There were some interesting conversations on facebook and twitter yesterday.
This sums up what I've been thinking... I truly believe that the success of gravel shows that our road races have become lame (more than ANYTHING else) and that the way forward for both is together. I know when my dad raced on the road in the late 60s and 70s (albeit at a higher level) the routes were most similar to what we are now doing only on gravel. Both groups, gravel and road/USAC, could benefit if we can figure out how to take the benefits of each. The success of gravel shows that USAC needs to create more inspiring courses, while on the flip side without USAC someone is going to lose their house, we have to do unsavory fundraising, we are more or lessed "used" by the industry (who obviously don't care about our "free" ethos) and we are doing no service to future cyclists/junior racers. I could go into a lot more detail. I guess I should probably work toward making something happen in line with what I said there. Implied is that I view gravel through an athletic/competitive lens. I simply do not believe that anyone who takes the time to attend an event truly doesn't want to do their best and have a fun/fair/interesting but still competitive environment. Perhaps you can get people like that to show up once a year. The other types of people will eventually mark "gravel century" off their list and try crossfit, color runs or tough mudders next season instead.