We'll Start Out With A Bit Of A Rant: I read a thread on mtbr.com dealing with a review of a product that had the reviewer stating this:
"I always purchase the products myself that I test so that I can give an unbiased review, unlike a lot of the magazine tests you read."
On the surface of it, it seems an innocuous statement, but really, it's pretty cheeky. Let's take a look. First and foremost it has to be said that everybody is biased. It never happens that some of us are biased but some of us are not. Sure, you can occasionally find a fairly unbiased view from time to time, but there is always some element of it in every ones opinion. I do not have a problem with bias as long as I know what that bias might be and that the reviewer knows he has it.
Secondly, to say you don't have a bias because you bought the thing with your own hard earned cash is laughable. If anything you would be more prone to be biased, since if you bought something that sucked in several ways, I'm thinking you wouldn't be very quick to let the world know that your judgement was poor. That is human nature. Of course, opinions can vary on this, but the point remains, their is bias there regardless of the exchange of money, and perhaps more so.
In defense of this statement, I can perhaps agree that an independent review could be more free from influence because of ad revenue to the reviewers company or influence in regards to favors, kickbacks, or just plain ol' friendships between reviewers and companies. Of course, this usually is pretty easy to detect these days, since if a mainstream review says something that most independent sources do not, it becomes quite transparent that something is amiss at the mainstream media outlet. You just have to do your research and use your melon. Well.........you should always do that when reading anybodies stuff in regards to equipment reviews. Mine included.
Went for a tumble: I had a good laugh yesterday on the way home. I was crossing the exit ramp from University Avenue to Green Hill Road on the Diamondback Overdrive Pro 29"er when I was faced with a transition from pavement to a three foot high frozen wall of snow and ice. I thought I would just huck that front wheel up there and hop on over. Well........I managed to stick the front wheel into the face of it! Yeah..........ugly. I found myself slamming into the back of the stem with my chest and felt the bike biff me in the back. Then the bike slams into the pavement on its side with a resounding whack! I know that was a YouTube moment there that would have provided thousands with a serious belly laugh. Well, no harm done, no foul. I collected my self and the bike and went on with my commute none the worse for wear, but a bit embarrassed perhaps.
Late Addition: I posted earlier but there was something nagging at my conscious that I knew I wanted to post about. Well........it finally came to me! (Apologies to those early morning readers that missed this!) I have been reading of sponsorships, non-sponsorships, and vague racing plans for 2008 on several blogs, so I figured I may as well post my thoughts on the subject.
Not that I'm going to have anything definite to say here. (!!) Just some thoughts......okay? So, I'm in for the Blue Mound gig, it would seem, since a certain head honch at Twin Six has unduly influenced me with his nefarious arts. Not that I wouldn't wear the apparel anyway, it's fantastic stuff and I've been a fan since Mr. 24 introduced me to the line and I actually was a paying customer. Now that I'm a member of The Team I get a bone thrown my way now and again. (Refer to bias rant above) So there is your full disclosure there. And.........I could always say no. It's not like I'm a robot or anything, ya know. But anyway...........Blue Mound, yeah.
Then there is the Dirty Kanza 200 which is a fantastic event run by some super cool folks. I'm down for this and will not be deterred in my intentions. I was frustrated last spring in not being able to go due to having to play at a friends wedding. I do not foresee any such hindrances this time. I look forward to this one with great anticipation.
Perhaps I may be seen here again, (link is to the 2007 info) if this happens again. It was a fun time and I was reacquainted with the bug to do more of this sort of thing at this event last fall. Perhaps a reunion of Team Stoopid ? Who knows?
So, that's my tentative race schedule for next season. I might sneak in another thing here or there, but this is the only vague prediction I am willing to put out there now. More as it becomes clearer to me..............
Surly Cross-Check; update
15 hours ago