I know I have taken a couple of sabbaticals in the last six months. This one by far is the longest. But I have an excuse, I promise. Contributing to the delay has been some behind the scenes work that has allowed my to put my money where my mouth is.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am passionate about the sport of cycling. It is the most beautiful sport on the planet and it has withstood several years of non stop assualt. While I think we have turned a corner, the sport is at a severe low in public opinion. Therefore, I needed to do my part to help rebuild this sport.
Please note, my contribution is minimal at best. I can’t let that stop me from doing anything I can. Since the beginning of the year, I have been giving whatever help I can to several good people. From trying to find a sponsor for a major ProTour race in Europe, helping a ProTour team get in contact with US sponsors to helping a great race continue to grow.
That great race is the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival. aka The Nature Valley Grand Prix. This race showcases what is great in cycling. The folks putting on this race have done a lot of innovative things to broaden the appeal of cycling. Look at the race design. It does not try to replicate a classic European stage race. It also does not run away from the appeal of European racing. They have blended the best of European cycling stage races with American cycling stalwarts like the criterium. This has created a race that is challenging to the riders as well as friendly to fans of all knowledge levels.
To bring in fans even more, they have done things like have volunteerswalk around in brightly colored shirts saying “Ask Me About Cycling” How many times have you increased a friends enjoyment of the Tour de France by explaining a simple concept like drafting.
This year, the race wanted to use more social networking tools such as blogging. Here is where I hoped to add a very small amount of help. This year, the Nature Valley Grand Prix has instituted two blogs. The first is the Your Cycling blog sponsored by TRIA Orthopaedic group. This is a great Cycling 101 blog. The second is for us race junkies. It is called Pro Cycling Minnesota and has contributor list that is the who’s who of US cycling both men and women.
The design and content are the work of smart and dedicated people. Check it out, comment, join the discussion by adding your insights. Show our future fans what kind of a community we are.
Oh, and buy Nature Vallley granola bars. Tell them cycling sent you.