Amid a huge boom in the popularity of gravel racing, perhaps it should come as no surprise that a Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame is on the way. As Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame advisory board member LeLan Dains told VeloNews this week, “I think it’s important we honor and recognize the stories of the pioneers before they get lost.”
The inaugural class of inductees will be announced in April, with an official induction taking place in Emporia, Kansas, ahead of Unbound Gravel.
Not everyone in the gravel racing community, however, is in favor of the idea. As 2019 Unbound Gravel winner Amity Rockwell writes over at VeloNews, gravel racing is still trying to figure out what it is. With the discipline still going through what she calls “growing pains,” Rockwell suggests that perhaps it’s too early to be naming anyone to a Hall of Fame.
“It seems like every month there is a new debate – whether it’s addressing deeply problematic roots in colonialism and racism, or picking apart the dynamics of more than one gender racing each other at the same time, or arguing over the legitimacy of a series that uses vague criteria to determine the value of its applicants. I think it’s pretty obvious we have a lot of work to do,” Rockwell writes.
“I’m not trying to be sour grapes about gravel. Gravel is my life, my career. Gravel has given me everything I ever dreamed of, opportunities so profound I can’t wrap my head around them in real time.
“The only point I wish to make here is that we are getting ahead of ourselves. Like, really ahead. And in doing so, are embarrassing ourselves and sabotaging our own potential at being a sound discipline in the sport of cycling.”