Unbound Gravel 2023

I was really surprised by KMohn’s snarky response, especially as she co- hosts a podcast called Girls Gone Gravel that was specifically created to give women a voice in this space. I guess it’s different when a strong female speaks out on your own event…

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I believe it was Lauren De Crescenzo who abandoned due to something related to hitting the fence.

I don’t know what they would have done if somebody was in serious jeopardy on that section. Like a heart attack or something as no regular emergency vehicle could get out there. I know some races in remote areas do have emergency teams that use ATVs to get out to somebody. So maybe they had something like that around.

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Agree. Given what little communication has come from lifetime it’s pretty clear they don’t feel the need to explain anything.

And agree dangling that re-route option and then insulting riders who complain the re-route option wasn’t used is really insulting. As far as I know lifetime hasn’t attempted to explain the reason they didn’t use the re-route or even what their criteria to make that determination is

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The only ATV that was around was a local farmer, and it would have only added to the chaos of having a ATV mudding down the road spraying all the hike-a-bike people.

The race director’s comments about potential reroute for miles 11-15 (the walking mud) are in the FB live at 10:30 and then to a question at 26:20 asked about criteria for rerouting

He says I don’t expect to reroute it but its super easy to do.
Then in response to the question he says, they will reroute if its unrideable or if they will destroy the road.
Sadly they did not re-route and they haven’t publicly acknowledged their decision.

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When I was walking through the second mud section that was late on in the course, one of the Crew for Hire Jeeps came right down the muddy rode. They were looking for a rider who called them. At least on that section they had no issues travelling through the mud but it was a big Jeep with big tires.

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You make some good points that should be considered. Why do they, stations, stay open is it just to support the race or do the local population have a need? I would also ask what is the upside to the profits for each gas station?..
I told a friend who is an RD of several big local events I was looking at doing an ultra unsupported race. His first question was why would you pay all that entry fee for absolutly nothing no support a finisher medal, water bottle and a cycling hat…??? The challenge was my reply…but after reading your post. I’m rethinking the whole unsupported madness for cash we are just helping pay pros or the organization pay the bills as they do NOTHING for the participants in these ultra self supported races.
Directors should only charge the cost of a post race meal less then $20 …As I continue to think about it is kinda BS :rage:…Or is that part of the Spirit of Gravel :scream: :thinking: :thinking:

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Just to offer a counterpoint, I have zero facts behind this…what if they are making a huge profit off the “throw the money” system? Granted, it hoses inventory, creates a filthy mess, etc., but if people are grabbing 2 waters a candy bar and a banana and throwing a $20 at the register, there might be profit there. Just thinking out loud.

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My recollection is the XL was “only” ~$150 last year and went to $250 (+40 in fees +$55 for the tracker so over $350 :scream:). I was already committed to the idea so the price didn’t necessarily matter but it’s fairly ridiculous. Demand is there though…

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When I went through that section, I was with one other rider (hiker) and nobody else in sight in either direction. There was, however, a very nice gravel bike leaned up against the barbed wire fence. I hope it eventually found its way home.

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Someone said f*** it and just walked off into a field lmao

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One angle I have not seen mentioned much is the impact on the road and roadside with this. Damage seems likely in these conditions so I wonder what the locals and particularly land owner(s) think about this? I know that locals sometimes have a love/hate relationship with large events like this. Pros from the tourism and spending in the area, but the impositions during & mess afterwards can wear thin for some locals.

It’s possible that LifeTime and the event could get some pushback that might lead to change as well. The issues with the XL and gas stations is totally in line with that issue too, and could lead to larger headaches if it blows up.

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They turned people away for the xl.

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Next year I’m bringing wire cutters, I happen to find that the fence was open and walked though.

Maybe they had a camouflage kit on and were lying next to their bike

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I have friends who think gravel is a farce. Your literally paying for nothing. Here is the route, corners are not marshaled and they provide minimal support

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I saw that bike too! Whoever owned it seemed long gone…

In the second mud pit I saw the guy on the right side over on the other side of the fence. He literally said “f@#$ this”… Lol

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