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Mcgrawm
Just answering the question posed by the person who started the thread, Koyote. Other than that it looks like you and I agree. 
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Koyote
Mcgrawm wrote:
Just answering the question posed by the person who started the thread, Koyote. Other than that it looks like you and I agree. 


Oh, yes, we are in agreement.
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ridemagnetic
Koyote wrote:
Good grief! So much kvetching about the DK -- the pricing, the sponsorship, the hotel costs, etc. Unbelievable. 

Fifteen years ago, gravel racing wasn't even a thing -- but the DK helped popularize the genre, which has led to a proliferation of events. If you don't like the current form of the DK, just choose one of the many other gravel events that it helped inspire. And quit with the complaints, already. 


Declaring ultimatums if you don't like it go somewhere else doesn't seem very constructive. Besides, isn't complaining about complaining just more complaining? 
A great set of wheels will make an average frame ride better. It doesn't work the other way around.  ~ridemagnetic
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Koyote


Declaring ultimatums if you don't like it go somewhere else doesn't seem very constructive. Besides, isn't complaining about complaining just more complaining? 


Since I have no power over anyone else’s behavior, I cannot issue an “ultimatum.“ (Seriously – look up the definition of the word “ultimatum.“ You are misusing the word.)  But I do think my suggestion is extremely constructive; after all, in a market economy, the consumer’s ultimate power is in voting with his/her pocketbook. Simply put, if you do not like the DK, then take your registration fees elsewhere.  The market will respond with the sorts of events that people really do want to be offered. 
 
 
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ridemagnetic
Koyote wrote:


Since I have no power over anyone else’s behavior, I cannot issue an “ultimatum.“ (Seriously – look up the definition of the word “ultimatum.“ You are misusing the word.)  But I do think my suggestion is extremely constructive; after all, in a market economy, the consumer’s ultimate power is in voting with his/her pocketbook. Simply put, if you do not like the DK, then take your registration fees elsewhere.  The market will respond with the sorts of events that people really do want to be offered.


DK and some other events have grown to a point where a lot of elitism crept in and barriers put up and has become less inclusive. If people take issue with that and want to discuss it here then so be it. Telling people if you don't like it than go somewhere else just don't seem all that constructive to me. 
A great set of wheels will make an average frame ride better. It doesn't work the other way around.  ~ridemagnetic
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DerekJ_MI


DK and some other events have grown to a point where a lot of elitism crept in and barriers put up and has become less inclusive. If people take issue with that and want to discuss it here then so be it. Telling people if you don't like it than go somewhere else just don't seem all that constructive to me. 
I agree, especially since this event and others similar to it have changed. As I understand it DK started as more of a tour, then morphed into a race.  Perhaps I'm wrong but I don't think Jim ever thought it would be what it has become.  Once the notoriety of the event solidified, the attention of big business and sponsors quickly took hold.  Then, things changed and today it's not a "grass roots" event, in the true meaning of the words, as it perhaps started out as.  Lifetime Fitness and Garmin are in the driver's seat and they have paid for that right.   Jim and others will be phased out as time goes on.  I can easily see this event turning into a Leadville type event with costs on par.  Is this bad?  Not necessarily but it is a departure and I think that is what the concern is that some have opined here in this tread.  One does have options and lots of them even in the Flint Hills.  Did DK have to go this way?  No it didn't.  For example, contrast DK with Almanzo 100.  Now Almanzo has, so far, stayed true to it's roots.  Almanzo costs nothing to enter, has no limits on the amount of participants and you get nothing at the end of the day (well a hand shake).  So, It all boils down to what the promoters what to get out of the event for their efforts.  It is what it is.
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Koyote


DK and some other events have grown to a point where a lot of elitism crept in and barriers put up and has become less inclusive. If people take issue with that and want to discuss it here then so be it. Telling people if you don't like it than go somewhere else just don't seem all that constructive to me


Okay, so if that's not constructive, what else are you going to do about it?  I'm serious - not trying to be snarky.
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GHC
There are some dedicated roadies where I work, and I have to admit, they really crack me up.  They are college educated folks with advanced degree’s in Economics, who embrace the free market system, when it works for them.......but turn into completely different animals when it doesn’t.   The energy they waste cracks me up.   Like yesterday at the water cooler, just after their lead rider and sales guy got done telling everyone about how he just set a new sales record selling our product at a 40% margin ..... he complained for an hour about how rediculous the price of the new (sold out) GMC Denali pickup he wanted  is, and how they aren’t good ol work trucks anymore anyway.  Cracks me up.

One of the other guys in the area ... suggested that if it was a real work truck he was after, maybe the sales guy should look at a different brand or style of pickup truck    LOL, the guy that was all worked up didn’t want to hear it.  Last I saw of him he was finishing his complaint letter to GM while prepping for his next sales call.

