Don’t get me wrong, I like cyclocross on many levels. I’m not a big fan of the hipster sponsorship around it or the clique riding groups it’s created. HammerCross anyone? Oh, I mean damn everyone in the RTP area? I prefer riding alone as much as in groups. I realize club riders are often stronger but solitude in cycling is something I embraced a long time ago. Solo Artist, WTF ever.
I’m thinking I’ll focus even more on gravel now. Long rides in places I’ve never been before. Off-road randonneuring. Might even do some of it on a mountain bike again, in the mountains. Not through the root laden madness of Lake Crabtree or 286/Rocky Road. Real mountain riding. These are the things that keep me interested in cycling. Not necessarily who I’m riding with but where I’m riding. I suppose I just don’t embrace the social aspect of the sport, never have, and a CX race is almost the most social gathering of cyclists that can occur in the US.
I will still race, but it will now be a true gravel circuit. Lots of travel. No barricade tape, no barriers, unsanctioned. Grass, roots and grassroots riders. My kinda loners. On a mission for the distance using silent grit. I’ve found inner peace in the resolve to admit once and for all I’m a fucking gravel grinder.