Sunday, June 25, 2017

Minus Ten Review- 25

Vendor bikes at the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo demo in Decorah, Iowa
Ten years ago this week I was involved in this festival/demo in Decorah Iowa that I wanted to call "The Midwest 29"er Meetup". In fact, I didn't want it to be anything else but an actual meeting of riders. All I wanted to have happen was to have riders have fun and ride bikes.

Instead, I let the guy who owned Twenty Nine Inches at that time talk me in to something else.

Boy, do I ever regret letting that happen. 

Which taught me a lesson: Don't ever let anyone talk you out of your dream or vision of how you see something going if you really believe in it. It will never be a success if you let that happen.

So it was to be with this deal called the "Big Wheeled Ballyhoo". It never really worked out, and I never really felt good about it. We had to cancel it due to weather in 2008 and in 2009 I gave it one more shot with help from good friends, and in an effort to start to turn it back in to the thing I thought it should be. Well, it snowed 8 or 9 inches, or some ridiculous thing, on that one. Plus, it happened that I couldn't even be there due to a member of the family having a health serious issue, which required me to stay home.

In short, The Big Wheeled Ballyhoo was doomed. I just wasn't meant to be, in my opinion.

Brandon, a mechanic for Milltown Cycles, riding Ben Witt's 36"er.
Oh, there were some good things that happened at that first Ballyhoo. We got  to hang out with some great folks. There were some cool bikes to check out including the first ever, (I might be mistaken here), ride by anyone of a G2 geometry Fisher Paragon with the brand new Fox fork for 29"ers. If we weren't the first, we were close to it.

Of course, there were the previously mentioned lessons learned. Invaluable to me going forward in regard to putting on Trans Iowa. At this point ten years ago, Trans Iowa was a dead idea to me, but when it was resurrected not more than a couple of months later, the Ballyhoo experiences were what I leaned on. Those experiences steeled my desire to keep Trans Iowa true to its roots and to not let anybody talk me out of that.

I also learned who some of my friends were and who supported what I believed in and who did not. Character was shown and taken note of. The entirety of the Ballyhoo experience was good in that I made some good friends, learned who I could trust, and left the rest behind. I do not regret ever doing it, but it was not a pleasant experience overall.

Sometimes learning things and growing up is hard.

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