Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm a Cyclist, Not a Marketing Trend!

I may have mentioned this before, but I am a contributor on The Biking Hub, a website dedicated to the mountain biker who is looking for information. Reviews, tech tips, and other types of stories that might interest a mountain biker can be found there. Anyway, you might enjoy poking around there a bit. The point that I wanted to make concerning that was about an article that I just did for them. In the comments section, someone made a slightly sarcastic remark regarding 29"ers as a waste of bandwidth for the site. The thought being that the 29"er was nothing but "cyclings next big thing." I guess he thought that 29"ers would be a passing fad except for the cycling industries efforts to create a new marketable trend. He couldn't be more wrong!

As it has been documented on this blog several times before, you may know that the exact opposite is true. While I'm not going to deny that the cycling industry is looking for the next big thing, they certainly don't have the marketing dollars to create a trend. The cycling industry is quick to jump onboard with a fast developing trend as evidenced by the now fading chopper bike mania. Of course, there was "The Lance Effect", which was certainly exploited. Now Lance is retired and marketing folks just might be looking for the next train to come along. The thing is, these cycling companies can certainly help a trend along, but they do not create them.

Then there is history, which alot of folks seem to forget. Remember free riding? Yeah. That was supposed to be a fad. Now it's not only alive and well,( currently masquerading around the globe as "all-mountain riding"), but it also helped spawn downhilling, and hucking as recreational sports. Take single speeding. Wasn't that supposed to be a fast fading trend? People were supposed to get tired of that and come back to geared bikes once they found out how tough single speeds were to ride off road. Riiiggghhht! Single speeding is alive and well, and not only that, but there is a larger community of fixed gear off roaders growing off that trend as well.

Of course, you are welcome to dismiss any and all of these trends as silly and not worthy of coverage in the media. It doesn't mean that it is not valid to others, though. This is what amazes me the most. Cycling is good. It's good for you physically. It's good for you mentally. It's good for the environment. Why is it that we spend so much time picking on, disrespecting, and out right fighting with other cyclists? If you ride a beat up fixed gear or a multi billion dollar all mountain, drop down, dead sexy sled, the bottom line's a bike! Have fun on whatever one you choose!

So, let the cycling industry, the media, and the web-trolls go on with their agendas. Bottom line for me is I'm a cyclist. Ride and Smile! (with a nod to Salsa Cycles!) Get out and ride whatever two wheeled contraption that makes you smile today! It'll be good for you and for me!

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