I used to have this happy little theory that time on a bicycle bestowed special powers. Like some radioactive spider bite, biking could magically flatten our tummies, deepen our lungs and beef our hearts and quads. And (most significantly) biking could sharpen our eyes. Riding gravel improved our perception, I believed, by making it cool … More Bike Focals: How do we correct cycling’s vision problem?
The latest thing in gravel racing is all about honoring the earliest things in gravel racing. This week, we learned that a new Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame is coming to Emporia, Kan. And its first crop of inductees will come from your nominations. The hall’s organizers are seeking nominees in several broad categories. (Refreshingly, … More It’s an Honor Just to Be Nominating: Emporia to host new Gravel Hall of Fame
You don’t want to play Monopoly with my son. Marcus will talk to you about your straits in the most empathetic tones. He knows what it’s like to be stretched thin. And he sees the same threats on the board you do. There’s your daughter across the coffee table, gleefully scooping up railroads. And your … More Property of a Life Time: Is gravel racing monopolized?
This fall, I outed myself as a UCI-gravel agnostic. I wasn’t pining for the UCI’s involvement in gravel. But I believed the rise of “purely pro” gravel racing might just create fresh opportunities for grassroots gravel to cut its own “purely amateur” path. I just had no idea how quickly (or how sharply) the two … More A Thousand to None: Grassroots and pro gravel keep different scores
I landed on my back at the bottom of the slickrock, a rented mountain bike slapping down across my chest. My friends swung over, swinging between chuckles and concern. Was I OK? And could they take pictures? (I think so. I’d rather you not.) I stared straight up at the clouds, taking inventory of my … More The Great Uncomformity: A crash course in riding the Canyonlands
Like any good American, I’m a warrior-level worrier. Nothing stirs me up for a fight quite like my own misplaced anxieties. And I’ve been worrying for a couple years now—losing my head with a toddler’s precision and vigor—over the UCI and the future of American gravel racing. It got so bad back in January 2020 … More Invitation to a Beheading: What does the UCI’s arrival mean for gravel?
My oldest daughter let me know she wouldn’t be at the start of the Pirate Cycling League’s first Long Voyage 300. (She had cross country practice after school.) But she said she knew what she’d be missing. “That’s a lot of mental illness in one place,” she said. I refused to agree with her, but … More Long Voyage 300: At Least We’re Highly Functional
Gosh dang it, people. The week after Gravel Worlds, all I want to do is ice my knees, take a nap and gain like a dozen pounds in Heath Blizzards. But instead of sauntering into happy hibernation, here we are, tumbling headlong together into gravel racing’s next existential crisis. And unlike the great aerobar dust-up … More #Gravelbeef: Racing Served up Rare and a Little Unfair
Cyclist, we need to talk. Again. About drugs. This time, I’m afraid it’s about cyclocross, Katie Compton and drugs. But before we go there, I need to tell you about my two-day career in World Cup cyclocross journalism. I need to tell you about the time I met cyclocross’s queen bee: 15-time national champion, Katie … More A Drug Called Outrage
Hey, congrats again on being one of the 110-ish riders invited to take part in Gravel Worlds’ first running of the Long Voyage 300. It’s the hardest course in Nebraska’s biggest gravel race. For a few of us (myself included), this’ll be our first adventure well north of the 200-mile marker. So just getting in … More 5 Reasons YOU WILL FINISH the Long Voyage 300 This Year