|Gino Bartali circa 1936- Showing not much has changed in a long time.|
Here is a newsflash for y'all: nothing is new in cycling. Yep. Nothing. The whole deal concerning one of my favorite cycling activities- gravel grinding- isn't new. Roadies started it, and it has been going on here for decades. I haven't advocated that this is a new, awesome genre' of cycling, but I have asked that we look backward to previous cycling eras for some ideas that work well for riding on gravel. So that we can have equipment much better suited to doing this activity than we've been able to get. And now we are getting that, and it is an awesome thing.
The other part of the whole marketing who-ha that is happening now is the debate about what to call this thing, this "not road racing", not "mountain biking", not "hybrid biking" thing that we are doing with these bicycles. Some are saying it isn't what people are calling it, while some try one name or another, and others throw their hands in the air in exasperation. Sheesh! How do we expect to invite new folks along for the ride when we cannot even agree amongst ourselves what it is we are doing or how we are doing it? Heaven forbid you bicycle and not know The Rules! Yeah........ what a freakin' mess cycling is!
|Just, you know.......having fun!|
So just what is it that makes these rides so attractive? Is it the specific bicycles that we are using? Are we following rules? Does it cost a bunch of money and have aid stations? What is it? I'll tell ya what it is that is going on here.......
These things called "adventure" and "fun" are central to these rides. You know......those things that made you want to ride as a kid? Freedom, a calming feeling, or a thrilling one. Whatever, but they all were not tied to what a gravel grinder is, or if an adventure bike is really a mountain bike. Bah! Phooey!
The fact of the matter is that all two wheeled, human powered, bicycles are adventure machines. There is no need to argue. There is no need to tell me or you that we are doing it wrong, or that this bike is that kind of bike, not what you think it is. We don't need "The Rules". No, we do not need all of that and more. We just need to be pedaling, having fun, and doing that in a way that doesn't get us killed just for having fun.
I just happen to think it isn't really all that complicated. Just go ride. Have an adventure and have fun.