|Hapless Soul Crushing Gravel|
Not coincidentally, the WGS had its origins in that same desire. I recall reading an article two years ago in Dirt Rag about a 200 mile gravel road race in Kansas. At the time I thought to myself "My God, that's insane! I would LOVE to try something like that!" Then, I promptly forgot about it. Until, about a year ago around this time when the shuffle setting in my head retrieved that scrap. I sat down and Googled "200 mile gravel race in Kansas", and up popped a link to the Dirty Kanza 200 web page. Like we all do, I immersed myself in the details of the event: the audaciousness of it, the distance, the weather, the rider's stories. All the while weighing my odds of racing it, completing it, surviving it...
|Sunrise on the Dirty Kanza 200|
At the same time, it occurred to me that there must be others out there who might also share my new-found passion for all things gravel. This thought, and my unrequited desire to be part of a community of like-minded people led me to create the WGS Facebook group.
Slowly at first, then with more regularity, people began to find the group, often bringing along their friends. I began posting content, scheduling training rides, and recruiting team mates for the 2012 Dirty Kanza 200, which at the time was still many months away. And although I didn't end up with the mob that I'd envisioned to accompany me to the race and join in the experience, I did end up pulling together two other serious riders and an amazing crew person to travel to Kansas for the race - and we had a BLAST! So in that regard, it was mission accomplished.
In retrospect, I've found this process to be both rewarding and instructive. I have much more to say in this respect, but this post is becoming voluminous so I'll cease and desist here with one final comment: The WGS will be going through a change of focus shortly. I've got lots of half-baked ideas floating around in my head, so stay tuned for future posts.