Tomorrow evening I will head out to Tucson for the OP race. Of course I have mentioned that in several recent posts, so you may already know that. It is snowing outside. After a couple weeks of decent riding weather we are back to Winter. The forcast is calling for rain on Sunday in the Tucson area. It would be really kind of Mother Nature to hold that rain off until Monday. After Monday, it can rain for days and days in Arizona. I suppose that if the rain does hit us it will only make for better pictures, race recaps, crash stories, and as Dave mentions, a possible curse complex for the OP race promoter.
Tonight I need to get everything packed. Packing is never that much fun, but it is one of those things that has to be taken care of. I know one of these days, as I gather all the crap I need to take to 24 hour races that I will hit the road, and realize 3 hours from my house that I did not put the bike on the rack. Which reminds me that I need to install a flat bar, and some bar ends on my bike this evening. I want to see how it feels compared to the riser I have been running.
If you are an endurance racer, be sure and join in the conversation at Guitar Ted’s blog about the history and the future of endurance racing. It is an interesting topic to speculate on, especially because right now endurance racing seems to be on the very edge of breaking out into a big money member of the racing family. Most events can be considered grassroots in that they are not sanctioned by any “governing body”. Such an organization could be a good thing (an official world championships) and it could be a bad thing. I’d hate to see the relaxed atmosphere of most 24 hour events be replaced with the high stress points-mongering that you get at certain road and mountain races.
Regardless of any emergence of an organized governing body I believe there will be more and more races like the KTR. If the interest in the race is any indicator of the number of participants that will be at the line on May 13 then that race can expect to see 2-3 times the number of racers this year, compared to last.
There is no doubt that endurance racing is getting bigger and bigger. I am interested to see what G-Ted and fellow racers have to say on this topic. I am also interested to see how things play out in the next couple of years. Will 24 hour events see more and more people attending them, or will the no-hype, low entry fee, self supported epics grab some of the “market share”? What would an organization such as “The International Endurance Race Commitee” (or some other similar named group, preferably with a easily remembered acronym) do to the sport? Or, perhaps all this is crazy talk, and Enduro races are destined to be a fringe genre, only appealing to nutters who find pleasure in pain and suffering. Thoughts?