As we begin down the bike path of planning the first ever USA Grand Tour there’s a sense of trepidation and wonderment at the enormity of what we face. Similar to an alpine climb (in this case the mountain is Everest and the bikers have chosen slick-wheeled road machines and are intent on keeping the company of badgers, rhinos, sharks, gorillas, yes, even the Hulk, while giants toss down flaming boulders of derision and futility-saturated mockery) our excitement at the outset is intoxicating.
Here we have an opportunity to plan an experience for hundreds of thousands of people, even millions, that will thrill and delight as so many races we ourselves have viewed. It won’t be without hardship or setbacks but if we succeed the world will have another Grand Tour, and one that is unlike anything seen before. Will it be possible? Can we overcome the myopic doper-vision and negativity embedded in our current culture? How will we secure the necessary funding (the number one reason races fail in America)? Who will be our allies and who will be against us? How do we alter an established cycling paradigm for the betterment of all? Can we have a positive impact on the frightening trend towards higher sock length?
There are hundreds of such questions which at times encroach on a good night’s sleep…and many more available for daytime waking hours. There’s no end to what needs done. And we’re just a group of volunteers with full time work elsewhere. It’s time we divest ourselves of any sleep dependency and craft more time for planning. We’ll bathe in vats of Alpecin and soak in Segafredo. We’ll have steady diets of foodstuffs crafted into tiny little bars. Our engineers can rig a gatling of espresso shots and we’ll carry bandoliers of energy gels. The sun will never set without progress being made and when you hear the wind howling that just means we’ve caught up to it. Is that a pack of wolves chasing us at 18,000 feet?
So if you see a hairy, wide-eyed and trembling chase group on your street, riding fat-bikes of faith, blazing past motor-dopers and EPO sing-a-longs, you’ll know it’s just the USA Grand Tour on its way to a city near you.
Foolish? Perhaps. To pursue such a farfetched and audacious vision can only mean demented minds. Or does it announce adversity overcome is a friend? With the sincerest of hearts and a passionate desire to affect change, we begin…