Ride happy
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Koyote
GHC wrote:
There are some dedicated roadies where I work, and I have to admit, they really crack me up.  They are college educated folks with advanced degree’s in Economics, who embrace the free market system, when it works for them.......but turn into completely different animals when it doesn’t.   The energy they waste cracks me up.   Like yesterday at the water cooler, just after their lead rider and sales guy got done telling everyone about how he just set a new sales record selling our product at a 40% margin ..... he complained for an hour about how rediculous the price of the new (sold out) GMC Denali pickup he wanted  is, and how they aren’t good ol work trucks anymore anyway.  Cracks me up.

One of the other guys in the area ... suggested that if it was a real work truck he was after, maybe the sales guy should look at a different brand or style of pickup truck    LOL, the guy that was all worked up didn’t want to hear it.  Last I saw of him he was finishing his complaint letter to GM while prepping for his next sales call.

Ride happy


Few markets conform to the economists' definition of "free" or "competitive," and hence most are not as efficient as some laypeople (including many politicians) seem to believe; healthcare in the US is a prime example. But the market for gravel races, aside from being far less important to most people (and hardly a matter of life and death!), actually does seem to be pretty competitive - after all, it doesn't take any special credentials to promote a race, it doesn't require any special connections, and there is nothing close to monopoly power. So, again, the advice to "vote with your dollars" really is about as constructive as it gets. Or maybe even better: if you don't like DK or any other race, then put on your own event.
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Leeroy996
Koyote wrote:


Few markets conform to the economists' definition of "free" or "competitive," and hence most are not as efficient as some laypeople (including many politicians) seem to believe; healthcare in the US is a prime example. But the market for gravel races, aside from being far less important to most people (and hardly a matter of life and death!), actually does seem to be pretty competitive - after all, it doesn't take any special credentials to promote a race, it doesn't require any special connections, and there is nothing close to monopoly power. So, again, the advice to "vote with your dollars" really is about as constructive as it gets. Or maybe even better: if you don't like DK or any other race, then put on your own event.


Absolutely right.  That's why there's a discussion here about the downsides of allowing spots for sponsors.  People will vote with their dollars.  I will never buy an Enve wheels.  My choice.
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nellborg
Sounds like some folks are fearful of gravel events losing their "touring" and "we're all in this together" attitude and morphing into that of a more competitive and less fun way to spend a day out on the road.  There are also probably lots of riders who turned to gravel to get away from the cutthroat competitive nature of road / crit / mtb racing.

As GHC wrote, 90% or more of gravel riders probably don't give a hoot about the racing aspect of these events.  They're out to finish and/or maybe better their previous time.  Plus, most of the gravel events are so long that most riders probably find themselves in somewhat of a survival/noncompetitive mode eventually.
 
I guess it's possible, though, to find yourself surrounded by highly competitive racer types, and it's also possible that they might do something during the event that ruins your ride or pisses you off - like cutting you off or not letting you into the paceline.
  
What simple thing could race directors / organizers do if they want to cater to the majority and de-emphasize competitiveness between riders?  They could do away with prize money and podium placings (except for the pros?).  They could do something like set time standards where riders earn a reward (patch, pin, sticker, beer glass, etc) for being within 120% ? 150% ? of the winners time.  Something like this would be easy to do.  I also suspect that it would encourage a supportive and friendly attitude amongst riders on the course.  Some other sporting events do this, I think.
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Koyote
nellborg wrote:
Sounds like some folks are fearful of gravel events losing their "touring" and "we're all in this together" attitude and morphing into that of a more competitive and less fun way to spend a day out on the road.  There are also probably lots of riders who turned to gravel to get away from the cutthroat competitive nature of road / crit / mtb racing.

As GHC wrote, 90% or more of gravel riders probably don't give a hoot about the racing aspect of these events.  They're out to finish and/or maybe better their previous time.  Plus, most of the gravel events are so long that most riders probably find themselves in somewhat of a survival/noncompetitive mode eventually.
 
I guess it's possible, though, to find yourself surrounded by highly competitive racer types, and it's also possible that they might do something during the event that ruins your ride or pisses you off - like cutting you off or not letting you into the paceline.
  
What simple thing could race directors / organizers do if they want to cater to the majority and de-emphasize competitiveness between riders?  They could do away with prize money and podium placings (except for the pros?).  They could do something like set time standards where riders earn a reward (patch, pin, sticker, beer glass, etc) for being within 120% ? 150% ? of the winners time.  Something like this would be easy to do.  I also suspect that it would encourage a supportive and friendly attitude amongst riders on the course.  Some other sporting events do this, I think.


This is virtually a non-issue given the way these races play out: at the most, there might be a neutral rollout, and then the actual contenders are in front, and the recreational riders are behind them. Literally the only way you are going to "find yourself surrounded by highly competitive racer types" is if YOU are a highly competitive racer type.

I actually see this in the gravel races I have done. While the fast riders are battling it out in front, plenty of people are just out for a nice ride with like-minded folks. It's not really an either/or thing.
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