|Jeff Kerkove's work here. I miss his "digital flyers" for his gravel rides.|
The thing was, that buzz kind of went away after awhile as the general population kind of gave that wheel size a general "Meh!" and was ready to move on. What we didn't know at the time was that the industry took this idea and planned to make the 26"er obsolete by creating their own "you gotta have it" product in 27/5" wheels and marrying that to long travel mountain bikes, whose sales were lagging circa 2007 due to the rise of the 29"er. Plus, by 2007 many brands had felt that they had "missed out" on a bunch of new bike sales that the Gary Fisher brand was taking away in the form of 29"ers. These brands wanted a piece of a pie that they could create buzz for, (long travel 27.5"ers), and not have to become "me too" 29"er brands and fight for an ever decreasing sized slice of that pie.
It worked out that way too. At least for a few years, but since that didn't happen for about 4 more years past 2007, I won't delve in to all of that right now. That said, there is a lot more to say about that time period.
Then there was one of the last Jeff Kerkove generated gravel group rides held here. He was, for all intents and purposes, moved to Colorado, but he had some loose ends to take care of back here. Since he was coming back, why not have a "swan song" gravel group ride? I never got to go on one of these Friday night deals, but I understand that they were well liked rides. Locals and the larger gravel community really needs to thank Jeff for being one of the pioneers of promoting gravel as a venue to hold group rides.
Finally, I wrote a post, that looking back on, I find it held the seeds of my discontent with "Twenty Nine Inches" work and what was going on with that. Honestly, I probably should have cut my losses after 2007 and got out of the deal, but my sense of responsibility and my loyalty got in the way there. Both a good and a bad thing. Whatever...... It is what it is now, no sense in going back and fretting over it. I just wanted to point out one idea from that post that I feel we as cyclists can get wrong easily. Here it is as seen in that post:
"Take my eyes off "cycling" for a bit, and put them on people.
Yep! Sometimes you get too focused. I think that it comes at the expense of some people that should get that attention. Family, friends, acquaintances, and just people that you meet that deserve being paid attention to. Time is too short to miss out on opportunities that might not repeat themselves in the future. It's nice if you can combine that with cycling or cycling related activities, but that's not always possible. Sometimes you just have to let go and spend some time away from the bike and all it's related stuff, ya know?"
Yeah.....wise words and all. Sometimes I am amazed that kind of thing comes out of my brain. Crazy! Then a couple days later I wrote a "Part Two" post to that and had this to say about our device driven, data acquisition centered lifestyles:
"I like to think of it like we did about television back in the day. "The Idiot Box" we called it. It seems that the more information we have available to us, the more we get sucked into the hypnotic allure of staring at the monitor to find out more......and more........and more..... Like an addict, we lose sight of the "good" of the internet and how we are supposed to "enhance" our life experiences with it. Instead, it becomes our life, to some degree, and virtual reality takes over from what we used to go outside and experience for real.
Now it may seem mighty ironic to those of you who pay attention to what I do that I would be writing such stuff. I do benefit from the internet for sure, I won't hide that fact. However; it is a curse that has to be beaten back like a prowling beast, or it has the potential to take over my life too. I'm not immune. So I do something that I would prescribe to any of you. I ride whenever I can."
Still relevant ideas ten years down the road. I should take heed of the guy who wrote those things more often!