Love the idea because it supports and promotes events that are very much worthy institutions in themselves. What's more I think some will pursue it.
My initial reaction was the same as MikeC's. The iditarod is missing and it is of course a bikepacking race. Why not proceed with your quadrupal crown idea though and also define and leave the door open for a quadrupal crown? Or why not encourage people to define their own triple crown from a list of unsupported races?
Finally is this about bikepacking or would it better be defined as unsupported racing? I think bikepacking is to narrow a definition. Indeed many of the races talked about on this very site are technically not bikepacking as they don't span more then one or two days... i.e. dirty kanza, transiowa. The thing that defines them is they are all unsupported races.
The other thing that popped into my head was Jay Petervary's amazing triple race attempt last year. Iditarod, TDR and RAAM. While absolutely amazing, epic and mind blowing. (His full 1100 mile iditarod race blew my mind.) I think the problem was his final choice for a race, the RAAM is not an unsupported race. It's supporters official and unofficial didn't seem interested in or pick up on Jay so he didn't get the P.R. and support I really thought he needed and deserved. He was really out there solo on that event. Indeed the route also did not look to bikepacking friendly.
While I love the idea of RAAM I think I'd love more a bikepacking specific route across the U.S. I even like the idea of an unsupported pavement specific style race, but I think doing a long road style unsupported race really requires very careful road/route consideration as sleep deprivation and high traffic paved roads don't mix. I could be wrong about the RAAM route though. Only Jay really knows and I haven't seen any proposals nor interest in another E-W route... perhaps it's is because there is a component of the unsupported scene that does seek out remote and wild routes and that's very hard to do if not following continuous wild corridors.
Saftey. I think this is why most of the big bikepacking / unsupported style races stick to dirt. Simply saftey. Deaths on the RAAM route have warped it into a bureaucratic and expensive endevour. Exactly why I love bikepacking. It's open and accessible for people with the skill without the resources to cobble together a four man team and all the associated costs. I'm not saying it's not risky. But the death that happened on the divide did not cause a moral crisis because unsupported has not pitted itself against the endless onslaught of cars. Weather conscious or unconscious unsupported racing has sought steered it's sights and challenges away from such dangers toward terrain where sleep deprivation can be more safely challenged.
So, looking at Jay's attempt. In retrospect I really wish his third challenge would have a crazy epic third bikepacking event. I think the amount of P.R. he got out of the RAAM was minimal because it crossed into another style of racing that ironically didn't wholey support him. If his event would have stayed unsupported racing specific it would have helped define what he was doing better, brought more attention to unsupported racing and Jay himself would have gotten more support and p.r. out of what truely was the most epic and amazing triple crowns I've ever seen and maybe every will. (Unless MikeC and some other capable souls of this style of racing come up with their own epic triple crowns.. . hint hint.
So... that said. One last thought.
What is your triple crown??
You could leave it open to the participant to define their own triple crown. i.e. define a list of acceptable bikepacking races and some ground rules like obeying the official rules of those races, perhaps requiring spot tracking / perhaps not... and then let the participant pick any three.
Simply pose the question and let it guide you. "What's your triple crown?"
I imagine a "classic" triple crown would evolve. And maybe the three races you picked would be that but in the meantime you'd get much more interest in the idea. Much more P.R. value for the triple crown idea and the unsupported races themselves.
Capture people's imagination. Challenge them to dream up challenges that will then further inspire others.
Light the fire so to speak.
I guess.. I being an information architectural / tech geek I think in terms of spawning meme's... ideas that can go viral... and stear away from defining finite events that might limit creative participation as much as they encourage it.
Indeed I already see evidence in this thread... that if you started a new thread called. "What's your triple crown" and redefined this challenge as suggested that that thread would pretty much explode. You would then really take the pulse of this community and really spur people to ride a thousand triple crown races each in it's own way capturing one of the beautiful individualistic facets I love so much about bikepacking. This would then further inspire the next generation to dream up and attempt crazier and even more creative feats... and then if we're lucky in three years time people will be accomplishing triple crowns that not only had we never thought of, but that blow our minds.
Also... there's fundamentally no single winner with my idea... instead everyone wins.
Did I mention that I love unssupported racing because it's truely not about who's #1? Indeed I like to call it "un-racing" because as I put it "I don't race, I just happen to like to ride fast and far."
I could see people proposing a triple crown east.
A triple crown midwest gravel grinders, i.e. dirty kanza, transiowa, etc.
I could see people proposing a triple crown of snow racing.
Best of all I'd just be shocked and delighted to see what people come up with and then have the pleasure of seeing them execute their own triple crowns.
Like commenter @et3surge's personal Stagecoach, Dirty Kanza, CTR triple crown mentioned above the DIY / low barrier to entry / anti-beauracratic thing is sort of the heart of the beast here.
I want to follow up and see how that goes for him.
Indeed I want to read about and follow other people's own triple crowns.
In summary, I think I might start that thread with or without you, but of course... I'm hoping a little you'll transmorph your idea, open it up and perhaps use the blog you created to eventually document and support others triple crowns as well. Perhaps I and a few others might be able to help you do that.
It would definitely add even more meaning and dimension to this thing we all love so much.
Untill then I'll be dreaming of someone doing a triple crown of the Americas (N-S). Euro-Africa (N-S) and Euro Asia (E-W). Or how about a Triple crown Antartica, Iditarod, Greenland... or a triple crown of island nations: greenland, Australia, UK. Or a triple crown Trans Iowa, Trans Michigan, Trans Ohio (those last two don't exist.... yet
Or a triple crown Tour Divide West, Tour Divide East, Tour Divide... Europe? South America?
Indeed I think I might be up for a triple crown East. TNGA, Allegheney Loop tour and perhaps one other event this year.
Anyone know of any other good unsupported races in the midwest or East?