|Another one that came and got away. Haro Mary XC.|
The one pictured here was my "thank you" from Haro/Mike Varley for doing that catalog writing for the Mary 29"ers. I screwed up big time when I was asked by Mike about what I wanted. The single speed version of the bike was almost an impossibility, since it was selling through and demand meant that maybe I would never see a frame and fork. I should have waited. The other thing was that I asked for a size medium. I was such a doofus back then concerning what size bike I would need. It didn't help that I was on the cusp of either a Medium or Large size in many company's sizing schemes. I was often left to guess, and when the odds are 50-50, I typically lose. No matter what Bill Nye says about probability.
The other thing I see when I look at this image is that the frame and fork are on Jeff's old bench. We were finalizing the ideas behind Trans Iowa v3 at that time. Registration was just about to kick off at that time and recon was being done at about the same period as well. This marked a time in Trans Iowa history that was pretty critical. No more point to point courses. No more entry fees. Oh.......you didn't know Trans Iowa once had entry fees? Yes, for the first two years it did. We charged what we felt would cover the insurance fees to cover the event. Year one was easy, year two the fees doubled, and for year three, it was to be doubled again. We weren't prepared to charge one hundred bucks a head for the chance to ride in this crazy event. So, we went with advice we had gotten from the inception of Trans Iowa. No fee to ride.
|Part of the T.I.v3 course|
In other news, I heard solid rumors at this time in '06 that Fox was entering the 29"er fork market. This was huge. At that time, had no one like Fox jumped in with a truly legitimate option for 29"ers, the big wheeled bikes would likely have died off eventually. However; unbeknownst to me at the time, Trek put up the dollars to get a set of lowers made and an offset crown forged for their Gary Fisher line of 29"ers. Gary Fisher would have a one year exclusive on the Fox forks before everyone would be on board in the '09 model year.
Interestingly, later on I also found out why 51mm was chosen as the offset for the Fox G2 geometry forks, and why this has been the offset that is most used on 29"er forks today. In speaking with Travis Brown at a Trek World event, he related to me that several offsets were tried in blind comparisons with riders located in several locations. In the end, all were convinced that one of the forks handled and performed the best. The one with 51mm of offset.
So, if you've ever wondered how that 51mm offset for forks on 29"ers was arrived at,now you know.