“Episode #69 – Ranty”

ABOUT EPISODE #69

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Andy and Guitar Ted are in for an end of the year/beginning of the year episode with heaping globs of opinions. They share some opinions on the Unbound Gravel name and event, plus thoughts on favorites from 2020, and plenty more.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us at Ben@RidingGravel.com or GuitarTed@RidingGravel.com.


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Author: RGBen

I created Ridinggravel.com in the fall of 2013 and happily joined with Guitar Ted in late 2014 to form the current day Riding Gravel. Originally from Wisconsin, my wife, 2 kids, spent several years in Colorado, before spending a couple years in North Dakota. Now we're back in Northern Wisconsin in the middle of an Outdoor Mecca.

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2 thoughts on ““Episode #69 – Ranty”

  1. Hey Guys,

    As a total Newb to gravel, I share your worries about engines winning. Personally, I am transitioning to this sport for what I thought would be an aspect of adventure combined with bike riding/racing. However, as I start to absorb more of the media around gravel, I see the same names at the top of the results. I won’t begrudge success, but it does cause a neophyte some worry about the future of the sport. Additionally, as it may be have been a attraction for riders in the past, it may become a deterrent in the future.

    Recently, you had a gentleman on from PA who basically morphed his race to a time trial variant to combat COVidia. That is an innovative solution and I am sure that many organizers are contemplating this for 2021. Perhaps a pursuit format like that used in some cross-country ski races would help bring some grit back to these races and make these elite riders overcome their advantages to win. All of those high-end riders know their FTP’s. Using the time trial format and weighting for FTP would a complicated but interesting idea. You are absolutely right about navigational skills. That WAS one of the things attracting me to Gravel.

    Under a weighted format ( I know it goes against simplicity), it may be more enticing for riders of various ages, genders, and abilities to get fully engaged with the course and learn how to navigate and compensate for other environmental factors. Moreover, if some of the pros opt out because of this it clarifies their objectives. It is turning into a horsepower arms race. That is what events like the BWR reward. Without this devolving into 1000 various classes or divisions (like archery that I a moving over from) that fracture the community, I hope that there are some innovators out there that can preserve All-Road riding from becoming sponsor-fest that caters only to the gifted and leaves 98 percent of the crowd as paying spectators with no real chance to excel of enjoy.

    1. @Danny Odum – Thank you for listening to the podcast and for your comments. And welcome to gravel riding!

      I think that if you look a bit deeper you will find a lot of events are not quite so competitive- that is if they actually happen for the first half of 2021, due to ongoing issues with COVID-19.

      In more ‘normal’ times, I think you’ll find a lot of events that suit your criteria. They won’t be the ones the mainstream media talks about, so don’t look for the typical voices in cycling media to bring those events up. You’ll have to dig a bit deeper to find these events, but there are literally hundreds out there from which you could choose from once we get past these issues we are going through now.

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