The summer is melting away. What happened to June? I find myself dreading the cold winter months already. I am just not ready for those short, dark days yet. The good news is that there are many, many long hot days to come. And with those long days, many long rides.
The endurance genre is evolving. It might be a slow evolution, but I think, for better or worse, this movement is about to explode. Specifically I am talking about multi-day racing. The Great Divide Race had 23 starters. Last year there were 7. Two years ago the KTR had a record number of starters, when 15 people lined up. Over 120 have lined up in the last two years. We saw what happened there…
I think it is great that this idea of multi-day, self supported racing is gaining momentum. But I think there is a fine line between keeping the event grassroots, and what happened at the KTR. It will be interesting to see what happens on that front.
However, in the meantime the only thing to do is to design, scheme, plan, and ride these amazing multi-day routes. The Grand Loop, the Colorado Trail Race, the Arizona Trail Race, the Great Divide, Trans Iowa, are just a few of the existing routes.
More will come. Including two that I am working on now. The Wasatch Classic will be a 15-20 hour route I think. But beyond that the wheels are turning. I have good beta on a “Utah Traverse” route. Southern border to the Salt Lake area. Possibly a West to East route as well.
Beyond the self-supported multi-day races are these stage races. The B.C. Bike Race is going on now. Trans Rockies, Germany and Alps are all happening or have happened. I really think these races, both supported and not, are the future of the sport. People can only go in circles for so long.
However, lap races are easiest from a logistical/financial/safety/fan friendly perspective. And so that will keep them around. But regardless, it will be interesting to see where all this leads.