Editor, Commonwealth:

The positive outcome of the first annual Greenwood Gravel Grind (aka, G3) bicycle ride is even beyond my wildest hopes. It seems praise for the event was totally unanimous, and riders vowed, “I’ll be back next year” or “I’ll bring my riding buddies in 2020” over and over. All of our planning and hard work will surely pay off with a much larger turnout next year.

The photos in Tuesday’s paper captured the event well, and all of us organizers are very grateful for the coverage. And I am personally thankful for the recognition of my efforts. But I must hasten to share accolades with others and add some details on the event’s origin.

The idea for a “gravel grind” bike ride was suggested to me in 2017 by Frank Jarman. At that time, I had no idea what riding bikes on gravel roads was all about. After Frank repeated his suggestion for a gravel ride in 2018, I began to research the trend and came across a couple from Jackson named Jason and Wendi Shearer. Jason and Wendi had founded the Mississippi Gravel Cup and already held several gravel cycling races under the auspices of their Ordinary Epics company. After discussions with them about collaborating on a gravel ride for Greenwood, I brought the idea to Beth Stevens at our Chamber of Commerce. Beth quickly saw the merits of the event, and the four of us began planning immediately.

While the four of us led the organizational effort, there were numerous other people and entities that played a key role. Without them it would not have been such a huge success. While they are too numerous to cite in this letter, we are working on ways to show our appreciation and give them proper recognition.

Now, on to planning 2020’s Greenwood Gravel Grind!

Richard Beattie

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