Gravel Grinding is a form of cycling that has rejuvenated my love for bike riding thanks to the amazing people that I get to ride with and thanks to, more importantly, the selfless promoters that sponsor the free events. The best aspect of these races is the low-key, fun nature of the rides and the fact that no one is making money from those of us who enjoy a relatively competitive edge to a long day in the saddle. I think we would all agree that respect and gratitude is due to the promoters for the considerable time, effort, and energy they freely give back to our community in putting on these races.
However, we must put an immediate stop to a potential change in our sport.
I ask each of my fellow Gravel Grinders to speak out against the Pony Xpress race. The promoter of this event is trying to steal our enthusiasm by charging outrageous fees on what should be a free event. If we do not stick together and boycott this event, it has the potential of turning gravel grinding into a for-profit activity, much as road racing, mountain bike racing, and cyclocross racing has unfortunately become.
When I first started road racing twenty years ago, local clubs put on events and charged resonable entry fees. No one minded paying because the money went directly back to the clubs' operating expenses. No one person nor company made any real profit. Unfortunatly that is no longer the case.
Let us band together to stop gravel grinding from turning into a business.
Do not pay the entry fee of the Pony XPress, do not attend the event, and spread the message that gravel grinding is free for everyone. Race the free events, thank the promoters, and welcome the sponsors.
Thank you for reading.