds.
Dan Hughes: Dan, who runs the Sunflower Outdoor and Bicycle shop in Lawrence, Kansas, has been the winner of several gravel racing events including the DK200 (four times, including the inaugural DK200), Gravel Worlds, and Trans Iowa. His bicycle shop was one of the first- if not the first- to cater to the needs of the early gravel riders in the scene during the 2000’s.
Kristi Mohn: Kristi is a well known Emporia businesswoman who came alongside the co-creators of the Dirty Kanza 200 and was one of the main forces in helping promote that event to premier status. She was integral to the “200 Women- 200 Miles” campaign which sought to increase participation amongst women in gravel cycling, specifically for the Emporia event. Now with Unbound Gravel, Kristi continues to push forward boundaries and helps provide opportunities for under-served and under-represented riders in that event. But what many do not know is that Kristi also has helped invigorate the citizens and economy of Emporia through her promotional efforts in gravel cycling.
Rebecca Rusch: Without question, Rebecca Rusch is the most well known individual on the list here outside of cycling, and certainly outside of the gravel cycling sphere. Rusch, a seven time World Champion ultra-endurance mountain biker, is also an Emmy Award winner, author, and runs her own event in her hometown in Idaho called “Rebecca’s Private Idaho“. Rusch also has won the DK200 gravel event amongst others. Rusch continues to champion gravel riding and racing through her various ventures and efforts to this day.
Chris Skogen: This man is forever tied to the term “grassroots gravel” through the event he created called the Almanzo 100. The event, which sought to break down barriers to participation, was wildly popular, attracting well over 1000 entrants annually, and was always free to enter. Marked by Skogen’s flair for special touches in terms of event production, riders who participated in Skogen’s events always were impressed and became evangelists for gravel riding themselves via Skogen’s efforts. The Almanzo also grew to include ultra-distance events, and Skogen also created what possibly was the first gravel racing series which was called the “Almanzo Gravel Race Series” (AGRS “Race for the Cup”), and included only other events which were free to enter and reflected Skogen’s philosophy on participation.
Bobby Wintle: The early DK200 events inspired Bobby Wintle to bring the ethos of gravel riding and racing to more people. So, he and his wife, Crystal, decided to start their own, 100 mile event in their new hometown of Stillwater, Oklahoma called “The Land Run 100”. The event became immensely popular with its often muddy, red clay figuring heavily in the adventure for the riders. Famous also for the “Bobby Hug”, which every finishing rider got at the end of the day, the event became a staple on the gravel scene and pushed the popularity of gravel riding and racing forward through the marketing efforts the event made in partnership with cycling industry brands. Now the event is known as “The Mid-South“, but it remains as popular and as influential as ever.
Mark “Guitar Ted” Stevenson: Yes- yours truly was also inducted. I won’t go on about myself here. That just seems a bit odd, but I had to report on this, and so there it is. I will leave it to others to write about why I was inducted. Congratulations to all the other well-deserving inductees! I am honored to even be mentioned amongst such luminaries of the gravel cycling scene.